I’m really proud of this table I just did for Dolce Vita. I had drawn it as a super simple, single piece welded brass frame. But I went and double checked the freight elevator and stairwell in the Puck building and knew there was no way in hell it was going to get up to its new home. It had to be made in pieces. Oh but where to put the seams?!?!? Hide them in the corners or bury them in plain sight? I came up with this little cube detail for the middle of each side with reveals around it and used it as a coupling that slides into the four corner elements and holds it all together. I was nervous that it would look fussy and silly. I don’t think it does. I’m psyched. Looks good. Check it out.
My friend Harry from the Brooklyn Kitchen sent me this photo from Governor’s Island. I feel like I’ve seen this design before. Seems so familiar. Anyway, good stuff. Clean, simple. Clear. And a great way to get someone who’s passed out in a park back to bed.
Update, 20 March 2013: A commenter from Weltevree, a Dutch product label, points out that the above bench is a copy of the Wheelbench they sell as designed by Rogier Martens. See the comment below. The resemblance is unquestionable. And I wonder if the design is not older still. Shaker or pre-colonial even. Nonetheless, we appreciate the footnote, Weltevree, and you have absolutely beautiful things on your site! Thank you.
Michael Kritzer has done an interesting thing for client Buell Motorcycles by designing a shipping crate the bike purchaser can turn into a workbench. And a pretty smart one at that. Well played. Mr. Kritzer has more sharp work and smart business intentions up at Habitco. Via core77.
Saw this in a japanese magazine. Beautiful and super simple cabinetry made from laminating sheets of half inch plywood. And it’s a really beautiful plywood with pine facing. Love it.
There was some good work at ICFF this year. Not a lot, but some. But I definitely saw stuff that excited me. Here’s my best of. And I am deliberately starting with what I found most memorable and that is the work from O and G Studio in Rhode Island. These guys are doing beautiful traditional chairs and elements with proper and maybe even stronger joinery but with modern colors. I love that Atlantic Lowback chair. Beautiful proportions. It’s the real deal. In fact I saw a lot of traditional approaches and care for wood joinery at the show, seemingly all of it coming from former RISD students. Strong work. Regrettably I didn’t take pictures of any of it. There was good student work from University of Oregon. And then bits and pieces strewn throughout from many others. If you see something and need to know what it is, email me.
A friend sent me a post from swissmiss about a new storage system from Spain called Brick Box. He sent it to me because he saw in it strong similarities to my own Spacecases that we used in his store. No one is suggesting any foul play, just someone else’s approach to a common design problem– how do you make a furniture grade system of boxes that are easy to carry for short term mobility and stack reliably and attractively for long term storage and display? It’s really not a big deal— it’s a five sided box of whatever dimension you choose, with or without moving parts like doors on the sixth side. The real challenge is in elegantly addressing the ability of the boxes to interlock when stacked for safety and stability without excess hardware and “stuff” tacked on. I have seen a number of approaches to this problem. I don’t think any of them including mine has really solved the problem to my standards. Brick Box is close. They have also addressed another critical issue, shipping. How do you address product scalability from a cost perpective when the bulk of shipping a box is the empty space inside. Sinclair Spacecases are extremely durable, but the cabinet grade fabrication techniques do not allow for consumer assembly. So in short, no flat packing = high shipping cost. Brick Boxes pack flat, but at the expense of what I deem unseemly hardware, i.e. screws, and the potential for user assembly error and what I call the Ikea syndrome: you can put it together, put it down and use it, but if you ever so much as try to move it an inch, it will collapse. (Which may explain why Ikea themselves abandoned a similar concept as suggested in the swissmiss comment thread.) So much for the sustainable footprint of flat packing when it’s not really modular. Granted, I have never held or used Brick Boxes, but I am skeptical. Plus, I feel like the little feet that they attached to each box to create the interlock is an inelegant after thought, just kind of stuck on there without being a real part of the product’s designed form. Still, I congratulate them on a solution to a problem I have spent a lot of time thinking about and sketching myself. And I congratulate them further on their ambition and branded approach. Godspeed!
Just saw these beautiful big cuts of reclaimed bowling alleys on the Build It Green website. I would really like to sink my teeth into this stuff. Who needs a conference table?! Two weeks ago I was at the Columbus Ave Shake Shack with my son and noticed that the tables and counters are branded (literally heat branded) with the Shake Shack logo (see second image), the logo of the local fabricator Counter Evolution and another brand saying the wood came from reclaimed bowling alleys (see third image). First thought, good for Shake Shack for building green. Second thought, good for Counter Evolution for building a smart business with a good product and attracting sophisticated clients like Danny Meyer. And third thought, bummer that our nations classic bowling alleys are being ripped up!! But I repeat: Who needs a custom conference table?!