FEATURED ARTICLE: AUGUST 2014

Saving Gastrotypographicalassemblage.

From cognac to bouillabaisse, knockwurst to finocchi, the CBS cafeteria wall work of art celebrates the world’s culinary traditions and is as renowned as its visionary designer, Lou Dorfsman.

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Inside Copenhagen’s Höst restaurant,
a masterpiece from Norm Architects.

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New Norm Dinnerware was the cornerstone of inspiration for Höst restaurant.

You step in off the street in Copenhagen and are immediately transported to a farmhouse in the Danish countryside. Or are you? The expanses of reclaimed wood used for tables, shelves and ceiling surfaces suggest rustic cottage. But whitewashed brick and industrial light fixtures speak urban warehouse. A little bit country, a little bit city.

Welcome to Höst, a restaurant designed top to bottom by architects and partners Kasper Rønn and Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen of Norm Architects, also based in Copenhagen. Höst recently won best restaurant design awards in two categories, European and International, from Restaurant & Bar Design, an independent organization based in London.

The accolades are especially significant because Norm designed not only the structural space, as architects do, but also the shelving, tables, light fixtures, curtains, dinnerware and glassware. “The only things we didn’t design were chairs and cutlery,” says Bjerre-Poulsen.

Continue reading "Inside Copenhagen’s Höst restaurant,
a masterpiece from Norm Architects." »

It's here! The Knoll Annual Sale at DWR.

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The Knoll® Annual Sale at DWR has begun! Save on classics by Saarinen, Platner, Mies, Breuer and others. This is the only time this year that the entire Knoll assortment is on sale, and you'll find it in stock and ready to ship at DWR (translation: fast delivery for you!). Shop the Knoll Sale at dwr.com or your local DWR Studio

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As seen in today's New York Times.

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“There are more spatial and structural aspects to products designed by architects,” says Alexander Gorlin in today's New York Times. To prove his point, he went shopping for "Housewares by Modern Architects" with the Times in tow.

At Design Within Reach, he was drawn to the exaggerated sensuality of the Pelican chair by the Danish architect Finn Juhl. "It almost looks like a caricature of some creature," he said. "I love chairs that are animated like this.” Read more at nytimes.com.

The Annual Dining Sale has begun!

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Find everything you need for modern dining – tables, chairs, stools, storage and accessories – and save 15% during the Annual Dining Sale. The sale even includes the new Odin Extension Table by Norm Architects and the Bacco Chair by Omar De Biaggio, as well as the much-loved Globus Chair from Stua and the iconic Marais Chair from Tolix. Shop the sale at dwr.com, DWR Studios or by calling us at 1.800.944.2233. Bon appétit!

Emeco Chair vs. the Window Drop Test.

 

Would your furniture survive being tossed out a window? The answer is "yes" if you own 1006 Navy Chairs. Designed by Emeco in 1944 to satisfy the military’s need for lightweight, corrosion-resistant chairs for destroyers and submarines, the Navy Chair is so durable that it has an estimated life span of 150 years. Add that to the fact that it's made from 80% recycled aluminum and you'll quickly realize why Emeco is the chair to know.

What the doctor ordered?

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The Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

It’s surprising to find so much clutter inside the Farnsworth House. Not actual stuff, but drama from the past and energy that’s out of whack. The unsettling circumstances during which this house was created are palpable. What’s especially heartbreaking about this feeling of turmoil is the fact that the project began as a wonderful collaboration between architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and client Dr. Edith Farnsworth, who shared a vision for creating a house – Mies’ first residential project in the U.S. – that “would become the prototype of new and important elements of American architecture,” said Farnsworth.

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Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

We arrive on a spectacular August day with a sapphire blue sky and soft breeze. At the Visitor Center, we’re handed OFF! towelettes and told, “The mosquitos are extra brutal today.” I wipe on the toxic suit of armor and notice that it melts the polish on my fingernails. Does Mies’ spirit object to my application of ornamentation?

Continue reading "What the doctor ordered?" »

Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now.

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Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand (2013), at the Aspen Art Museum.

From a new museum in Aspen and Japanese deco in Seattle to Frida Kahlo in Chicago and Jamie Wyeth in Boston, there is so much exciting art to see now. Here is a selection of must-see exhibitions around the country.

ARKANSAS
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville
State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now – Opens Sept. 13

COLORADO
Aspen Art Museum
Shigeru Ban: Humanitarian Architecture

The museum has just opened a new $45 million, 33,000-square-foot home designed by Shigeru Ban.

Continue reading "Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now." »

Be Original: Supporting authentic design.

