March 2013 was a month of travelling: Stuttgart, Chemnitz, Weimar, Dessau….. its amazing we found time to actually write anything…….
Posts Tagged ‘Eames Elephant’
In the past we’ve praised them, for example, for their help moving USM Haller units around our warehouse.
(smow) recently moved into a new base in the Leipzig Baumwollspinnerei complex, a former yarn works largely inhabited by artists, sculptors and their ilk.
Being naturally curious beasts our elephants didn’t take long to start exploring the galleries and creative spaces that house our new neighbours.
And one in particular embarked on a trip that involved meeting numerous old acquaintances…..
Not only because of the international stature of the two design teams; nor because of the important role that both played in the development of industrial and furniture design in their home nations. The critical interest was much more if – and when yes to what extent – Egon Eiermann’s approach would mirror that of Charles and Ray Eames.
And the opening exchange was to provide for ample controversy.
Charles and Ray Eames opened with their standard DCW plywood chair: a move which provoked an almost instantaneous response from Egon Eiermann in the form of an SE 42. Referee Arthur Mehlstäubler rejecting appeals for a penalty on the basis that the the formal vocabulary available for designing such a plywood chair is limited: so ball to hand and as such no penalty. A decision that was not universally accepted amongst the capacity crowd in Durban.
The Eames Elephant however seemed only to spur Egon Eiermann to increase his efforts and, after a little experimentation, Eiermann was able to draw level with his Rattan Chair. Shortly afterwards he moved into a 2:1 lead with his deceptively robust Eiermann deskframe.
And despite some intensive aluminium chair work from Charles and Ray Eames, Egon Eiermann held on for a 2:1 victory.
The last couple of days have seen an endless stream of emails into the (smow)blog bunker asking if we are OK.
And if we’re OK, why aren’t we posting anything?
Can’t we be bothered?
Are we bored?
Have we finally be rumbled by the (smow)boss?
Far from it, the sad truth is we’ve been forced into doing some real work for change.
We know, we can’t believe it either!
The combination of Christmas holidays and heavy snow throughout Europe has meant that numerous deliveries from a number of (smow)suppliers have been delayed of late.
Delayed deliveries which all arrived on Thursday.
Sometimes it really is like the EU car park in the (smow)yard!!!
Fantastic as all this was, it did of course mean that someone had to pack all the new deliveries away.
And that task befell us.
But don’t worry, we weren’t actually forced to sweat.
For such tasks we have a team of specially trained and qualified Eames Elephants; we are simply needed to coordinate the whole exercise.
But everything is now – finally – stored away and our Eames Elephants have returned to the Leipzig Ratsholz to continue helping Leipzig City Council rid the public forests of the plague of nordic walking pensioners who have taken up residence there.
Good luck! We’re counting on you!
And we are back to drinking too much coffee and searching out the finest designer furniture stories for your entertainment.
In the world of designer furniture there are few designers for who “home” and “family” played such a central role as Charles and Ray Eames.
From the design of their “Eames House” as a combined living and working space for a young family and on through their many works for and with children, Charles and Ray Eames always presented themselves as “domestic” rather than “industrial” designers.
And so it is little wonder that so many of their designs can be so easily recommended as Christmas gifts.
The Dining Height Side Chair Rod Base (DSR) is part of Charles and Ray Eames’ 1950s fibreglass collection. Although produced today by Vitra in polypropylenethe it is the same basic design that infatuated post war America. Whether as a set around a table or an individual piece for bedroom/bathroom/shed, the Vitra DSR by Charles and Ray Eames makes a welcome addition to any home or office.
Hang it All
Guaranteed to delight young and old alike; with its multi-coloured balls and irregular form Charles and Ray Eames’ Hang it All is a true classic of 1950s design and has served as an inspiration to scores of designers since.
Perhaps the definitive expression of Charles and Ray Eames child orientated work is the Eames Elephant. Originally created in plywood, the Elephant never entered mass production during the Eames’ lifetime; the Vitra Design Museum reedition in plastic is therefore the first time the object has been available for all. Stable, secure and fun the Eames Elephant is the perfect gift for all children.
Lounge Chair and Ottoman
Those looking for that little something extra – or a gift that spreads itself out over several years – need look no further than the Eames Lounge Chair. The very epitome of Charles and Ray Eames design work, and one of the best known post-war American designs, the Eames Lounge Chair is designed to absorb and pamper the sitter. And together with the Ottoman the experience is even better.
