Although we rarely have reason to blow our own trumpets, we do regularly have cause to sound our colleagues veritable flourish of bugles, clarions, cornets, horns. And trumpets.
Such is an occasion.
With immediate effect many products in the (smow) online shop can be perused, compared and enjoyed as 360 degree photos.
And they are photos. And not computer generated renderings.
From established design classics including the Vitra Panton Chair or the Eames DSR over modern classics such as the folding stool Falter and onto the timeless, and heavyweight, classics from USM Haller the 360 degree images are the result of months of close cooperation between engineers, photographers and programming specialists.
Aside from allowing an unprecedented impression of the respective objects and an opportunity to truly assess the pieces prior to purchase, the 360 degree images are also a great way to spend that inevitable period of indecision, of deciding whether to actually buy or not. Spinning the objects on the computer screen as the arguments pro and contra spin in your mind, as it were.
In that context our particular favourite is without question the group photo of Artemide’s Tolomeo Tavolo Micro.
In the coming weeks the list of products presented in 360 degree view mode will be steadily increased.
Do please let us know what you think…..
Tolomeo Tavolo Micro from Artemide. Can you work out how the (smow) 360 degree image continues?
Posted in Producer, Product, smow Tagged with: designer furniture, smow
This coming Tuesday – 09 Feb – sees the opening of one of our favourite furniture events. The Stockholm Furniture Fair.
Sadly on account of events happening elsewhere in Europe next week – watch this space – we now cannot make it to Stockholm.
And so an appeal: Is anyone going to the Stockholm Furniture Fair who can send us a few photos and a brief report on how you found it?
Or do you live in Stockholm and would you like to visit the Fair.
We know it’s cheeky, but if you can help dig us out of a fairly large hole, do please get in touch.
Stockholm Furniture Fair
Posted in Exhibitions and Shows, smow, Stockholm Furniture Fair Tagged with: designer furniture, furniture, Stockholm, Stockholm Furniture Fair
DMY Berlin may have been a few weeks ago, but the warm memories remain. And as we were sorting through the piles of info material we gathered in Kreuzberg we came across a postcard from Wohngold.
And like a remiss lover returning from a holiday fling, instantly felt a pang of guilt as we saw the card and were reminded of that wonderful time at DMY Youngsters.
Why hadn’t we responded since our return? Did it all mean so little?
For the truth is that LADAR by Wohngold is a truly wonderful product in an area of product design with a lot of competition.
In our modern world we rely heavily on mobile items, and happily ignore the fact that the majority of mobile items occasionally need to be recharged or otherwise attached to cables. Most of us ignore this fact in that we ignoring the piles of spaghetti that accumulate on or near our desks.
But we all know its wrong.
There are a number of “boxes” on the market designed to help you control the uncontrollable, but what we like about LADAR is the fact that it is wall mountable, the space on top and inside can be used for storage of non-electrical items and it looks fantastic.
We were honestly greatly taken with the ingenious simplicity of LADAR – and so apologies that we haven’t sent you card since our return.
LADAR by Wohngold...
...its like catching snakes in a box
Posted in smow Tagged with: Berlin, design, designer furniture, DMY, DMY - Youngsters, DMY Berlin, LADAR, Wohngold
As we stood looking at some mighty fine, but horribly over-carved, wooden furniture at the Salone in Milan a female colleague confided in us that all she needs is some leather straps and a few bits of bent metal.
Trying not to show our horror at this outburst of candour, we asked if she had a meeting with El Presidente that evening.
“No, no” replied our erstwhile colleague, “Bauhaus. That’s my idea of good design”
Eileen Gray (1878 -1976)
We recite this tale here principally to amuse ourselves, but also by way of a gentle introduction to the new smow Eileen Gray range.
Although for many Gray’s work will not as familiar as that of Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier or Mies van der Rohe one should not underestimate the contribution made by Eileen Gray to the development furniture design in the 20th century.
Born in the barren wilderness of County Wexford, Ireland, Gray studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art in London before moving in 1902 to Paris, a city that was to play a key role in her career.
Paris had already introduced her to the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh through his exhibition at the Exposition Universelle in 1900 and was to introduce her to Japanese lacquer artist Seizo Sugawara from who she learnt the art, combining it with elements of Art Nouveau. Paris was also to introduce her to the Romanian architect and publisher Jean Badovici who encouraged Gray to try her hand at architecture.
