This writer is a designer living in Chicago. The month of May signals many things but if you’re a bargain hunter in Chicago it signals ‘floor sample sale’ as showrooms prepare for Neocon. Two days left to find something neat at Luminaire. Luminaire’s not the only place btw, but… Just sayin. [ details ]
milan chair | click > enlarge
< With extremely tight schedules our talk with Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayón transpires amidst the Fritz Hansen open house filled with his fans. >
[DesignApplause] Jaime, why are you here tonight?
[Jaime Hayón] I’m here because I wanted to meet you. Also, I’m here because of the chair I designed and it’s a party and I’m here enjoying it. The new chair for Fritz Hansen is named ‘Ro’ which means tranquility in Danish. The size of the chair is a one-and-a-half seater, spacious enough to share with a book, laptop or a big fat cat. The concept is the inspiration from seven cities I’ve selected as well as to remind everyone how busy and hectic urban living is. The chair is meant to be some sort of form of peace and tranquility. We’ve also created a special exhibition which is now here in this showroom for the Salone del Mobile and then it will become a worldwide traveling show.
[DA] Fritz Hansen gave you a brief to design this new chair. You mix-up art, decoration and design ever so nicely. Does a brief affect your style, your aesthetics in any way and did you try something new on this project?
[JH] Well there’s a lot of exercises here in terms of trying to make a very comfortable seat first of all. In fact, I also tried to keep the price very low. Shape-wise there’s an effort to try and make it very human and almost soft.
[DA] It looks great. And I sat in it. It’s more comfortable than it looks which I like.
[JH] Thank you. Even though when you look at the side and edges which are very thin there’s a lot of weight to it. I’m happy about.
[DA] Tell us about the seven cities and the aesthetics and construction.
[JH] The seven cities are Copenhagen which reflects Scandinavia, Milan, Berlin, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo. The fabric colors and material selection for the legs are an expression of my sensibilities for each of the cities. The chair is sculpted to be beautiful from all angles. There are three pieces, head, body and seat. The upholstery comes in a range of fabrics, each with contrasting textures for the interior cushions. The shell and material and seam detail is very similar to the Egg chair, so it’s a polyurethane shell with a steel frame. The legs are very special and require three different moulds. The back legs have one mould and the front have a right and a left.
what about here?
[DA] The bracket is very unique and something we wouldn’t notice without the mirror base.
[JH] Yes, the mirror concept in the exhibit shows you the bracket detail under the seat plus you also see a map of each respective city which is tacked on the ceiling.
[DA] Are these chairs residential or contract.
[JH] They are both. The construction of contract furniture must pass stiff commercial requirements and be durable. The chair is comfortable while it has the firmness of a contract piece.
[DA] Did you approach Fritz Hansen with this concept?
[JH] No, they called me in expressly to create a chair that would have the potential to become the next classic, something to add to their collection, so 50 years from now Ro would be a classic like the Egg. They called me in a little over two years ago. I worked with their design team to make a chair both comfortable and beautiful.
[DA] What’s your design philosophy?
[JH] At this time of the day? Chilling. But normally have fun, enjoy. Look at things. Live on details. Make quality. Work with the people you like.
[DA] Did you get a chance to look at anything else at Salone?
[JH] Not a chance. I am working. I came here with the chairs to present and I’m going back home with my family, my wife and two young kids.
[DA] Ro will go on sale in nine colors selected by Jaime: violet, blue, yellow, sage green, light pink, sand, taupe, light grey and black. Of interest is each color has a hint of grey in it because he feels if the chair resides in a hotel lobby or one’s home, grey ties into that space. They goes to market September 2013. The chairs for the cities are just part of an exhibition and will not be available for purchase. [ hayón studio ] [ fritz hansen ]
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Netherlands-based furniture designer Frederik Roijé was apparently inspired by tiered rice fields he saw during his travels for his new Tablefields. Manufactured in Holland from a single sheet of folded metal, Tablefields reminds us of the classic nesting tables made iconic by Bauhaus designers Breuer and Albers. We’re seeing more and more designers starting to craft the metal parts of their products from single sheets, and are loving how the constraints of the energy and cost effective manufacturing process have pushed designers into new directions.
Tablefield’s three-tiered top is mirrored with three lacquered ash legs. It’s available in four colors and we can’t decide which one we like best, classic black or white or one of the two pastel color choices, though we’re leaning towards the machine green.
about perrin drumm
One day we asked ourselves what would have happened if we gave the firm’s keys to two skaters.
[ kristalia ] [ lbstr apparel ]
The latest product designed by the Nordic furniture studio | click > enlarge
KnudsenBergHindenes is thankfully a lot easier to pronounce than their name. Plank, which debuted last month and was just awarded “Best Product” at Interør & Bolig Furniture Fair in Grieghallen, Norway, is a solid wood sofa bench inspired by the “massive broad floorboards” from Dinesen Douglas, which specializes in extra wide flooring products.
The back and seat are made from a single piece of solid spruce with clean, seamless interlocking joinery (the image below shows how the back fits easily into the seat). Plank is made from Douglas Fir, a wood known for for producing long, broad planks. “We wanted to use the plank in all its impressive grandeur,” said founding partner Steinar Hindenes. “We aspired to create a floating seat that gives a sense of weightlessness.”
Dinesen must have been impressed, because even though Plank is still a prototype, the company sponsored the studio’s project, which allowed them to show it at 100% Norway during London Design Festival. They’ve also developed a version with an integrated, inset side table in neon yellow.
about perrin drumm