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Nine-0 Chair, Broom Chair, Hudson Chair, 111 Navy Chair and 1006 Navy Chair - all by Emeco.

DWR is proud to be a member of Be Original Americas, joining Alessi, Cassina, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller®, Vitra and other companies in the fight against counterfeit design. Being a member means that we’re a vetted retailer of authentic goods.

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Gregg Buchbinder surrounded by Su Stools designed by Nendo for Emeco.

This month’s Be Original profile is of Gregg Buchbinder, president and CEO of Emeco, the Pennsylvania-based company that’s been responsibly making built-to-last furniture in America since 1944.

Q: Why is Be Original important?

A: Be Original Americas is working to inform and educate people about the importance of original design. Be Original also enlightens the public about the negatives of knock-offs and ways to identify them in the marketplace.

Continue reading "Be Original: Supporting authentic design." »

Two great American companies
in one great chair.

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Emeco’s 111 Navy Chair®, for which Design Within Reach is the proud retail source.

What could a plastic soda bottle and a chair have in common? Everything, as it turns out.

This is the story of how Coca-Cola and the Electrical Machine and Equipment Co., better known as Emeco, teamed up to produce a beautiful and timeless chair from recycled soda bottles.

The story, told on the Coca-Cola website, follows a fascinating chain of events that include Emeco's manufacture of the 1006 aluminum chair for the U.S. Navy during World War II and the certain juxtaposition of sailors’ seated on those chairs downing bottles of Coca-Cola, which the company had committed to providing to American service men and women.

Read the inspiring story and see more photos.

Congratulations to our Milo Recliner winner!

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The Milo Recliner (far right) in its new home.

“The chair arrived last week and we absolutely love it,” writes Shauna, the lucky winner of our Milo Baughman Recliner Giveaway. “It’s gorgeous and so comfy – perfect for reading – and I’ve enjoyed using it every day since it arrived.”

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Living in Queens with her husband Matthew and dog Cashew, Shauna is a conservator of modern and contemporary paintings, and her husband is a PhD candidate in art history. Translation: aesthetics and great design are important to this savvy duo, and we were flattered when they responded to our “you won” email with, “The basket weave fabric in wheat is lovely and will look great in our home. We’re so excited and can’t wait to receive it!”

Continue reading "Congratulations to our Milo Recliner winner!" »

Designing for a need... their own.

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Illustration by Kathyrn Rathke, courtesy of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens.

"We never planned to be New Englanders. We were New Yorkers through and through," writes Scott Fellows in Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. Fortunately for modernists everywhere, he and his partner Craig Bassam made the move to New Canaan, Conn. Upon arrival, the design duo completely restored the Willis Mills House – saving it from destruction by neglect – and started designing their own furniture.

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Architect Willis Mills designed this New Canaan house for his family in 1956.

They needed "pieces that would hold their own against the powerful nature outside and the double-height glass walls," explains Fellows. Thus, the furniture powerhouse called BassamFellows was born.

Continue reading "Designing for a need... their own. " »

The Living Room Sale has begun!

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It's the Living Room Sale at DWR! Save on sofas, sectionals, sleepers, armchairs, occasional tables and rugs. We're also offering free shipping on all lighting. Shop the sale at your local DWR Studio or online at dwr.com.

Brutal love.

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Photo by Gwendolyn Horton

“A box is the easiest thing to build. This ain’t no box,” said Paul Rudolph in response to criticism of the Government Center he designed in the town of Goshen, New York. Completed in 1967, the Brutalist building is considered one of Rudolph’s greatest achievements. However, the structure landed on the World Monuments Fund watch list after poor maintenance led to deterioration and a series of damaging storms caused its closure in 2011. Preservationists want it saved, many in the Orange County legislature do not, and – in an interesting 11th-hour twist – architect Gene Kaufman recently offered to buy the building and transform it into art studios and exhibition spaces. 

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Photo by Gwendolyn Horton

Located an hour northwest of New York City, the building is worth going to see, as I did recently. At first, it felt smaller than it appears in photographs, but then it literally grew on me. I’ve always been a fan of Rudolph’s work, and this building does not disappoint. Standing at the end of an empty parking lot riddled with cracks and weeds, the now vacant building is surrounded by a freshly mowed lawn and neatly trimmed trees. The facade is a cluster of windowed boxes that appear to be lurching forward, as if they’re each trying to get a better look at you. The side of the building that faces Main Street is long and windowless. Having a sense of exaggerated perspective, the stretched and staggered boxes look as if they were frozen in mid stride, like a single frame of a stop-motion film.