On 03.11.1989 the Vitra Design Museum opened.
On 09.11.1989 the Berlin Wall “fell”.
But while the Vitra Design Museum may not be able to claim responsibility for the end of the DDR, it can look back on a remarkable 20 year history and proudly profess to have helped popularise designer furniture and furniture designers.
Initially established as a location where Vitra chairman Rolf Fehlbaum could display his extensive collection of contemporary designer furniture artifacts, the role of the museum quickly expanded.
An initial exhibition on the work of Ron Arad laid the foundations for further shows either looking at the work of individual designers such as Isamu Noguchi, Frank Lloyd Wright or Joe Colombo or more general, themed, shows exploring subjects such as childrens furniture or aeronautical design. The increasing popularity of the Vitra Design Museum exhibitions is reflected in the visitor numbers; where 23,000 visitors were recorded in 1989, some 86,000 came in 2008.
And not just visitors to Weil am Rhein have profited; a range of travelling exhibitions have enthralled over 350,000 visitors world-wide.
Over the two decades the Vitra Design Museum site has also evolved from the original Frank Gehry building to become a veritable Campus, including production halls and conference facilities. And just as the furniture originates from some of the greatest designers so have the likes of Jasper Morrison, Jean Prouvé and Tadao Ando contributed to the architecture.
An important source of funding for the Vitra Design Museum is it’s range of re-edition and miniature products. In addition to the 1:6 miniatures of classic designer chairs, the Vitra Design Museum collection includes articles varying from Alexander Girard’s wooden dolls over Eames Elephants and on to “new” products such as the Classic Trays or the George Nelson ceramic clocks.
On Sunday November the 8th Vitra invite all to an Open Day in Weil am Rhein to celebrate the Design Museum‘s 20th birthday. In addition to guided tours through the exhibition, collection and buildings you will have the opportunity to decorate your own Eames Elephant.
We can thoroughly recommend the trip!
Back in June we started a campaign to encourage election officials to improve the furnishing of their polling stations. We can’t claim a great deal of success, or indeed any, but we remain committed to the cause and so will be using Sundays General Election here in Germany to further promote our demand for more stylish and aesthically pleasing polling stations.
However, in comparison to the local election where we made use of the practical Eames Elephant from Vitra as our urn, for the more serious and important General Election we have choosen the excellent Kleiner Trommler by Sabine Mrasek und Clemens Stübner for Moormann.
Not only does the Kleiner Trommler offer that touch more security and secrecy than the Eames Elephant, but offers all candidates the opportunity to – quite literally – beat the election drum while casting their own vote. An excellent photo opportunity regardless if you are casting your vote in Leipzig, Hamburg, Munich or Berlin.
And so our appeal to all election officials, not only in Germany but also Denmark, Holland, Finland and the rest of democratic Europe: For your next election choose designer furniture, choose smow and vote Moormann
And if your still undecided as to whom to give your vote on Sunday, we make the following recommendation.
After four years of cheap but impractical and low quality shelving the time is ripe for change, and so we at (smow)blog are supporting Moormann in their campaign against the current shelving poverty in Germany:
First Vote FNP, Second Vote Egal.
With their, almost, limitless configuration possibilities and wide range of functional additions both FNP and Egal by Axel Kufus for Moormann offer just what we need in these troubled and uncertain times. More Storage Space, More Order, More Shelving.
Which is surely a cause well worth supporting!!
As a Europe-wide active business we at smow take Europe very seriously. We must, it is our home.
And naturally for us the European elections are an important event for which we are more than happy to sacrifice a couple of hours of our time in which to go voting.
But don’t you also agree that polling stations are frightfully dull locations? We’re not snobs, but, you know, one could at least try to, you know, make a little effort.
So smow spoke to the responsible authorities in Leipzig and they let us furnish our local polling station here in Downtown East Plagwitz Village.
First it was important to get the right table. After careful consideration we opted for Eiermann tables with asymmetric Eiermann II frames from Ricard Lampert. Easy to assemble, height adjustable … and they look great. Perfect.
For the ballot boxes we ideally wanted Kleiner Trommler from Moormann. Sadly we currently have none in stock, and so, on account of the time limits in which we were obliged to operate, we were forced to choose an alternative.
After a detailed search in the expansive (smow)lager we settled on the wonderful Vitra Eames Elephant – not only can they be relied upon not to reveal how you voted, but as elephants never forget they could, potentially, help should the votes go astray.
