While much of the furniture design industry spent the past ten years playing it safe with a restrained, minimalist approach, a new expressive style has emerged from within its margins. During this period, a vanguard of up-and-coming and established designers broke away from the norm and started reevaluating the fundamentals of form and function. They began playing around with proportion and anthropomorphic details. All of a sudden, a new slew of limited edition chairs and tables were sporting swollen legs, rounded feet, and even animalistic facial features. On view at A/D/O in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, until March 28, Neotenic Design is a capsule group exhibition that surveys this trend. Curated by A/D/O members Justin Donnelly and Monling Lee of design studio JUMBO, the showcase identifies the movement as having close affinities with childlike physical features and the vivid emotional responses that association elicits. As humans, we are inherently drawn to objects with characteristics that resemble these human traits: big eyes, round heads, chubby cheeks, and pudgy extremities. Scientists have proven that our brains respond well to these features as it brings out our instinctual need to nurture and provide affection for less self-sufficient beings. Exhibiting designers and brands—like Pierre Yovanovitch, Konstantin Grcic, Jaime Hayon, Faye Toogood, Sylvain Willenz, Chris Wolston, and Moroso, among others—have tapped into the potential of this emotive trend. There’s nuance in how this diverse group of European and American talents has employed neoteny—the retention of juvenile features—but on the whole, neotenic furniture and lighting design includes three primary traits: thickened forms; soft or rounded terminations; and the use of mono-materials. Ironically, this approach is not new and harkens back to ancient form making. What remains poignant, however, is how this recent trend asks us to reconsider the role of everyday objects; if they’re more childlike in characteristics, we might better find comfort in our domestic spaces.
Posts tagged with "Moroso":
With soft hues and organic shapes, the latest furniture and accessories take an all-natural approach. Woody table Marcel Wanders for moooi The exuberant Dutch designer takes a playful turn with a portable wood side table imbued with the charm of a timid deer—the inspiration for the form. Puff Ball Faye Toogood for Matter Made Faye Toogood’s first full lighting collection emulates mushrooms with its rounded forms and earth-toned hues. To achieve this effect, Toogood used raw fiberglass and tumbled aluminum. In addition to the table lamp (shown), there is a wall sconce, floor lamp, and room divider. Halves side table MDMS Studio for Muuto Canadian design collective MDMS joins the New Nordic club with an asymmetric side table. The piece is made from an acrylic-stone composite that calls to mind polished concrete. Catch Rock table light Lindsey Adelman for Nilufar Gallery The designer best known for her treelike glass-and-brass fixtures has branched out with a sculptural new table light that adds a granite block to the familiar material palette, with unexpected results. Cloudscape chair Diesel Living for Moroso Part of a collection designed for casual entertaining, this slouchy seat with stonewashed linen invites users to sink into its relaxed form.
The classic hexagonal City Park Paver® by Unilock comes to life with the Umbriano® granite-like finish, creating a modern pixelated pattern.Like what you see? Don't miss our latest edition of AN Interior, out now!
The indefatigable Daniel Libeskind has designed a chair that might make some think that he's angling for a job to overhaul the USS Enterprise (or perhaps a $97 million earthbound residential replica of it). The faceted-yet-cushy Gemma was shown in prototype form by Moroso at Salone this year; the collection will include a full line of seating options. The piece is upholstered in a fabric whose pattern arguably resembles a far, far away galaxy: Blur, which was designed by Marc Thorpe for Moroso.
Ready to revitalize a living room in a summer home, these freewheeling, fashionable chair designs offer comfort as well as outstanding styling. CH445 Chair, Stripes by Paul Smith Carl Hansen Collection, Coalesse Upholstered in a vibrant Maharam fabric designed by Paul Smith, this classic wing chair gets a new look. Chair designed by Hans J. Wegner. Steeve Arper This versatile chair is available with or without armrests, and with right, or left armrest. The frame can be entirely upholstered with a single material in just one color, with a single material in different colors, or with wood on the external side and with fabric, leather, or faux leather on the inside. The seat and backrest cushions have the same upholstery as the frame internal side. Designed by Jean-Marie Massaud. Hi-Turn Bensen This high-back swivel lounge chair features an internal steel frame. Injection-molded cold foam with a soft down seat make for an inviting and comfortable seat, and a tidy tailored appearance. Lilt Bernhardt Design Coolly modern, this lounge chair not only looks good, but is Greenguard certified, as well. The branch-like base of the chair is founded on the designer's childhood memories of climbing trees. Designed by Brandon Kim. Bart Swivel Moooi The roundness of the armchair's design is completed by its circular swiveling motion, which also adds another dimension to its coziness. The wooden frame is covered in foam and dacron; the seat cushion is foam. Diatom Moroso This stackable chair features a seat and back pressed from a single sheet of aluminum. Extremely lightweight, it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Designed by Ross Lovegrove.