E.1027, designed by Eileen Gray
In 1924 Badovici and Gray started work on the house E.1027 on the southern French coast, not far from Monaco. In addition to being a magnate for the European design elite – Le Corbuiser was so impressed he built his summer residence nearby – a house needs furniture and Gray designed this to a great extent herself.
Through exchanges and conversation with the likes of Le Corbusier and the leading figures in the Bauhaus movement Eileen Gray not only created some of the true classics of early-20th century design but helped to define the Bauhaus principles of form follows function and less is more. And in doing so paved the way for following generations of designers such as Charles and Ray Eames or Jasper Morrison.
Following World War II Eileen Gray lived a quite, almost reclusive life, in Paris, and although she was still working she never achieved the same prominence as in the interwar years. Gray died in Paris in October 1976 aged 98.
Petite Coiffeuse by Eileen Gray
Whereas the post war years brought little acclaim for her work, today articles by Eileen Gray are amongst the most copied pieces of early-20th century designer furniture. Which is probably the greatest testement one can make to the value of an article of designer furniture. It goes without saying that all the Eileen Gray articles sold by smow are, as with all articles smow sell, officially licensed originals with the associated guarantee of quality craftsmanship and competent after sales service.
The inter-war years were some of the most important and revolutionary for European furniture design. The social and cultural upheavals of the day coupled with the new perspectives and priorities resulting from the Great War not only gave us a wonderful portfolio of great design, but changed the very nature of the design process. Eileen Gray was a key figure in that period.
smow is now proud to offer the following, offically licensed, Eileen Gray products from ClassiCon, Munich.
St Tropez by Eileen Gray
Wendingen (Carpet 1926-1929)
Roquebrune (Chair, 1932)
Petite Coiffeuse (Dressing table , 1929)
St. Tropez (Carpet 1926-1929)
Occasional Table (Side table 1927)
Posted in Designer, Product, smow Tagged with: Bauhaus, ClassiCon, design, designer furniture, Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, new products, Occasional Table, Petite Coiffeuse, Roquebrune, smow, St. Tropez, Wendingen
The so called “Barcelona Chair” by German architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is without question one of the true classics of 20th century furniture design. And one of the most copied.
On the 80th anniversary of its first public appearance during the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, materials scientist Prof. Friederike Deuerler and Art Historian Prof. Gerda Breuer have curated an exhibition for the Galerie im Kolkmannhaus at the University of Wuppertal.
“From prototype to cult object – The Barcelona Chair from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe” is one the hand a sober scientific examination of the chair, the design process and the production process employed on the “original”; and on the other an examination of the question what is “original” in terms of furniture design.
A topic very close to our hearts, as you know.
In addition to the showing prototypes, early examples – including possibly articles displayed in Barcelona – the exhibition also shows modern interpretations, including a stackable plastic version.
For all those in, near or planning being in or near Wuppertal the exhibition runs at the Galerie im Kolkmannhaus, Hofaue 51-55, 42103 Wuppertal until August 23. More information can be found on the website.
Prof. Friederike Deuerlern and Prof. Gerda Breuer in two examples of the Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Posted in Exhibitions and Shows Tagged with: Barcelona Chair, design, designer furniture, furniture, Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Wuppertal
Although the rumour persists that we only travel to trade fairs and exhibitions so that we can impress people in bars with phrases such as “Last week in New York…” or “For me the real beauty of Milan is…“, in truth we do do a little work.
And the fruits of that work can be seen, for example, in the ever expanding (smow)collection.
And punctually to the start of The Ashes season we can now offer the extended Thonet outdoor range; quite possibly the most stylish furniture for sitting in the garden and listening to TMS or follow Aggers on Twitter.
The Thonet S 43, for example, is Mart Stam’s 1931 classic in a weather-proof teak veneered beach finish, and a wonderful location in which to sit back on a summers afternoon with a good book and well tuned radio. Set it beside the S 1043 table and you not only have a wonderful visual symmetry, but a place to rest your sandwiches and lemonade between overs.
And because we all know the summer can’t last for ever, smow also stock the outrageously stylish and cheeky Thonet S 333 sledge.
You can find more information on the Thonet Outdoor collection at Thonet, and the complete range can be purchased through smow.de
S43 and S1043 from Thonet
Posted in Designer, Producer, Product, smow Tagged with: chair, design, designer furniture, furniture, garden furniture, Mart Stam, new products, outdoor, S 1043, S 43, table, Thonet
If we’re honest we’ve never understood TED … and probably never will.