And with their simple, natural curves they fit perfectly with Egon Eiermann‘s genial table.
We were gratified by the positive feedback we received from all the voters who made use of our polling station and are currently working on a concept to furnish all polling stations in Leipzig for the parliamentary elections in September.
Voting is an important and sombre event, but needn’t be a Calvinistic ritual; rather, it can be done in and with a little style.
And as ever smow show the way. And should you need new furniture for our polling station, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Two days sun and we at the (smow)blog are already trying to convince the (smow)boss to let us work from the garden for the next six months. Fortunately smow can provide all that we need to both work safety and in comfort out of doors as well as to enjoy our evening.
Designer furniture for outdoors: S 1043 outdoor by Thonet
With its round stainless steel tubular frame, weather-proof plywood top and height-adjustable feet the S1043 is an excellent choice for all outdoor areas; regardless of whether you are looking for a dining table or an outdoor desk. The rounded edges of the S 1043 match formally with the down-turned edges of Mart Stam’s classic S 43 cantilever chair – the teak veneer version of which is also weather-proof.
Designer furniture for outdoors: Bubble Club by Philippe Starck
For far too long sitting out of doors has meant one chair per person; not the most social of solutions and one that all to often dampens the atmosphere on a warm evening with a chilled bottle of wine. The Bubble club sofa by Philippe Starck for Kartell is the solution. An armchair is also available for those who require their own space, and an accompanying side table. Made entirely of plastic, and exceptionally weather resistant, all members of the Bubble Club family can be used out of doors.
Designer furniture for outdoors: Lizz by Piero Lissoni & Carlo Tamborini
For all outdoor occasions it is important to have a handy supply of chairs at the ready; just in the case the neighbours, sisters ex-husband turns up unexpectedly. Lizz by Piero Lissoni & Carlo Tamborini for Kartell are weather resistant, have a classic minimalistic design and are stackable. Available in 7 colours Lizz is perfect for all who like to entertain out of doors, but are never quite sure how many guests will appear.
Designer furniture for outdoors: La Bohème by Philippe Starck
Outdoor living or working doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on stylish accessories. The La Bohème range by Philippe Starck for Kartell, for example, are wonderfully stylish accessories that can be used as a side table or stool; or simply placed on the edge of a space to define the space.
Designer furniture for outdoors: Eames Elephant by Charles und Ray Eames
Every now and again children get bored – so we’ve heard in any case. The Eames elephant from Vitra is the perfect antidote. Theoretically a wonderfully creative children’s stool, Ray and Charles Eames’ elephant is also a plaything and diversion for creative minds. Made from durable dyed polypropylene the elephants are hard-wearing and so while your child explores the garden with Mr Elephant you can enjoy a few minutes adult conversation.
Although there are still nine whole days until Christmas, it may still be an idea to organise one or the other gift. And so in the second part of our series on gift ideas we “present” here some more wonders of designer furniture that cannot fail to impress: The elephant stool, a paper basket and some exquisite cushions.
Number 1: “The Christmas Elephant”
The Eames Elephant simply belongs in every children’s bedroom. Through its’s irresistable form this imaginative and practical children’s stool encourages children to play and be activite. The Eames Elephants are robust, highly durable and practically indestructible. Just like a real elephant. The design originates from Ray and Charles Eames (1945) but never reached series production during the designers lifetime: Vitra has changed that and offers the thick skinned chap for the first time in series production.
Number 2: “Pllow Fight”
Even when choosing a „simple“ cushion for a couch, armchair or a cozy corner in your favorite room one can always add a bit of designer quality. And the end of the day in comparison to products from large chain stores not everyone has such colors and designs in their living room. Original designs such as, for example, the “Repeat” series from Hella Jongerius (2002) for the textile producer Maharam bring that hint of freshness and individuality to any room. The “Repeat” series is a range of new interpretations on classic designs that Jongerius found in old archives and „pimped“ for the new generation.
Number 3: “Recycling”
As a general rule offices lack color. We assume even those in the Kartell HQ in Noviglio and so can well imagine that such a thought occurred to the Kartell in house design team , “Uficio Tecnico” and so inspired them to create the Paper Basket. Available in an unusually large range of colors, the Kartell Paper basket is available painted or batch-dyed plastic and in opaque transparent or with a satin finish.