Tag: furniture & object design

On Pristine Boxes and Primeval Huts

On Pristine Boxes and Primeval Huts

By Frank Bauer

Along with his Do Hit Chair (2000), a pristine stainless steel box measuring 1000 x 700 x 750 mm, Dutch-born designer Marijn van der Poll supplies a sledgehammer. In an act of brute physical force he requires the user to expressively sculpt his own seating morphology, not only allowing but… Read More

Superstudio & Piranesi: Zeno is Immortal

Superstudio & Piranesi: Zeno is Immortal

By Olivier Bellflamme

It’s 1777 in the Italian region of Salerno, a man is resting on a massive Doric column, watching his two cows from the ruin of a temple where the weeds grow. This building was, a long time ago, considered as the house of Juno, goddess of fertility and the vital… Read More

Thomas Chippendale and Ornament

Thomas Chippendale and Ornament

By Tom Cookson

‘[Ornament] omitted at pleasure,’ wrote Thomas Chippendale in a guide to his revolutionary The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director, the first furniture pattern book of its kind. Although initially considered an advertising tool, it quickly became an invaluable manual for craftsmen, with its clear dimensions and rigorously proportioned pieces open… Read More

The Birds’ Morning Hymn (1929)

The Birds’ Morning Hymn (1929)

By Robert Lorimer

From a letter to The Times of April 18, 1929: At this season of the resurrection of Nature — that ever-fresh miracle — one thing happens that even keen bird-lovers seem hardly to appreciate to the full. I mean the birds’ Morning Hymn. We have all heard vaguely about ‘Bird… Read More

Buckminster Fuller: Geodesic Chandelier

Buckminster Fuller: Geodesic Chandelier

A Chevrolet Truck

A Chevrolet Truck

By Stephen Bayley

It was the architect Philip Johnson who first compared cars to statuary. In the ‘Eight Automobiles’ show he curated at the Museum of Modern Art in 1951, he coined the expression ‘rolling sculpture’. Johnson was good at coinages: two decades before he had given us ‘the International Style’ to describe… Read More

Espelho Álvaro

Espelho Álvaro

By Mário Botta

This mirror was among the objects, sketches and photographs at his great exhibition at Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea. Siza was in a corner of the hall with some friends. More than a thousand guests from the Milano-bene (well-to-do Milanese) had come for a vernissage with fur coats, television spotlights, beautiful women, men… Read More

Surface-oriented

Surface-oriented

By Rosa Nussbaum

My desk is a bit like an island: it could just as well be in some other country as here. —Italo Calvino The here in question is a narrow room occupying the top floor of a three-storey house on the southern fringe of Montparnasse. Heavily laden bookshelves and strategically placed objets extend along the… Read More

Six Architects on their Dream Desks

Six Architects on their Dream Desks

By Roz Barr, Biba Dow, Elizabeth Hatz, Emma Letizia Jones, Stephanie Macdonald and Helen Thomas

Drawing Matter recently acquired this design for a table, below. Although the work’s last sale in 1972 attributed the drawing to Thomas Chippendale, we are (perhaps wishfully) hoping that it might be an architect’s own design for desk. The sheet set off a flurry of chatter about the platonic spaces… Read More

Ernest Gimson: Against Hotch-Potch

Ernest Gimson: Against Hotch-Potch

By Annette Carruthers, Mary Greensted and Barley Roscoe

When Ernest Gimson applied to join the Art Workers’ Guild in 1891 he described himself as a ‘decorator’, and it is clear that interior decoration and furnishing remained vital to him throughout his life as part of his vocation as an architect. His were not the fully coordinated decorative schemes… Read More

the difficulty of designing furniture

the difficulty of designing furniture

By Álvaro Siza

I Architecture: a tree here, a house there, or a temple; on the right a hill, or plain, sea, river; a bridge, regular outline of this street, the irregularity of another; colour, rhythms, climate, this client; yellowing photograph, parchment, power, marginality.Not as a matrix. Provocation, hence vocation to distort, to… Read More

Giò Ponti: Plan chest designs, c.1955

Giò Ponti: Plan chest designs, c.1955