Posts Tagged ‘Vegetal’

Orgatec: Bouroullecs Ahoy!

Monday, November 1st, 2010
Erwan Bouroullec @ Orgatec 2010

Erwan Bouroullec @ Orgatec 2010

On the opening day of Orgatec we managed to grab a quick 10 minutes in an Alcove Sofa with Erwan Bouroullec.

Aside from not showing us what was in his sketch book, Erwan told us about one of the brother’s forthcoming projects.

A sail boat.

Yeah, yeah we thought, the cheeky Breton is having a bit of fun with the naive (smow)blog crew.

A sail boat!

However, and despite our doubts, we’re professionals and so we sought independent verification.

The problem with the secretive world of designers, however, is that getting independent verification is all but impossible.

So we did the next best thing and asked Ronan Bouroullec.

And he confirmed that yes there is a boat project.

It’s all at a very early stage but the brothers are keen, the client is keen … and so they plan to start work on it soon.

In addition to the challenge of working on such a project, both hope to get some new insights and fresh ideas that can be applied to other areas of their work. And having grown up near the coast it’s a project with which they can both identify.

Given that a lot of the brother’s work is characterised by the amount space they leave within the design, or better put, use in their design, – we’re thinking here of objects such as Algue, Vegetal or Panier – we can’t say that we would happily take to sea in a boat designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

But we’re prepared to reserve our judgement until the work is finished.

And you can read our full Orgatec interview with Erwan Bouroullec very shortly.

La Maison Flottante. A floating house the Bouroullec's designed in 2006 for for resident artists in the CNEAI - Centre National de l'estampe et de l'art imprimé

La Maison Flottante. A floating house Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec designed in 2006 for resident artists at the CNEAI - Centre National de l'estampe et de l'art imprimé - in Chatou, France


Garden Furniture: Top 5

Friday, July 9th, 2010

On several occasions in the past month we have repeatedly seen a similar scene.

A scene that has made us cry.

Lovely houses, truly wonderful, carefully considered constructions in idyllic locations – and then in the garden, furniture that the owners have obviously bought, possibly as an after thought, from their local garden centre.

Just looking at some of the chairs made our upper thighs go numb from discomfort.

And as for that recliner yesterday in Berlin!!!!

People, gardens are there to be enjoyed.

Gardens are there to serve as dens of tranquility from the harsh realities of life.

Gardens should not cause injury, far less resemble a middle ages torture chamber.

Good quality designer garden furniture is available. And isn’t hard to find.

Here is our top five for summer 2010.

Tivoli Chair by Verner Panton through Montana: the colours of summer

Tivoli Chair by Verner Panton

Tivoli chair by Verner Panton

Panton’s fist commercially successful product may owe much of its success to Verner Panton’s father installing it in his restaurant; but that is not to detract from the the quality of the Panton’s design nor that of Montana’s construction. Available in a wonderful range of colours Tivoli chair by Verner Panton is guaranteed to brighten up any garden or terrace.

S 43 teak by Thonet

S 43 teak by Thonet

S 43 teak from Thonet

Mart Stams classic steel tube chair in an outdoor version. Available with or without armrests the S43 teak from Thonet allows you to take your Bauhaus living and dining room out into the garden.

Vegetal from Vitra

Vegetal from Vitra

Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Four years of development with all the resources an established designer furniture company such as Vitra can provide has to produce something a little extra special. Despite appearances to the contrary Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec is a delightfully comfortable seat: comfortable as in terms of seating comfort and comfortable as in terms of stability.

Shadylace by Chris Kabel for droog

Shadylace by Chris Kabe

Shadylace by Chris Kabel

Although, curiously not available in oranje Shadylace by Chris Kabel for droog is one of the better ways to ensure that you always have a shady corner from which to spy on your neighbours and envy their garden architecture talents.

Cobb Grill

Cobb Grill

Cobb Grill

And once you’ve got the furniture you need to be able to cook: otherwise you’ll need to go back indoors. With it’s cool outer walls and large range of accessories the Cobb grill is not a classic barbecue grill but a complete enclosed cooking system. With which you can also grill. Or cook pizzas. or bake a cake.

(smow) Interview:”We have to do less, and better” Ronan Bouroullec at Saloni Milano 2010

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are without doubt two of the brightest stars in the international designer furniture heaven. And two of the most omnipotent.

Something which however may slowly change.

Ronan Bouroullec in the VitaHaus, Weil am Rhein

Ronan Bouroullec in the VitaHaus, Weil am Rhein

Following their initial breakthrough with Cuisine désintégrée ( Disintegrated kitchen ), an concept piece by Ronan Bouroullec that was taken on by Italian producer Capellini in 1998, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec went on to develop projects with companies as varied as Authentics, Ligne Roset or Habitat – in addition to realising over 20 further products for Capellini. In 2002 the office system Joyn was released onto the market: Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s first project with Vitra and the start of one of their most commercially succesful cooperations. Together with Vitra Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have created products such as the Algue room divider, the Alcove Sofa range and the Vegetal Chair.