Which is cool.
And regradless of, and in how far, we comprehend why TED exists, they do offer some wonderful short films and lectures… and the newly released 2007 talk by Eames Demetrios, grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, is no exception.
Occasionaly it wanders into the realms of “whatever!”, but on the whole is a lovely little introduction to Charles and Ray Eames and for all their philosophy and approach to design.
Posted in Designer Tagged with: Charles and Ray Eames, Charles Eames, design, designer furniture, furniture, Ray Eames, TED, Vitra
The Top 5 chairs from the smow design spring. In no particular order.
Foldable cardboard chair by Stuart Miller at deignersblock, Milan
We lie: there is a slight order. First up is our favourite chair from the smow design spring: Stuart Miller’s unnamed foldable cardboard chair from the designersblock showcase in Milan. Over the course of the smow design spring we didn’t see any thing that even came to close to capturing Stuart’s simple, practical and comfortable chair. We’ve sadly lost sight of the project a little, and lack the requisite degree in Information Technology to navigate Glasgow Caledonian University Website, If any one knows anything please let us know!! Unnamed foldable carboard chair. Quality seating instrument!
And as of now … In no particular order.
Duct Tape Chair by Jason Miller
Duct Tape Chair by Jason Miller. In our original post from the floor of the ICFF press room we mentioned the similarity between Jason Miller’s Duct chair and Easy by Klausner and Carpenter for Established and Sons. After long and careful consideration, however, we decide to include Duct chair in our tip five. A confident and wonderfully comfortable chair, Duct Chair is also not only aesthetically pleasing but engages the user and so transforms from a passive chair into active element of a room. Duct Tape Chair. Quality seating instrument!
404 H by Stefan Dietz for Thonet
404 H by Stefan Dietz for Thonet. In our world bar stools count as chairs, mainly because we spend a lot of time on bar stools – having as we do a raised breakfast bar in the kitchen of the (smow)flat. For Thonet Stefan Dietz has created in 404 H a wonderful addition to one of the most tradition-conscious German design houses. In comparison to some other long established design houses, for Thonet tradition if more than just marketing rights tio the name of a long since deceased designer; rather for Thonet tradition means continuing the tradition that made that designer successful and famous – and in the case of Michael Thonet that means innovation.404 H. Quality seating instrument!
And uncomplicated, high quality wooden furniture.
Such as the 404 H.
Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra in Milan
Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra. Even before the start of the Milan design week Vegetal had already established itself as one of the stars. And it didn’t let us down. Yes it looks like a cheap garden chair, yes it reminds one of Chair One by Konstantin Grcic, but no it is neither of these things. The fruit of four years labour by our favourite porcupine and fox, Vegetal is a wonderful, stable, comfortable and versatile chair perfect for indoor and out. And we’re fairly certain unbreakable. Vegetal. Quality seating instrument!
Bansko Bo lounger chair and Ottoman by Design Apparat
Bansko Bo by Design Apparat. Without question one of the finest proper loungers we saw this spring, and that from one of the best new design studios from the smow design spring. We live in Leipzig, we don’t like nOSTalgia, we do like many elements of the design style that developed in Eastern Europe during the decades of iron curtains, Warsaw pacts and ICBMs. Bansko Bo is a wonderful new design, but one that has its roots unmistakably in the Bulgaria of the 1970s. Looks good, works and will probably last longer than the regime of Todor Zhivkov. Bansko Bo. Quality seating instrument!
Posted in Designer, Producer, Product, smow design spring Tagged with: Bansko Boo, Bouroullec, Bulgaria, Cardboard, chair, Chair One, chairs, design apparat, Designer, designer furniture, designersblock, DMY, DMY - Youngsters, DMY Berlin, DMY-Allstars, duct tape chair, Established & Sons, furniture, glasgow caledonian university, ICFF, Jason Miller, Konstantin Grcic, Michael Thonet, Milan, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, smow, Sofia, Stefan Diez, Stuart Miller, Thonet, Thonet 404, Vegetal, Vitra
Just in time for the official start of the balcony reading season in Northern Europe, (smow) is proud to announce the arrival of Liesmichl by Nils Holger Moorman.
Without a doubt one of the freshest and most inventive reading/side table design of late, Liesmichl is also an expression of Nils Holger Moormann’s love affair with the written word.
And a rare excursion by the southern German firm away from 100% wood furniture.
