Having just watched Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, I am feeling the topsy-turvy vibes. Can you imagine my delight when I spotted this chair by Holly Palmer available from Bouf.
The Tea Cup Stool comes in a range of wonderfully bright, bold colours – plus they offer a colour matching service too. Made from durable and hardwearing plastic it’s for both indoor and outdoor use, and costs £140. I WANT ONE!!
Well, in case I have been missed over the past few weeks (apologies) I just wanted to do a quick post to explain my lack of posts! As the press officer for the Bristol Design Festival, I have been up to my lugholes in press releases and general media schmoozing in a bid to get the fest recognised as a leading light in local design – and I’m pleased to say that we pulled it off!
I have just added a few images here to show you how the eveny went until I get myself sorted and write a new post on some of the exciting designs I came across…
Phew, that’s nearly it, for now. I just want to add a couple of ladies into the mix.
Charlotte Perriand was perhaps one of the most influential furniture designers of the early modern movement. She has been credited with bring the industrial age to the world of furniture design and was one of the designers involved in the creation of Le Corbusier’s chaise lounge. She also designed the infamous ‘Stacking Chair’ seen around community centres, bars and bistros the world over.
Patricia Urquiola, a Spanish designer, cut her teeth amongst such purveyors of fine design as Achille Castiglioni and Eugenio Bettinelli and now designs such delights as the Fat Sofa for B & B Italia below.
Ok, Shin’s a fella, but together with Tomoko, this Japanese twosome have produced some of my favourite all time products (though not all of their creations are furniture) however, I love the way that they ‘zjuj’ up everyday objects, such as lights and salt shakers, with elegance and humour. I find the simplicity of their wire chair inspiring (though perhaps it doesn’t make me want to veg out in front of the telly, more sit uncomfortably and comptemplate the difference between a line and a curve. Hmm.
Bigging up the Brits
Of course I can’t forget my own kind – yes, fab furniture is not just for the Fins, Danes, Germans, Italians, French and Spanish. No siree bob. Us Brits are coming, so hold on to your spanners and bendy bits of plastic…
Jasper Morrison is a cheeky cockney designer renowned for his ascetically elegant, quietly humorous style . I am totally digging’ his Cork chair.
Likewise, I quite fancy sliding my bottom on Ron Arad’s weirdly erotic Voido Rocking Chair– spotted one at Heals. Rather! The architect designer (who is actually Israeli but let’s call him an ‘adoptive’ Brit) is well known for his quirky shapes and use of various materials.
Here’s one more for you: Ross Lovegrove. His Go chair is reminiscent of something you would find Sigourney Weaver straddling in Alien. Almost bone like. But I love it!
There are of course countless designers that have contributed to the richness and diverse products that have gone on to inspire modern design, so this is just a smattering. However, these are my personal faves. Hurrah for chairs!
If your appetite has been whetted by my mini-history of chairs, below are a couple of websites worth visiting:
Welcome back to the second installment of my short history of chair design. I have also found a great little chair blog that is worth visiting for up to date info on, well, chairs over in the old blogroll, so check it out.
Back to business…
Charles Eames was a clever bugger. Not only did he revolutionise how we see furniture today but this American designer was the creator of the rather famous Lounge Chair 670 and Ottoman 671. In fact many of the most recognisable chairs around are regurgitated variations on his original creations. He also championed the use of moulded plywood as seen in his beautiful Eames 670 chair.
Arne Jacobsen was one of Denmark’s most influential 20th century architects and designers. His exquisite Swan and Egg chairs, were testament to his passion for modernism and his love for Scandinavian simplicity. He also created one of the most recognisable chairs in existence, the Series 7 chair, and his Egg chair made a memorable appearance in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, he was such a prolific designer, chances are you will either own a Jacobsen-inspired piece or at least covet one!
Verner Panton must’ve had a penchant for hallucinogenic drugs as his futuristic designs couldn’t have been created by a-two-pints-and-a-packet-of-peanuts man. Verner was a total master of plastic and his furniture has been studded across popular culture since he bent his first bit of the bright stuff. Naturally, he was a Dane (see a theme developing here? I tell you it must be something in the water.) Although I cannot afford one, I would just kill to get my paws on an original. Sadly it will never be so I’ll have to settle for a reproduction – fortunately, Purves and Purves sell them in five delicious colours for around £165.
Hans Wenger has also made him name synonymous with outstanding furniture design. Having begun his career as an assistant to Erik Møller and Arne Jacobsen, Wegner branched out on his own and created such classics as the Wing chair seen here.
Moving into 21st century design
Following up such inspirational design icons was always going to be a challenge and thankfully there are some real contenders for the modern furniture design crown such as the charming Terence Conran, who not only founded Habitat back in the 1960s but produced a load of talented offspring who are also a dab hand at the old design malarky. And lest us not forget the imitable Philippe Starck, whose Louis Ghost chairs can be seen adorning the chicest of boudoirs.
Other designers that float my boat include Peter Karpf who dreamt up the awesome the Tri Chair – both ergonomic and sustainable as it is formed from one entire piece of wood, ticking all the must-have green boxes required in modern design.
Described as one of the most European of Japanese designers, Toshiyuki Kita is famous for his ‘Wink’ chair which was typical of the loud design aesthetic popular in the 1980s.
We had to get a Spaniard into the mix, and who better than Molina. This designer has created a whole host of iconic pieces, perhaps none more so that the nature-inspired, Leaf Chair.
San Giovanni Piretti is an amazing Italian furniture designer, Piretti crafted the now ubiquitous ‘Plia’ folding chair – I was bought one for Christmas in the 80s and never realised what a design classic it was.