More than seventy years after their creation, a collection of classic office furniture by Jean Prouvé is being updated and released to the market. Dutch fashion purveyor G-Star, in conjunction with Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra, have developed "Prouvé Raw," a collection of ten pieces that include chairs, desk and wall lighting, conference tables, and writing desks. And Rem Koolhaas also plays a role in this revival. In 2014, OMA and Koolhaas completed a new headquarters for G-Star. Observing an affinity between the architecture and the Prouvé pieces that was mirrored by the design philosophy of the fashion house, a decision was made to outfit the offices, conference rooms, and canteens of the new building with the seven-decade-old furnishings. In cooperation with the Prouvé family, Vitra adapted the French designer’s furnishings to meet the needs of today’s office. Desks have been modularized, and fitted with concealed runs for cables and pop-up power outlets. The swiveling desk chair has a more stable five-branch base. Teaming up with art directors at G-Star, color and material palettes were created that are true to the aesthetic of both Prouvé and the Dutch company. Several shades of industrial green, and leather and fabric upholstery complement the steel and solid-wood furnishings. The Prouvé Raw collection debuts next month at Salone in Milan.
Posts tagged with "Milan Furniture Fair":
While much of the work introduced at Milan this year played it safe—distinctly conservative colors, forms familiar from the 1950s, cautious use of materials—some architects' designs took, shall we say, a bolder stance. But: Was it a better one? You, ever-opinionated reader, shall and no doubt will be the judge of that. Among the boldest of the bold designs this year were four pieces presented by Zaha Hadid. Most photos we've seen of the aluminum Manta Ray seating underscore its unfortunate semblance, not to the graceful sea creature, but to a giant human posterior. At AN, we're taking the high road, featuring this more abstracted view of the piece. But it may not be enough to erase the obvious imagery. Here, Hadid has designed a fireplace, which appears to have melted into a puddle of black marble. Ironically cold design, for an interiors element that generates heat. Thumbs up on this one. A rectangular top is a disciplined extension of the vaguely tripod-ish base. Great stone fabrication, and we wouldn't even mind bumping our knees on the legs of this terrific table. A welcome departure from the blobby, yes? But the mid-point of the unit seems to be a bit dysfunctional for shelving, lacking any level horizontal surfaces, but hey, it's all about the cantilever. Looking back on Salone 2014, it's interesting that one can fairly easily discern which pieces were architect-generated versus those that were created by industrial designers. The latter are trained (and paid) to produce commercially viable furniture collections, while the former are free to indulge in the making of domestic monuments.
It's easy to get overwhelmed at the Salone del Mobile and the dozens of related events during Milan Design Week. Luckily there are plenty of visual palate cleansers in form of immersive environments, from new showrooms by Pritzker Prize–winning architects to dazzling installations by up-and-coming designers. There is more to Milan Design Week than just great looking furniture! At the Triennale design museum, for instance, Paris-based DGT architects created a light-catching installation for Citizen watches called Light is Time (above), featuring space dividing curtains made of tens of thousands of watch plates. For the Swedish textile company Kinnasand, a division of Kvadrat, Toyo Ito designed a luminous new showroom to display the company's fabrics, many of which feature diaphanous qualities. Ito covered the walls in frosted glass, which gives them a shimmering quality as downlights tucked into the edge of the ceiling filter through the panels. The ceiling itself is paneled in reflective metal. Draped fabrics are displayed on curved metal rods suspended from the ceiling. Cassina tapped the rising Japanese star Sou Fujimoto to design a "floating forest" for their booth at the fairgrounds, arguably the most innovative display at the Salone. Fujimoto hung mirrored metal planters from the rafters, which held green Japanese maples. Canned bird noises added to the atmosphere, which felt both natural and surreal within the tradeshow hall. The reflective surfaces forced visitors to slow down within the booth, giving them more time to look at Cassina's classic and contemporary furnishings. Also at the fairgrounds, an invited group of architects—Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind, and Studio Mumbai—riffed on themes of domesticity with conceptual installations called, Where Architects Live. As far as installations like these at a furniture fair go, the installations were largely devoid of the trappings of daily life. Libeskind, for example, sliced deep voids into the walls, inset with screens showing videos about his personal history and architectural projects. Chipperfield showed of his German side, with photos of deliciously drab Berlin and clanging music underscoring the seriousness of the project.