The genius of Liesmichl is not the wonderful holder on the top where you can safely and securely place your open book, nor is it the small shelf for drinks and snacks, nor is it the clever use of the base structure as storage space for further books.
No the real genius of Liesmichl is that all this exists in one beautifully proportioned side table.
We’re biased.. we admit it, but watch our video on (smow)tube, have a look at the pictures at moormann.de and you’ll see that we’re not unjustly biased.
All details regarding sizes, colours and prices at smow.de
Liesmichl by Nils Holger Moormann for Moormann - available from smow
Posted in Designer, Moormann, Producer, Product, smow Tagged with: design, Designer, designer furniture, Liesmichl, Milan, Moormann, new products, Nils Holger Moormann, sidetable, smow, table
Lets get the tricky one out the way first. The Top 5 Tables from the smow design spring. In no particular order.
Liesmichl by Nils Holger Moormann for Moormann
Liesmichl by Nils Holger Moormann for Moormann.
If there’s one thing Moormann excel at it’s producing book friendly furniture. From the outrageous Bookinist over the classically overtoned Bookstabler and onto the book-friendly desk Kant, the Allgauer always seem to have readers at the forefront of their thoughts. And Liesmichl is no exception; space for books your going to read, a place to safely lay the book you are reading when you need/want a break, and a place for your drink and snacks. And if your not convinced check out Nils Holger Moorman on (smow)tube. Liesmichl. Top Table.
Tints by Jason Miller
Tints by Jason Miller.
As we were young scallywags causing mayhem and heartbreak wherever we got the chance, sweeties shone in a wonderfully opaque way. It may have been the memory of those care-free days that first drew our eye to Jason Millers Tints. Or it may have been the gorgeous way the legs fit into the frame, the optic caused by the wood/glass combination. Or it may have been Jake’s glasses. Regardless, however, of “why” we are glad we were drawn to Tints. Beautifully crafted, familiar and inviting in their styling and fresh in their design Tints are truly a table range that can and will provide pleasure in a number of setting. Tints. Top Table.
Flip by Alexander Seifried for Richard Lampert
Flip by Alexander Seifried for Richard Lampert.
If you were to hold us, upside down, over the edge of our balcony by our ankles, we would probably admit that Flip table standing in the corner of our balcony is just a few bits of metal welded together.
But then so is a 1954 Corvette Convertible, Blue Flame Six
With it’s wonderfully timeless elegance, smooth action and universal functionality Flip is a wonderful table for all who have limited space, know how to enjoy the space and don’t want to compromise when it comes to high-quality furniture. Flip. Top Table.
Adenike by Bao-Nghi Droste
Adenike by Bao-Nghi Droste
Admittedly less of a table, and more of an independent work station, Adenike nevertheless makes it into our Top Five Tables. Beautifully crafted, functional, practical and aesthetically charming Adenike is a product that truly achieves the aim the designer set themselves. And despite it’s intended function as a meeting point, we know that if we had one here in our Lower-East Plagwitz Village office we would spend a good deal reading the paper on it, sleeping on it and using it as a refuge from the daily chores. Adenike. Top Table.
ETR by Charles and Ray Eames from Vitra
ETR – Elliptical Table Rod Base by Charles and Ray Eames from Vitra
As if proof were needed that only new design can be good. In Milan we saw the Eamse’s ETR for the first time “live”, as it were, and were truly blown away by it. There is something about the height of the table – or possibly the height to length ratio – that gives the ETR a regency that few other pieces of furniture can ever hope to reach. Laissez fe surf-styling combined with Bauhaus bent steel elegance. Gorgeous. ETR. Top Table.
And a special mention goes to Table Fights. Hasta La Vista
Posted in Designer, Producer, Product, smow design spring Tagged with: Adenike, Alexander Seifried, Bao-nghi Droste, Bookinist, Charles and Ray Eames, design, designer furniture, ETR - Elliptical Table Rod Base, Flip, furniture, Jason Miller, Kant, Liesmichl, Moormann, Nils Holger Moormann, products, Richard Lampert, smow, Table Fights, Tints, Vitra
The NYC Post Police - tailed our every move and word
Your (smow)blog team didn’t become the internationally feared and monitored crew we are simply because we travel the world fearlessly attending opening night parties.
Oh no! We achieved our notoriety on account of our excellent network of contacts among designers, producers, critics and delivery drivers. Nothing but nothing passes us by.
