Living in the apartment where the Eames prototyped their first designs in the 1940s, I've always been fascinated by the subtle changes iconic pieces undergo as they are first put into production and later revived. Herman Miller, which began as a traditional Michigan furniture maker, was introduced to modernism by Gilbert Rhode in the 1930s, and again by George Nelson, who was their director of design, 1945-1972, a tenure no-one is ever likely to match. He designed an entire range of basic furniture himself in a year, and then brought in his friends, Charles and Ray Eames, who have been the company's household gods ever since. Over the years, as Herman Miller put a greater emphasis on the contract market, some of the Eames's designs went out of production. A few were pirated, European rights went to Vitra, but most of the drop-outs have been brought back in sparkling new editions.
Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
City Club Los Angeles
City National Bank Building
555 Flower Street 51st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
This year, SCDF is pleased to feature Ferdinando Guerra, International Economist of the Kyser Center for Economic Research at the LAEDC. Come join us for a topical discussion and the opportunity to meet Mr. Guerra!
Kyser Center for Economic Research
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Massive, lifelike seating furniture in the shape of land and sea creatures may not be your cup of tea—and it certainly needs to live in the just the right setting for it to make sense. It does, however, make a compelling case for how new technologies are changing the way furniture, in particular, is designed and built, opening up entirely new realms for experimentation and exploration.
We first spied the work of Spanish artist Máximo Riera at the most recent Greystone show house, in a room by L’Esperance Desgn intended to evoke the tycoon William Randolph Hearst. There, the space featured a chair in the shape of an octopus, with tentacles streaming behind. Intrigued, we wanted to know more about the designs and how they were conceived.
They are, it turns out, the result of art and science, as so many innovative designs are these days. Under his supervision, Riera’s sketches were first turned into 3-D digital images. From there, using Computer Numerical Control, the designs were then fabricated from compressed foam blocks. The final products were then assembled and finished by hand, yielding amazingly lifelike pieces.
Do you have a recent (and professionally photographed) project with an innovative, creative use of tile? If so, we'd like to hear about. For an upcoming issue, we're looking for smashing tile installations. Inside, outside, residential or commercial, we want to see what you've done—and possibly include it in future issue. If you think you might have something that fits the bill, drop our editor-in-chief, Alexi Drosu, a line. Let her know a little bit about the project and include a few photos. Please be sure to send everything by Thursday, March, 6.
Johnston Marklee have won plaudits for their houses and they have now triumphed over several larger firms for a coveted commission: the Menil Drawing Institute (MDI) in Houston. The late Dominique de Menil had refined taste and great wealth—a rare combination—and she patiently sought very best in art and architecture. The main museum, which opened in 1987, is still Renzo Piano's best—for its springy grace and luminous interiors. She established a leafy campus around that building, preserved a row of old houses to accommodate visiting artists, and created several satellite galleries, including Piano's understated shrine to Cy Twombly. For its future growth, the board commissioned a master plan from David Chipperfield, which will replace three massive apartment blocks with new housing and the MDI.