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s cooperation with Magis began with Case (Valise) in 2003, since when the brothers have gone on to produce Striped Chair and the Steelwood range. Their latest products for Magis  -the tables Baguette and Central – were launched at Saloni Milano 2010.

Algue by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra

Algue by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec at Vitra HQ

In addition to furniture per se Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have also produced innumerate porcelain and textile products as well as realising interior design and architecture projects.  Whereas many early products bear the name of just one of the brothers, for the past ten years all products have been credited to both Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

In a quick interview at Saloni Milano 2010 (smow) spoke to Ronan Bouroullec about the cooperation with Magis, the role of the Internet in the designer furniture industry and the best and worst aspects of the Milan design week.

“We have to do less, and better” – Ronan Bouroullec, Saloni Milano 2010

In the course of the conversation Ronan Bouroullec reflects self-critically on the brother’s canon to date, indicates that in the future they intend to concentrate on fewer, but more time-intensive, higher quality, projects, an also questions the sense of investing so much energy, money and intelligence in such large furniture shows.

And how Magis are an organic farm!

Honest!

Fuller details on Ronan and Erwan Bouroullecs work can be found at bouroullec.com

Ronan Bouroullec ”We have to do less, and better”

2010 Designer Furniture World Cup: France 2 – Mexico 0

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Both Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec as well as Alexander Girard had to wait a long time for their opening match in this years (smow) designer furniture world cup – but for the sell out crowd in Pretoria the wait was more than worth it.

Although born in New York, Alexander Girard qualifies for Mexico on account of the Wooden Doll side of his family tree. Opening up with an impressive selection of traditional southern Portuguese patterns Girard was initially confused as the Bouroullec brothers appeared to use the patterns as the basis for a lamp; this turned out to be a clever ruse to allow the brothers to introduce their Algue room divider and so take a 1:0 lead.

Alexander Girard responded with an ever more aggressive range of textile formations which appeared to have Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec beaten; until they produced a counter attack in the form of a Vegetal chair for Vitra.

And that was that.

2:0 for Ronan and Erwan Bourollec against Alexander Girard.

The Group D table and all Group D results can be found here.

Despite the support of his Wooden doll relatives, Alexander Girard lost his opening match against Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Despite the support of his Wooden Doll relatives, Alexander Girard lost his opening match against Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

(smow) offline: Win a Vitra Organic Chair

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Organic Chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen through Vitra

It may not be the most universally recognised example of either Charles Eames‘ nor Eero Saarinen‘s canon however their 1940 “Conversation Chair” is without doubt one of the more important examples of 20th century furniture design.

Designed for the New York Museum of Modern Art’s “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” competition the Conversation Chair was a concept piece and Eames’ and Saarinen’s first attempt at moulding synthetics.

At that time however the technology lagged somewhat behind the designers imagination and it was to be almost a decade before either Charles Eames or Eero Saarinen could transform the lessons learnt into commercial products: Charles Eames with his fibreglass/plastic armchairs for Herman Miller and Eero Saarinen with his Tulip Chair for Knoll.

Tulip chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll

Tulip chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll

For the sake of completeness we should also mention George Nelson‘s Swag Leg Chair, a design which relies heavily  – albeit with permission – on both the technology and narrative of the Conversation Chair.

Currently marketed by Vitra as the “Organic Chair” Eames and Saarinen’s pioneer work remains a wonderfully confident yet unassuming chair that can be used in all domestic, commercial and retail settings.

And you can win one.

The designer furniture retailer network Creative Inneneinrichter – of which (smow) is a member – is offering an Organic Chair as first prize in their “My way to the VitraHaus” competition.

Second prize is a Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and third prize a Panton Chair.

The rules are very simple: Document your journey to the VitraHaus; the most imaginative, creative and original entry wins.

And so whether your planning skydiving onto the VitraHaus, negotiating the Alps Hannibal-esque with elephants or rafting down the Rhein simply register at the Creative Inneneinrichter website and upload your photos/videos/certificates.

Full details can be found at “Mein weg ins VitraHaus

Although Jasper Morrison built a bus stop next to teh VitraHaus - travelling by bus probabyl wont win you the Organic Chair

Although Jasper Morrison built a bus stop next to the VitraHaus - travelling by bus probably won't win you the Organic Chair.

(smow)offline: Leipzig Liest

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
The smow library

The smow library

The snow is finally gone from the streets of Leipzig and that can only mean two things.

Dangerously large holes in the roads.

And Leipzig Buchmesse.

And as in 2009 (smow) is once again taking part in Leipzig Liest – Europes largest public book reading.

