C is for Castiglioni
“Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means”.
Achille Castiglioni (February 26, 1918 – December 2, 2002) was a renowned Italian industrial designer. He was often inspired by everyday things and made use of ordinary materials.He preferred to use a minimal amount of materials to create forms with maximal effect.
Achille Castiglioni was born in Milan and studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano University and set up a design office in 1944 with his brothers, Livioioni Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. In 1956, Castiglioni founded the Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (Association for Industrial Design, ADI). Castiglioni taught for many years, first at the Politecnico di Torino, and in 1969 he led a class in Industrial Design at the Politecnico di Milano.
MoMA’s permanent collection in New York hosts 14 of his works. Other works may be found in the following museums: Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Kunstgewerbe Museum in Zurich, Staatliches Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Munich, Design Museum in Prato, Uneleckoprumyslove Museum in Prague, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The Denver Art Museum, Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Angewandte Kunst Museum in Hamburg and Koln
Achille Castiglioni, Sella telephone stool, 1957, for Zanotta (designed with Pier Giacomo Castiglioni).
1980’s ‘vintage’ Leonardo table, Achille Castiglioni Architectural trestle work table
Pin by Ryan Tam on Tables | Pinterest
the achille castiglioni effect
The famous Arco Floor Lamp with its elegant marble base was designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for the Italian manufacturer Flos.
Design is one of the highest expressions of twentieth-century creativity, and Achille Castiglioni is one of its greatest masters. His objects stand as clear examples of rigorous method, technical skill, exuberant talent, and wit, combined to achieve a beauty that is fulfilling on both a rational and an emotional level. His work exemplifies the ideal of good design.
With his functional and purist yet playful objects, Castiglioni has shown that form and function, while certainly the main ingredients for successful design, cannot be a designer’s only concerns. He has thus contributed invaluably to updating modernist design to contemporary modern.
Department of Architecture and Design
Excerpt from MOMA exhibition
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B is For Breuer
Marcel Breuer image via The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research
Marcel Lajos Breuer was born May 21,1902 in Hungary. He attended university at the Bauhaus School and later was a teacher in the carpentry department. When he came to the United States he was a professor at Harvard University (1937-46) in the School of Architecture.
First recognized for his invention of bicycle-handlebar-inspired tubular steel furniture, he designed his most famous creation, the Wassily Chair, so called after being admired by artist Wassily Kandinsky. It was the first chair to feature a bent steel frame. Breuer designed a whole range of tubular metal furniture including chairs, tables, stools and cupboards. Tubular steel has lots of qualities; it is affordable for the masses, hygienic and provides comfort without the need for springs to be introduced. Breuer considered all of his designs to be essential for modern living. Design_Technology.org
Democratic Affordable Furniture for the Masses
B 34 1928
B 34 1928 via http://www.loeffler.de.com/de/sammlung
Breuer’s flat aluminum band furniture (1932-1934)
Between these years Breuer experimented with flat aluminium in his furniture. It was not as strong as tubular steel but was considerably cheaper. The seats were targeted at the mass- market and were sold in Wohnbedarf in Switzerland. The concave bands at the back are structurally necessary but at the same time are aesthetically pleasing.
The seat above is named the Armchair, Model No. 301. It is made from painted aluminium with a painted and moulded laminated seat and back. Image: design_technology.org
As an architect, Breuer worked primarily in concrete. Breuer’s buildings were always distinguished by an attention to detail and a clarity of expression. Considered one of the last true functionalist architects, Breuer helped shift the bias of the Bauhaus from “Arts & Crafts” to “Arts & Technology”.
jvworks: St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota
[Marcel Breuer’s 1969 Armstrong (aka Pirelli) Building, pre-IKEA
Image and story http://archidose.blogspot.com/2008/08/ikea-1-breuer-12.html
1966 Whitney Museum of American Art. New York (with H. Smith)
The UNESCO building in Paris
Lecture Hall, New York University (1961, New York City )
Whitney Museum of American Art (1966, New York City ) ,
St. John’s Abbey Church (1953, Collegeville, MN ),
Ameritrust Tower (Cleveland, his only skyscraper)
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A is for Aulenti
Gae Aulenti 1927-1912
We begin this retrospective with Gae Aulenti (December 4, 1927 – October 31, 2012) an Italian architect, lighting and interior designer, and industrial designer. She was well known for several large-scale museum projects, including Musée d’Orsay in Paris (1980–86), the Contemporary Art Gallery at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1985–86), and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2000–2003). Information via Wikipedia
Quote: “advice to whoever asks me how to make a home is to not have anything, just a few shelves for books, some pillows to sit on. And then, to take a stand against the ephemeral, against passing trends…and to return to lasting values.”