AN editors swept and tweeted through the exhibit halls of the venerable Salone del Mobile last week, as well as the myriad satellite design events, exhibits, and installations that popped up around Milan. Footsore but aesthetically satiated, the AN team has reassembled stateside to share some of the best finds from the fair. Casamania Color Fall A lacquered, digital print enlivens the interior of the shelves, which are constructed of humble MDF. Designed by Garth Roberts. Cassina 9 Tables Marble base in black or white, with tops of aluminum, marble, or painted mirror glass. Designed by Piero Lissoni. Cappellini Lotus De Luxe Available with or without castors and/or arms, this chair is suitable for residential and office use. Wooden frame with molded polyurethane cushions covered in fabric or leather. Designed by Jasper Morrison. Viccarbe Trestle Solid oak legs are topped by padded or smooth upholstery. Seating modules are 60 inches in length; up to three benches can be seamlessly joined together. Designed by John Pawson. Cristalplant Slide Towel Shelf A polished aluminum loop slides up or down to both hold and hang bath towels. Designed by Cory Grosser. Poliform Web Bookcase Fabricated of Dupont Corian, this shelving unit is as much sculpture as it is storage. Designed by Daniel Libeskind. Kartell Uncle Jim Demonstrating the current limits of injected polycarbonate fabrication, this single-piece chair comes in four transparent colors. Designed by Philippe Starck.
Patrizia Moroso, art director at Moroso, recently chatted with AN about her impressions of ICFF, working with Patricia Urquiola, and the design house's plans for New York Design Week. What are your impressions of ICFF? It is something very important for the U.S. and for New York. For me, around the fair and outside the pavilions, there's a lot organized in town. The fair is growing. For example, Milan [Furniture Fair] has become so important these years. In Milano, we have something like 3,000 events around design week but this means that people are excited. Now, New York is becoming something like this. You have so much happening around it. The interest and the dialogue between the institutions and the companies and firms can carry on in and around the fair. What is Moroso doing for ICFF? It takes place one month after Milano, so we usually present a few of those releases, [since] that is the big show for us. It's natural to present what we've done in Milano but with another special twist. This year we're transforming the space for Patricia [Urquiola] and in the window [overlooking Greene Street] we're showing the things we've done for Patricia and Kvadrat. We were talking months before the fair so we decided to do something together. Fabric is great for upholstery and we have an installation that was amazing for me. We won an important award in Milano and are happy to say we were the winners this year, so we can show just a glimpse of that here in New York. Because the installation was so big—it took 10 days to install in the [Milan] space—it was not easy to reproduce. Some [challenges were] material, some immaterial. But the exhibition we had [there] was not possible to reproduce here. How did you start working with Patricia Urquiola? About 14 years ago, she was just starting in the design profession. She was managing projects in another big studio in Milano but her name wasn't attached [to her work], as it happens a lot with young designers. A common friend called me to tell me about her; "She's a young designer who's ready to tell her own story. I think you'll be perfect match." I saw her work and energy, and we started working together [pretty much] right away. We are good friends and work together a lot. We are sharing many things, even outside of our profession. Our lives are very intertwined. Is there anything special about showing in New York? The mood here is very happy and bright. It's spring here, [so with the] flowers [in the window] we're trying to recreate that feeling. We painted the showroom in all bright colors, just like space in Milano and we are carrying a mood that we started in Italy. What you see in the window are prototypes that we are presenting but are not yet in production. These are really new things. For example, we are showing our new sofa system, MASSAS, an acronym for Moroso Asymmetric Sofa System Adorably Stitched. Its massive and delicate at once: it's not a common piece of furniture. The other things we will present is our new fabric collection in new colors. Everything is coordinated with the new colors and flowers because the collection is happy. It's not feminine but the approach is very sweet. We want to be optimistic and joyful. For us, it's a new style. What is your favorite thing about coming to New York? The energy, the air—it sparkles! You can come on a rainy day but the morning after everything twinkles. There's something about it. You walk the streets and you're happy. The air in your face is sweet; maybe it's the ocean? The light? It's the atmosphere. If you sit at a cafe and see the people walking, you can see the planet in an hour. You see all the nations here. That, for me, is incredible. When you put all the different people together you have a fantastic melting pot here in the city. It's the power of humanity. I really hope to work more in a country like this, that I love so much. The possibilities here are grand. I really like the thinking here. I meet a lot of architects and designers and everyone is so special. Things are moving fast, projects are growing, it's all very interesting. There's lots of energy in terms of thinking, too. It's all very positive and fast paced.
