It started with a letter. You see, for the last quarter century or so, Japan has been one of Carl Hansen & Son’s biggest markets. Eager to work with a Japanese designer, especially one whose designs reflected a spirit akin to the great Hans Wegner’s, the firm reached out to Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando to gauge his interest in collaborating. His answer was quick and affirmative.
Entries in chairs (4)
Comfort and airports rarely go hand in hand for the general run of traveler. And don't even think about relaxation. Dashing from the car, to check-in, to security and to the gate, you wind up with a chair, if you're lucky. Same goes after you de-plane. And waiting for ground transportation? It's no picnic either. Recently, Los Angeles World Airports asked architect Matt Gagnon to propose a temporary installation for an underused courtyard space at LAX. His novel take transforms that last experience—taking the wait and making a moment of repose, even pleasure. A run of over-scale lounge chairs—think classic backyard loungers—reimagined with nylon strapping, would provide a comfortable space for those minutes before you hop on the shuttle. Illuminattion installed below the seats would add an ambiant lighting effect and make them inviting places to stop even at night.
It doesn’t seem possible—with its sinuous strips of lashed and looped bamboo—that the chaise is for sitting let alone lounging. It seems more a piece of sculpture. In actuality, it's both. It’s Flow, a new chaise conjured up by Taiwainese designer Feng Cheng-Tsung and fabricated by Chen Kao-Min as Cheng-Tsung’s response to contemporary designers’ use of bamboo. “I believe that the methods of making bamboo products are too limited,” he explains. “I wanted to release the restricted soul of bamboo.”
Some people collect stamps. Others collect teapots. Designer Coryne Lovick collects chairs. The interior designer has been acquiring them for years—scouring flea markets for intriguing seats and amassing a collection that has come to require storage. In her design work, too, chairs have played a starring role. “When I put unique chairs in my own jobs, they were almost pieces of art on their own and could set a room apart,” she explains. And therein lay a problem.
As a chair aficionado, always looking for stunning seating statements for her projects, Lovick says she “saw an increasingly growing hole in the marketplace for interesting, different and comfortable chairs.” She took matters into her own hands and recently launched her first-ever furniture collection featuring a range of chairs inspired by some of her vintage finds. The line runs the gamut from contemporary riffs on classic designs such as wing chairs and club chairs (complete with cabriole legs) to more modern looks.
In particular, Lovick’s Z Chair has a particularly 21st-century feel. Based on a vintage design that captured her heart, “The shape of this chair is totally unique for the marketplace,” she says. “You can add buttons to make it retro or add nail heads to make it more traditional. Although I present it as a dining chair it works as a side chair in any living space. Upholster it in a multicolor hide and it becomes quite a conversation piece and really makes a statement in the room.”
If you’re LA this week for the Pacific Design Center’s Westweek, stop by the Mimi London showroom there to check out her collection. The space “is a true icon of the design industry,” Lovick notes.