As observant readers may have noticed, during our visit to the ICFF we did spend quite a lot of time complaining about the lack of tables in the press room.
And now we must admit that during ICFF we did solve the riddle.
Magis had of course delivered tables for the press room.
Piggyback by Thomas Heatherwick for Magis
In addition to supplying Chair First by Stefano Giovannoni Magis also supplied their wonderful Piggyback tables by Thomas Heatherwick.
Magis are serious and reliable partner, why would they not supply tables?
Only the Piggyback tables became damaged during set-up and spent the show stowed in a store room deep in the bowels of the Javits Centre.
And no-one from the ICFF organisation sought to seek replacements.
Behind the scenes there was a lot of talk of unions and “official processes”, but for us the fact of the missing press room tables summed up ICFF beautifully and underlines why for us it was the weakest and worst organised of the events we attended as part of the smow design spring.
Which isn’t to be interpreted as direct criticism of those who are responsible for the press work, they are also merely a partner of the organiser, and it is they who carry ultimate responsible for the shoddiness: Along with the Javits Center management.
Tints by Jason Miller - one of the true stars of ICFF 2009
The word on the street in New York was that next year ICFF may do away with the press room all together, which is truly a sad indictment on the show and how seriously it is taken. In addition to the established critics amongst the traditional media – alone the vicinity to the New York Times must, must count – America is home to some excellent design blogs, we name alone Core 77 and design milk as two that we follow and read with interest and which amuse and entertain.
When we think of, for example, Milan where from early morning to late evening texts are written, interviews carried out, pictures edited and videos cut in a dozen languages. And then New York where all too often we sat alone on the floor, or when we had company it was inevitably executives from some B2B publication deciding who to sell advertising space to.
Tablefights - we know just how they feel
Instead of further discouraging reports the ICFF should be actively recruiting those who can bring the products to the masses and so encourage other producers to book space. Or should that ugly, dirty and unkempt space at the back of the hall grow even larger?
We will be back in New York next year, not least because we want to kick Ami timber at the 2010 Table Fights Championships – if we attend ICFF, however, remains to be seen.
We made a few fantastic discoveries at ICFF not least Jason Miller, Blu Dot and Iglooplay; three discoveries that more or less justified the air fares. But if that alone is worth struggling with a barely functioning Internet and inadequate facilities to promote an event run by an organisation who lack the ability to place two tables is a room – and that despite having rented some 145,000 net square feet to furniture producers – that remains to be seen.
Posted in New York Tales, smow design spring Tagged with: Blu Dot, core 77, design, design milk, designer furniture, First Chair, furniture, ICFF, iglooplay, Jason Miller, Javits Centre, Magis, New York, Piggyback table, smow, Stefano Giovannoni, Table Fights, tables, Thomas Heatherwick
Summer on the balcony ... unbeatable(Photo: Christin Bargel)
Before we start slowing down and head outdoors to enjoy the summer we want to take the opportunity over the next couple of weeks to look back on the smow design spring; namely our trips to Milan, New York, Brühl, Basel and Berlin … as well as to start looking forward to the forthcoming smow design autumn.
And no we won’t just be re-visiting old ground, we have saved a few treats from USM Haller, Vitra, ICFF, DMY Berlin and Salone for those long summer evenings on the balcony with a good beer.
smow design spring adieu ...
With the experience of the five very different trips, and the slight pause afforded by the summer, we want to take stock, analyse a little more deeply and for all highlight those innovations and products that really caught our attention and which we believe are of interest.
There may also be some really, really weak humour … but we hope not.
In addition we want to preview a little of what can be expected during the smow design autumn
Not the (smow)blog garden, and that with good reason. Details later (or at flickr)....
We will certainly be at the London Design Festival, Designers Open in Leipzig, Design September in Brussels, Copenhagen Design Week and we also fancy the Cardiff Design Festival, if they ever get round to confirming the dates :)
Further shows, trade fairs and especially trips to smow partner producers and designers may follow.
But don’t think we’ll be slacking off over the summer … although there may be a couple more posts about outdooor furniture, barbecues and seat coverings that are good for sun-burnt backs than normal, we will still be actively searching for – and finding – the very best in designer furniture.
Posted in smow design spring Tagged with: Berlin, Cardiff Design Festival, Copenhagen Design Week, design, Design September, designer furniture, Designers Open, DMY Berlin, ICFF, London Design Festival, Milan, New York, smow, USM Haller, Vitra