AN had boots on the ground at the 2013 Milan Furniture Fair, taking the air and parsing the differences. This year saw an abundance of collaborations between furniture designers and architects. What follows is the first half of our greatest hits, everything from modular shelving and sleek hardware to design-forward consoles and practical seating. View even more architect-designed furniture from Milan in the second section of our roundup here. Kelly Seating Tacchini Multidisciplinary design office Claesson Koivisto Rune was inspired by American artist Ellsworth Kelly when they created the Kelly seating collection for Tacchini. The line features three pieces—Kelly E, H, and L—with cushions that reference the bold colors and irregular shapes common in the artist’s sculptures atop delicate frames coated in matching paint. Terreria Bookcase Moroso With a name formed from the words “terracotta” and “libreria” (the Italian for bookcase), the Archea Associati-designed Terreria shelving system is a made-to-measure ceramic bookcase. Its modular components are available in various types of clay and glazed porcelain stoneware and in three different geometric configurations, which can be assembled into an almost infinite variety of shapes. Mercuric Tables Citco First-time fair exhibitor Citco launched its Mercuric Tables Limited Edition by Zaha Hadid with the goal of reinvigorating often bland Veronese marble with the architect’s modern touch. The collection includes three organically shaped tables that can be combined in various configurations. The pieces are available in Black Marquina or Bianco di Covelano with a gold vein. Studio Offecct Specialists in architecture and urban development, Ben van Berkel and UN Studio continue their exploration of furniture design with Studio, a system of public-space seating. Lightweight and easily rearranged, the collection includes several seat versions: Studio Twin, Studio Twin Beam, and Studio Easy Chair Right and Left, allowing users to choose between open and closed seating configurations. Silenzio Luceplan Designer Monica Armani developed the idea for Luceplan’s new sound-dampening Silenzio collection after furnishing a corporate hallway with lamps and wall panels upholstered in Kvadrat fabrics. The new family of suspension lamps and luminous panels improves acoustic comfort and is available in the Remix 2 family of fabrics, a grisaille-inspired textile designed by Giulio Ridolfo for Kvadrat. Nina Door Handle Olivari Daniel Libeskind’s Nina door handle for Olivari is designed to invite users to open a door and explore what lies beyond. Libeskind may be known for bold forms, but the Nina door handle shows his restrained side with its simple elegant design. The tapered design is available in three formats and three finishes.