Architect Daniel Libeskind has collaborated with artist Marina Abramovic on the design of furniture for her upcoming event, "Counting the Rice," which will be staged December 4–7 during Miami Art Basel. The integrated table/bench will be fabricated in concrete by Moroso in a limited edition of 30 pieces. Plywood versions were created for previous performances in Geneva and Milan. While striking in its characteristically angular appearance, we're a little skeptical of the comfort quotient of the seating. Was Libeskind channeling his inner Frank Lloyd Wright, who created famously painful furnishings? Hmmm. But perhaps the nature of the performance provides a clue, here: The event requires participants to sit for at least six hours, counting and sorting grains of rice. Part meditative ritual, part atrophy-inducing experience—at least they will look, if not feel, good. Proceeds from the sale of the tables will be donated to Abramovic's MAI organization, a platform for "immaterial art" and long duration works.
Once again, top-drawer design talents—Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Ingo Maurer, Nendo, and Daniel Libeskind among them—claimed the limelight at the last Salone del Mobile. More than 300,ooo attendees navigated the halls of the Rho exhibition center, while closer to the center of Milan, satellite shows and exhibitions drew crowds to more avant-garde events. Here's a selection of our favorite pieces. Rival Artek While created as a work chair for the home office, this swiveling seat has a distinctive presence. Fabricated of birch, in high- and low-back styles; leather and fabric upholstery. Designed by Konstantin Grcic. Flying Flames Ingo Maurer Repositionable downlights and dimmable LED “candles” are held by magnets to a ceiling-mounted canopy that contains an integrated electronic ballast. Designed by Moritz Waldemeyer and Ingo Maurer and team. SU Collection Emeco These simple stools are offered with seats of reclaimed oak, recycled polyethylene, or an eco-friendly “concrete” material, atop legs of anodized aluminum or wooden legs. Designed by Nendo. 22nd Floor Moroso Folded steel and aluminum comprise an all-in-one seating and table unit. Varying the palette of textiles and surface materials creates a custom design. Designed by Tord Boontje. Carbon Fiber Chair Coalesse Weighing less than five pounds and capable of supporting 300 pounds, this stacking chair takes full advantage of the technical properties of carbon fiber. Designed by Michael Young. Shanty Summer BD Barcelona Design Each of the corrugated door panels fronting this cabinet opens in a different direction. Available in several color schemes. Designed by Doshi Levien. Paul Smith & Maharam Carl Hansen & Son Modern classics including the Wing Chair, the Shell Chair, CH28, and the CH163 sofa all receive the signature striped treatment. Textiles by Paul Smith & Maharam; chair designed by Hans Wegner. Paragon Artemide A body of extruded aluminum in matte black or anodized grey finishes, this blade-like floor fixture uses a dimmable LED lamp. Designed by Daniel Libeskind. N=N05 Casamania Breaking apart the components of a traditional sofa, this chair’s seat and backrest float separately, but are linked together by a thin exposed framework. The integral side table is made of ash wood. Designed by Luca Nichetto and Nendo. Big Will Magis This wheeled work or dining table extends to seat eight. The witty wheel-like pair of legs slide for easy expansion. Designed by Philippe Starck. Tuareg Foscarini This tubular fixture’s three LED light sources adjust 360 degrees and can be operated independently, allowing it to be used as a reading lamp, wall lamp, or floor lamp. Designed by Ferruccio Laviani.
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.
Thursday was a great night for New York showroom events. AN took advantage of the beautiful fall weather and made the rounds. Here are some highlights: Moroso Traveling Show Moroso celebrated the NYC launch of its traveling show commemorating 60 years of great furniture-making history. Designed by Rockwell Group, the pop-up exhibition will tour New York through November 26, then continue on to Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, and Vancouver. The show features 25 pieces from the Moroso oeuvre, many positioned on raw wood displays next to a timeline illustrated with images and drawings from the company’s archives. New Marazzi Tile Showroom NY Stone Manhattan unveiled its new second-floor showroom dedicated to products from Italian tile manufacturer Marazzi, which will be NY Stone’s only tile supplier. Oysters and appetizers from Le Cirque helped the tiles make a swanky splash in the high-ceilinged space, which features architectural tile and interior porcelain stoneware. DDC’s Venini 90th Birthday Celebration The DDC Gallery celebrated Venini’s 90th anniversary with an installation of the Italian glass-makers work, including recent pieces designed with Dutch design team Studio Job. In addition to the presence of Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, dazzling Arnolfini chandeliers and whimsical standing lamps lit up the DDC’s Madison Avenue showroom.