Continue reading "Brutal love." »

Mies must-read.

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Photo courtesy of Phaidon

Did you know that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies? Find out what else you don’t know about this master of modern design in Detlef Mertins’ extraordinary monograph, Mies (Phaidon).


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Few authors could have written this book, and it reveals as much about Mies as it does about Dr. Detlef Mertins, who was uniquely qualified for the task. Mertins spent a decade researching and writing this monograph but sadly died before it was published, at 56. He spent the last 10 years of his life living Mies, and I cannot imagine a more touching and selfless tribute to one of the 20th century’s most influential architects.

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860–880 Lake Shore Drive, 1948–51, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Photo courtesy of Phaidon

Growing up with a father who was an architect and a mother who worked for Knoll, Mertins’ appreciation of the built world began in childhood. Born in Stuttgart and raised in Canada, he had an understanding of German and North American culture, which served him well in his roles as architect, historian and writer and as professor of architectural history and theory at the University of Pennsylvania. An avid reader, his Toronto home had to be structurally reinforced to support the weight of his library of more than 4,000 titles that were recently donated to Penn.

Continue reading "Mies must-read." »

Hello, Seattle!

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We’ve been busy opening spacious new locations across the country especially for you. The recently renovated and expanded Seattle Studio opened earlier this month and includes many breathtaking features. Stop by to experience the billowing Light Cloud overhead, a colorific Swatch Wall, the full-room vignettes and much more.

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Camber Sofa, Barcelona Chair and Stool, Saarinen Table

Continue reading "Hello, Seattle!" »

Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now.

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Eames chairs from Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America, an exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Photo by Balthazar Korab, courtesy of the Herman Miller archives.

From quilts in Boston and porcelain in Portland to futurism in New York and expressionism in Los Angeles, there is a rich range of art to see now. Here is a selection of must-see exhibitions running around the country.

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky

COLORADO
Denver Art Museum
Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective

 

Continue reading "Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now." »

Be Original: Supporting authentic design.

DWR is proud to be a member of Be Original Americas, joining Alessi, Cassina, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller®, Vitra and other companies in the fight against counterfeit design. Being a member means that we’re a vetted retailer of authentic goods.

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Christian Grosen Rasmussen. Photo courtesy of Fritz Hansen

This month’s Be Original profile is Christian Grosen Rasmussen, head of design at Fritz Hansen, the Danish company that produces authored works by Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjaerholm, Piet Hein and others.

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The authentic Egg Chair (1958) by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen.

Q: Why is Be Original important?
A: Because without originality the world would become an imitation of itself and we wouldn’t move forward, expanding our knowledge, improving solutions and thereby life in general. Originality is needed more than ever, so it’s important that we understand and respect intellectual property rights.

Continue reading "Be Original: Supporting authentic design." »

Huge DWR Warehouse Sale this weekend!

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These photos were just taken to give you an idea of what you’ll find at the DWR Warehouse Sale in New Jersey. Take an additional 20% off already drastically reduced prices on overstocked, returned and scratch-and-dent furniture. Prices are up to 75% off original retail. Find details, including information about our Free Shuttle from NYC, at dwr.com/outlet

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Continue reading "Huge DWR Warehouse Sale this weekend!" »

A light way to savor summer.

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The designers at Rich Brilliant Willing are saying "Hello, summer!" with a sunny twist on their logo. Stephanie Murg at Unbeige praises the design as a refreshing way to celebrate a season that "is typically welcomed with little more than picnic-themed grocery store displays before it is ushered offstage in a blaze of back-to-school-themed commercials."

We're guessing this playful spirit is what enables RBW to come up with brilliant (and rich and willing) ideas like using audio jacks as connectors in their lamps. What will this summer inspire them to do?

Making the Glass House disappear.

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The Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Conn. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

During the annual Glass House Summer Party, we were treated to Fujiko Nakaya’s art exhibition Veil. On view through November 30, this project “produces an opaque atmosphere to meet the building’s extreme transparency and temporal effects that complement its timelessness.” Huh?

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Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Here’s my unscholarly interpretation: Nakaya is using fog – something that normally hides things – to give shape to a transparent house. It’s as if Johnson drew his house in invisible ink and Nakaya’s fog is the “black light” needed to reveal the secret message.

Continue reading "Making the Glass House disappear." »



Featured Articles

08.22.14   Saving Gastrotypographicalassemblage.
08.08.14   Congratulations to our Milo Recliner winner!
07.25.14   Brutal love.
07.25.14   Mies must-read.
07.02.14   Making the Glass House disappear.



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