Sparsal Rocking Chair 1962
Gae Aulenti Italian Architect , Industrial Designer
Sparsul Rocking Chair 1962
Gae Aulenti Italian Architect and Industrial Designer
tavolo con ruote
Tour Table by Gae Aulenti
Available through: www.mintshop.co.uk
Architect and Industrial Designer at Home
Architect and Industrial Designer at Home
Ms. Aulenti was one of the few Italian women to rise to prominence in architecture and design in the postwar years. Her work includes villas for the rich, showrooms for Fiat, shops for Olivetti, pens and watches for Louis Vuitton, and a coffee table on wheels that is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
“I’ve always worked for myself, and it’s been quite an education. Women in architecture must not think of themselves as a minority, because the minute you do, you become paralyzed. It is most important to never create the problem.” Gae Aulenti
What is more comfortable than a Womb Chair? Cradling you in a curved cloud of support, all stress and daily inconveniences melt away. The Womb Chair was designed by Eero Saarinen, while working for Knoll & Associates, when Florence Knoll placed a request for a chair that she could sink down into and enjoy a good book. In 1948, Saarinen completed Knoll’s request which she later dubbed “the curling chair”.
Conflicting stories about the origin of the name Womb Chair have been widely documented. Eero Saarinen stated that “its unofficial name is the Womb Chair because it was designed on the theory that a great number of people have never really felt comfortable and secure since they left the womb.” However, many people believe that this statement was made in jest. Christina Blake Oliver of interior design firm Oliver Interiors shared another possible origin with sZinteriors. Oliver says that her mother and father were close friend’s of the Saarinen’s. When her mother was enormously pregnant, she happened to be sitting in an early design of the chair when Saarinen was struck by the unlikely name Womb Chair. Despite the mystery shrouding the name, we can all agree that it certainly reflects many of the distinct characteristics of such a comfortable chair.
The distinct shape of the Womb Chair is the harvest of Saarinen’s numerous experiments using round pod-like seats in furniture design. One of his main goals of the design was to allow people to relax in several distinctive, yet comfortable positions. The Womb Chair exceeded all expectations for a comfortable chair and resulted in a modern chair perfectly suited for the increasingly relaxed modern society.
For more information on a top quality reproduction of this one-of-a-kind modern iconic chair, including available colors and pricing, please click here.
Eero Saarinen in his iconic design.
Four Blue Chairs
I love chairs, all different kinds of chairs. It was the “Four Blue Chairs” that punctuated the turn in the road that led to being an e-tailor of chairs. My personal collection has a sweet 70’s Thonet rocker, a pair of well worn and loved Siesta chairs by Ingmar Relling, an antique rocker from West Virginia, a pair of Otto Gerdau beechwood chairs, mid-century wrought iron chairs, and a handful of other mid mo chairs that have come along for the ride!
Mies ven der Rohe is often quoted for saying, “A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. …” and since he designed both I take him at his word. The chair is the ultimate example of form and function…..
So friends, CHEERS and CHAIRS and a Happy 2013 !
How cool is it to have a local public library using chairs at tables and computer workstations that are referred to as Recycled Seat Belt Chairs (custom designed Rock and Stop Chairs)? Composed of solid natural wood frames with seat belt webbing, they are both green and very comfortable. Enter the Gotham Rocker, designed by J.Persing the same small niche U.S. company that built the library chairs mentioned above, called the Rock and Stop Chairs. Again using surplus automotive seatbelts Paradigm Gallery offers these environmentally friendly chairs which are dyed with non-toxic water-based inks. Its light weight form is intentional: great design with minimal material. America is truly coming back!