(smow)liest begins on March 18th with Grillsaison from Philipp Kohlhöfer. Less related to the Cobb Pro, Grillsaison is a humorous, occasionally deeply ironic, journey in search of the real Germany. David Hasselhof included.

On March 19 (smow)liest hosts the somewhat confusingly titled “New voices from Switzerland”. Profiling three young authors, only one of whom comes from Switzerland, the evening promises exciting new literature and an entertaining mix of literary styles.

(smow)liest 2010 ends on March 20th with “Meine Frau will einen Garten” by Gerhard Matzig. The desired garden is not directly intended for the newly purchased Vegetal and Bubble Club Sofa, but rather is a synonym for the eternal choice between the city life of ones carefree youth and the suburban life of responsible middle age.

In addition to (smow)liest the Leipzig Buchmesse and Leipzig Liest features numerous new – and not so new – publications on designer furniture and contemporary design. We will bring you reports and reviews of the best and worst of this years festival under (smow)liest.

The slightly more impressive Design Library in Milan

The slightly more impressive Design Library in Milan

VitraHaus by Herzog & de Meuron: Images

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

If a picture really does paint a thousand words; a dozen VitraHaus photos here saves us an awful lot of typing.

Below a few of our favourite images. And if you have any of your own photos that you would like to share with us, please email them to blog@smow.de Full credit will naturally be given for any photos used.

VitraHaus: The media await the start of the press conference

VitraHaus: The media await the start of the press conference

VitraHaus: Rolf Fehlbaum, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron

VitraHaus: Rolf Fehlbaum, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron

VitraHaus: Rolf Fehlbaum in the media focus

VitraHaus: Rolf Fehlbaum in the media focus

Vitrahaus: As seen through a Living Tower from Verner Panton

Vitrahaus: As seen through a Living Tower from Verner Panton

VitraHaus: Spiral staircases are an important feature

VitraHaus: Spiral staircases are an important feature of the VitraHaus

Akari lamps in the VitraHaus

Akari lamps in the VitraHaus

VitraHaus cloakroom: Obviously with Eames Hang it Alls

VitraHaus cloakroom: Obviously with Eames Hang it Alls

Maarten van Severen and Verner Panton in VitraHaus

Maarten van Severen and Verner Panton in VitraHaus

Fourth floor of the VitraHaus by

Fourth floor of the VitraHaus by Herzog and de Meuron

Amoebe by Verner Panton in the VitraHaus

Amoebe by Verner Panton in the VitraHaus

A House of Cards by Charles and Ray Eames in the VitraHaus

A House of Cards by Charles and Ray Eames in the VitraHaus

VitraHaus by Herzog and de Meuron: Orgnaic forms

VitraHaus by Herzog and de Meuron: Organic forms

Vitrahaus: Vitrine

Vitrahaus: Vitrine

One of the last remaining Eames Mamoths has taken up residence in the VitraHaus

One of the last remaining Eames Mammoths has taken up residence in the VitraHaus

The less-spotted wooly Vegetal graze on the VitraHaus Cafe Terrace

The lesser-spotted woolly Vegetal graze on the VitraHaus Cafe Terrace

IMM Cologne: New Classics

Sunday, January 24th, 2010
Schöner Wohnen present their Neue Klassiker at IMM Cologne

Schöner Wohnen present their Neue Klassiker at IMM Cologne - for some it's all just a blur....

To celebrate their 50th birthday the German furnishings magazine “Schöner Wohnen” have produced a small book entitled “Das Buch der Klassiker“ (“The book of classics”) in which the magazine present their 400 furniture and accessory classics.

And an exhibition of the selected items forms the basis of the Schöner Wohnen stand here in Cologne.

Aside from familiar faces such as Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec from Vitra or the Castore lamp by Huub Ubbens und Michele De Lucchi for Artemide, the exhibition also presents some items which genuinely don’t get the attention they deserve.

Split by Meike Russler together with the Thonet A 660

Split by Meike Russler together with the Thonet A 660

Split by Meike Rüssler for Ligne Roset, for example, is just a wonderful piece of desk design.

If you like a nice organised organised desk.

So not for us.

But for everyone else, perfect.

Not only the in-built letter trays, nor the concealed storage, not even the wonderful 360 degree lamp make Split so good. Also the fact that the “back” can also be a “top” i.e. it can either be positioned vertically as a back or horizontally to give a two-tier desk. Then there is the wonderful retro-veneer that always makes our hearts skip a little faster.

Here in Cologne the Schöner Wohnen team have wonderfully married Split with James Irvine’s A 660 office chair for Thonet. Featuring the classic Thonet Bentwood technology, Irvine’s chair offers a delightful, modern interpretation of the traditional Thonet style. And a very comfortable seat.

