Posts tagged with "Ray and Charles Eames":

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Industrial designer recreates the Eames shell chair in wood

Tasked by Wisconsin furniture manufacturer Wooda with creating a chair, industrial designer Tucker Viemeister recreated Charles and Ray Eames 1950s Molded Fiberglass Side Chair in a log. This combination of a traditional raw material with new technology and CNC-machining challenges the notion that a design must be unique. “All designers feel challenged to create a great chair—but why? There are so many good ones already. What can the designer offer? What is new?” asked Viemeister in a statement. When Viemeister responded to Wooda's request for a new chair design with a photoshopped photo of a log with an Eames chair carved into it, founder Terry Sweeney was intrigued. He collected three eight-foot oak logs from a nearby forest and input the surface mesh metrics into a CNC-milling machine. The machines ground the end of the logs to a 21-inch-diameter, 17-inch-high seat using a process similar to a pencil sharpener. The rest of the log was left natural to further jar the eye as it tries to reconcile the iconic design in a wholly new medium. “The form is so engraved in our cultural memory that the slightest violation of line or curve stands out like fingernails on a chalkboard,” said Viemeister, whose clients include Corning glass, the National Zoo, Coca-Cola, Cuisinart, Apple, OXO, Toshiba, and many others. Wooda had initially reached out to the industrial designer because it wanted to connect its abundant access to raw materials, space, and technology with innovative ideas and fresh aesthetics. “Viemeister took me at my word when I said we seriously want to contribute to the heritage of great design,” Sweeney said in a statement. In addition to inviting acclaimed designers, Wooda has an open invitation on its site welcoming new, original ideas to be submitted for possible production.
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Performances rule the day at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Performance has been the breakout surprise of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. While many of the works inside the Chicago Cultural Center grapple with issues of urbanism, politics, and the resonances of Modernism (especially Mies’ oversized presence in the city) in contemporary culture, the three performances included in the opening weekend program address and embody what is at stake. Views from Superpowers of Ten by Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation (andres_jaque, Instagram)Views from Superpowers of Ten by Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation (@andres_jaque, Instagram) Superpowers of Ten by Madrid/New York-based architect Andrés Jaque and his Office for Political Innovation, developed for and first performed at the Lisbon Architecture Triennial 2013, uses pop, oversized props and black-clad performers to restage of the Eames’ icon Powers of Ten. The original film was filmed on the banks of Lake Michigan, not far from the Chicago Athletic Club where it was performed. Jaque’s reworking expands the Eames narrative to our contemporary condition. The exponential zooming out from Earth and then back into the heart of the atom now includes critical questions of space junk, nuclear fallout, immigration, race, queerness, and transgender identity. In a gallery the unorthodox mix of para-architectural issues might seem ponderous, but told through pantomime, they resonate visually and emotionally. We Know How to Order, conceived by Bryony Roberts, and choreographed by Asher Waldron of the South Shore Drill Team powerfully superimposes the movement of African American bodies in space on top of the charged site of Federal Center by Mies van der Rohe. The South Shore Drill Team, hailing from one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago, trains young people to master the precise choreography. On the plaza, while the performers mimicked the lines of Mies’ architecture, which underscoring the conditions of universal space into the public realm, they also brought joy and dynamism to the windswept public space. Even stalwarts of the architecture community were moved to tap their feet and wipe their eyes. Performed in Mies' super spare Carr Chapel on the IIT campus, Theatre by Mexican artist Santiago Borja brought a different kind of otherness to the Miesian space of worship. The performance was set with two specially-designed petate rugs, woven in Mexico, that represent esoteric geometries developed in Europe at the start of the modern movement. Made out of palm leaves, one rug sits on the floor and the other hangs above, demarking what is not so much a stage as an abstract spiritual space for Ingrid Everwijn, the lead teacher of the Eurythmeum CH in Dornach Switzerland. Dressed in pink and yellow dress, Everwijn performed eurythmy movements—a kind of “spiritual gymnastics” developed by Rudolf Steiner and Marie Sivers in early 20th Century. The result was mystical, irrational, and energetic, as well as an immersive experience that undermined the rigors of Miesian abstraction.