Goetz Composites fabricated the Granoff Collection of modular furniture for a new Diller, Scofidio + Renfro-designed building at Brown University.Brown University’s Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, completed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in 2010, was a direct result of the institution’s studies on how students and faculty interact today. Since most interdisciplinary exchanges were taking place in stairwells over classrooms, the architects designed a central escalier with five landings where the school’s population could meet among rotating student installations. One year after the building opened, the users realized that something was missing on the escalier: a place to sit. To rectify the situation, graduate students from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) collaborated with Brown alumni to design a unique collection of furniture named for the building’s patrons, Perry and Marty Granoff. The alumni designers—Taylor McKenzie-Veal, Scot Bailey, Ian Stell, and Yumi Yoshida—crafted a line of modular furniture that includes a sofa, a chair, and a table that doubles as a stool. The line caters to local industry in materiality; namely the state’s maritime history. “The boating and composite expertise in Rhode Island has a long-standing history of excellence and [we] consulted and collaborated with a local composites and engineering firm while developing and prototyping the design,” said McKenzie-Veal. Bristol, Rhode Island-based Goetz Composites worked to realize the designers’ vision for a flexible line of furniture that could be used in various configurations. The sofa, for example, is constructed from a large corner section, a small corner section, and a small center section that can be pulled apart and put together in whatever way the user wishes. “The designers had a very specific look in mind, both in texture and color,” said Chase Hogoboom, president of Goetz Composites. “A lot of time and effort was spent working with the designers to develop the [fabrication] process and achieve the results they were looking for.” To develop a prototype, the design team gave Hogoboom three-dimensional Rhino files outlining each section’s shape and dimensions. The fabricator used RhinoCAM to program the form and a CNC mill to cut medium density fiberboard to the exact shape specified by the designers’ files. “There were very strict requirements for the radius of the edges,” said Hogoboom. Additionally, the design schematic called for two A surfaces, so the front and back of the sofa had to be identical. Once the designers approved the prototype, the fabricators used a custom CNC-cut tool to make the shells of the furniture sections from fiber reinforced plastic (FRP). “The furniture was built for an institutional environment, so it needs to withstand heavy use from students, staff, and visitors,” explained Hogoboom. “Based on the profile of the pieces, it had to be low and streamlined, and we were able to achieve that through the materials we used.” Once the FRP was cut, the fabricator wet sanded—with 1,200 grit—and buffed the sections. Linear polyurethane—air craft-quality paint—was applied in crayon-inspired hues and the sections were bolted into metal frames with integrated cleats. The series is finished off with bright cushions from local upholsterer AJ Read. The sofa is currently on display in Milan as part of the exhibition, Risk and Certainty in Uncertain Times, curated by RISD president John Maeda, and will travel to the States for New York’s Design Week in May.
Looking to brighten up the party at the 2012 Milan Furniture Fair and beyond, Heineken plans to sponsor a pop up club contest. The idea was hatched at the fair two years ago when global design and concept manager Mark van Iterson visited the Salone. The company was on the lookout for an ephemeral marketing idea that would make a nice splash--a beer equivalent of a concept car or couture, a top tier notion with a nice trickle down effect. But when the Icelandic volcanic ash kept him earthbound longer than he expected, he decided leave the exhibits and hit the party circuit instead. It was at one of the fair's many venues he had his Isaac Newton moment. "I found it a bit dull, and we were waiting 40 minutes to get a drink, and we thought "we can do this so much better--that’s our business." The concept club contest will allow the winning designer to work with coaches from Heineken's own range of design consultants from the worlds of interiors, fashion, motion graphics, as well industrial design. Milan-based Fabio Rotella will act as architecture coach, while L.A.'s Luc Schurgers of Minivegas, a multi-platform production studio, will weigh in on production values. The tag line "Light Up the Night" dictates that designers should not hold back when it comes to lighting. Everything from effects on the beer bottle (the iconic shape can't be touched) to the LED clothing worn by wait staff can be included as part of the design. Amsterdam-based LEW will advise on fashion. Contenders will be selected from a series of contests held in clubs in New York, Sao Paulo or Tokyo and will be modeled after PechaKucha, the Japanese organization that pioneered 20x20 networking event where young designers connect over drinks. Participants have about five minutes to present 20 slides (20 seconds per slide). The first event will be held in New York on August 18 and is open to New York City residents only. While the selection process sounds a lot like beer-soaked crowdsourcing, the selection process will not be. "This is not democratic voting," said van Iterson. The winners will have to pass muster with van Iterson and his team of design experts.