The A 660 isn’t a chair you’ d want to spend 8 hours sitting at a desk in; but for regular shorter periods or, for example, as a visitor chair in an office it is perfect.

Vegetal from Vitra by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Vegetal from Vitra by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Having far to much time on our hands we’ve counted and as far we can see among the top producers in the list are Cassina and Vitra and among the best represented designers Antonio Citterio and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
And so (smow) must be doing something right…..

“Das Buch der Klassiker“ is available with the February issue of Schöner Wohnen – and all featured articles are, obviously,  available via smow.com

(smow)abseits: Vitra photographs by Bart van Bussel

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

From experience we can confirm that photographing furniture is not the easiest job in the world.

And getting a picture that captures the spirit and functionality of the object is a true art.

And so we were all the more impressed when we stumbled across a series of photos of Vitra miniatures by Dutch photographer Bart van Bussel.

All we know about Bart is that he is a photographer, lives in Amsterdam and has more facebook friends than we do.

But we do know quite a lot about the chairs he has so magnificently captured on film, and can honestly say that Bart’s pictures capture the beauty of the items in a more genuine fashion than any other photos we have seen.

For the series Bart has photographed the miniature versions of Vitra classics such as the Panton Chair, Eames Lounge Chair or Vegetal, placed on the original chairs.
And the effect is immense.

When, for example, we look at the La Fonda image, we just want to curl our ageing fingers under the plastic shell and lift the 1:6 from the 1:1, while the EA 108 and the Vegetal image beautifully capture the charm of the full size versions.

But hey, judge for yourself, the full series can be found here.

We’re honestly not related to Bart and we don’t even know who commissioned the project or where he got all the items from.

But we don’t need to know that to enjoy such wonderfully constructed images.

Vitra LCW photographed by Bart van Bussel

Vitra LCW photographed by Bart van Bussel

(smow)test sitting: Uniturm.de

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

One of the joys of being involved in the designer furniture industry is that every now and again one is allowed to share ones enthusiasm and passion with others.

We believe that in more vulgar industries such is known as selling.
And so it came to pass that last week the boys and girls from uniturm.de visited smow.com to test out a few chairs.

uniturm-happy-and-friendly-folks

Jo,Alex, Jule and Dirk from uniturm.de Happy and friendly folks.

The smow.com testing lounge may not be as luxurious as those on offer in the two (smow)shops in Leipzig and Chemnitz but it does offer a pleasant and relaxing testing location.
And of course your (smow)blog team was also present to record the occasion.

verner

The uniturm.de team left a chair for holidaying co-founder Peter Biermann

As Germany’s largest online student knowledge exchange platform, the team behind uniturm.de spend a lot of their time sitting at their computers.

Obviously.

However, as all who specialise in helping students with the preparation for exams know, a little relaxation is also important.

And so for uniturm.de a selection of chairs was arranged that could fit their varied needs: a Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, a Eames DSR by Charles and Ray Eames,  a .07 and .03 by Maarten Van Severen,  a Panton Chair from Verner Panton and a Headline Management Chair by Mario & Claudio Bellini.

testing

Dirk Ehrlich from uniturm.de virtual testing...

The undoubted star attraction of the afternoon was the Headline Management Chair from Vitra – hardly surprising given it’s ingenious ergonomics and for all the fact that even in a reclined position your line of vision remains horizontal and so optimal for viewing your monitor.

If you dont’ believe us, look at your monitor, lean back in your chair – without moving your head – and tell us how your ceiling looks. The effort and strain required to move your head so that you can look at your monitor is a badly negelected area of office chair design; something the Headline corrects to the benefit of your neck and shoulders.

Just as with the users of their online exchange portal, the uniturm.de team spent most of the session exchanging notes and discussing the topics raised by the session.

vegetal

Alexander Reschke from uniturm.de tests a Vegetal from Vitra

Another chair that found a definite positive resonance was the Bouroullec brothers Vegetal – and for all the realisation that is a lot more comfortable, and for all not so hard, as it looks. Similarly the .03 by Maarten Van Seeveren for Vitra was also positively rated on account of its comfort and tactual charms.

In addition to the chairs uniturm.de also had the chance to test a Metal Side Table by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra. It may not be as large as the uniturm.de uniturms in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne or Munich; however, thanks to the harmony of the dimensions and the attractive formal contrast between slender table tops and voluminous, socle-like legs, it makes an attractive addition to any room, and as such is perfect for exchanging lecture notes or discussing upcoming exam topics.

Following a sociable round of coffee and cake the test sitting was ended and while the team from uniturm.de returned to their office we remained and spent a satifysing hour photographing the Panton Chair.

As we say, it’s passion this designer furniture business.

ont-pu

In trying to put his feet on the table the boss sets a bad example.

test-sitting

uniturm.de and the search for the perfect designer furniture