Tag: MoMA

FFF – The Design & Violence Coin …

Dr Strangelove

As the saying goes, “There are two sides to every coin”. So true this proverb is when applied to violence in design.

In May 2013 the world was shocked when the exciting new venture of 3D printing, heralded as a giant step in the manufacturing sector, was put to work printing a gun. The material used to print the operational gun was of a substance that could be taken undetected on a plane, thus we all gasped and debate erupted.

The Liberator: The first 3D printed operational gun

The Liberator: The first 3D printed operational gun
Image courtesy MOMA

Design always had the capability to err on the wrong side of the tracks.  Usually when we think about design it is architecture, furniture and fashion rather than weaponry and destruction that spring to mind.  It has been a while since an advancement in our industry has had the ability to cause so much unrest.  On one side this advancement allows people with a 3D printing machine to design and manufacture their own goods, unleashing a new wave of creative energy and product both with endless opportunity for growth .  The other side of course, is the possibility for weaponry to be created without regulation.

And so it is of course that New York City’s Museum of Modern Art in conjunction with the platform Design and Violence is hosting a series of industry debates on how violence manifests in design.  Part 2 of the three-part series takes place on April 10 – more information can be found here.

It’s a stirring thought:  on which side does your coin land?

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Jephson Robb: A Many Of Many Hats…

Jephson Robb is a Scotsman of many talents.

Having graduated in Political Economics from Glasgow University, Robb’s journey took a rather creative tangent in 2003 that saw him complete a second degree – this time design, from The Royal College of Art in London.

With his first commission coming from Tord Boontje as part of “Eight Rooms” for the British Council, Robb’s career was off to a healthy start.  What resulted was the highly commended “Temple”, a piece that like many of Robb’s works call for active viewer  involvement and promote artwork/viewer interaction.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of Jephson Robbs portfolio is its sheer diversity.  As adept in realising monolithic scupltural installations, he has also proven himself an accomplished web designer, art director and furniture designer – with no sign of this breadth having any negative impact on the quality and importance of the individual explorations.

With his personal and very moving work “Cries & Whispers” now in the permanent collection of New York’s MoMA, his lounge chair design “Amri” sits alongside the works of Jaime Hayon, Suzanne Trocme, Ross Lovegrove, Arik Levy and more in the Bernhardt Design catalogue.

Prolific and proficient, the ever evolving story of Jephson Robb is set to keep us engaged as much as it will keep us guessing where he will spring up next.

(Mid 2012 KE-ZU will proudly be launching the Bernhardt Collection into the Australian market for the first time. Click here to register interest)

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Big Brother Is Watching…

To view the full gallery click the image above

It would seem Vondom and its stable of acclaimed designers can do no wrong.  Over the past twelve months their product lines have been selected for use and exhibition at almost every major sporting and media event across their native Spain, as well as many abroad.

Gran Hermano 2010 the twelfth season of Spain’s Big Brother program launched last month, in keeping with the global phenomenon’s penchant for striking furnishings, the producers turned to Vondom for contemporary pieces that could more than hold their own against the extroverted house-mates.  Karim Rashid, Stefano Giovanni and Javier Mariscal‘s collections all appear nightly on Spanish TV screens.

To view the full gallery click the image above

This years Cannes Film Festival also boasted a healthy hub of Jut and Moma outdoor offerings in a pop-up bar on Majestic Beach reserved for media and film professionals.

The Heineken Regatta in Curaçao, (off the Venezuelan coast) made full use of Vondom’s unique catalogue, populating their waterside VIP bars with Jut, Moma, Isla, Second Light and Doux.

To view the full gallery click the image above

Court-side at Valencia 500 Tennis Open, in the Santiago Calatrava designed Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, players sat on a custom dyed and branded sofa from A-Cero‘s Rest collection.  Behind the scenes visitors relaxed at each of the the many modular Fiesta Bars seated on either Jut, Moma, and Pillow collections with Isla and Pots all illuminating the spaces with vivid LED light.

To view the full gallery click the image above

The World Motorcycle Grand Prix visited Spain this year also and in both public and VIP areas Vondom’s presence was more than evident from decorative lighting to seating and function service bars.

At this rate, Vondom is poised for World domination!  Australia too is fast cottoning-on to the brilliance of this outdoor manufacturer and their ability to deftly bridge the indoor/outdoor furniture gap with such wonderfully varied designs.

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Out With The Old… In With The Older

1965, The Netherlands, and Frenchman Pierre Paulin introduces us to one of his most acclaimed collections.  Designed for a traditional Dutch furniture manufacturer redefining itself in an era of change under the guidance of Kho Lieng Ie and the new moniker: ‘Artifort‘.  Paulin presents us with Tulip and Little Tulip … and the world falls in love.

What drives my work are technological breakthroughs… I do not start with the idea of a form. I try to solve problems with the most advanced methods available to me. The way my furniture looks is the result of a process during which I uncover the shapes my design will take…

Technologically innovative, instantly iconic and very much products of their era, the bold yet visually balanced and well proportioned Tulip Lounge Chair, Little Tulip Armchair and ottoman drew their influence from the petals of the collection’s namesake and cemented themselves a place in the annals of modern design.  Out went the commonly used straw, horsehair, kapok and iron springing and in darted a frenzied exploration of foams, steel wire and stretch fabrics.  The future of furniture was looking bright, bigger and bolder.

Over the years many would attempt to emulate the unique aesthetic Paulin was spearheading with Artifort but few, if any, could measure up to the successes Paulin had in marrying superior comfort with cutting edge, iconic form.  The world too was taking note and in 1969 the Museum of Modern Art in New York started adding Paulin’s pieces to its collection.

When in the business of producing classic designs under license, it can become necessary at times to re-view/re-model or make adjustments to an existing collection.  A number of contributing factors instigate this ongoing evolution of a design and that can be simply due to changes in trend that see a certain feature or nuance no longer in favour with the marketplace, or more commonly; technological advancements in manufacturing and assembly methods.  This, when coupled with the invention of new materials, can see a design take on some pretty drastic changes…

One such ‘makeover’ that applies to Paulin‘s designs is the recent re-issuing of the whole Tulip collection with its original, polished, cross base.  Having fallen out of favour gradually over the past twenty years, it was eventually discontinued and in it’s place a round disc-base with a swivel mechanism was introduced (with Paulin’s approval) to keep the collection commercially relevant and viable.  In 2010, we welcome back the original sleek, subtle footing and think it couldnt have arrived at a better time.

With current trends leaning toward refined lines, the wonders of woven metal, simplicity and a consistent call for visual lightness with interior products, the elegance of the original Tulip and Little Tulip is as relevant now more than ever.  Artifort, with its wealth of classics in production and retired also saw fit this year to bring back the classic C 070 from 1964 by Kho Liang Ie, an equally as impressive and iconic design that is promised a new lease on life in the current climate where all that was once new is newer… again.

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