2004 Annual Design Review Furniture Design Distinction

Blik Surface Graphics

“They’re mod ’70s-style decals-let’s call them ‘neo-supergraphics,'” Albrecht decided. The removable PVC stickers look like paint when applied. They’ll cling to any flat surface: walls, ceilings, furniture, floors. They’re not reusable, they tend to stick to themselves during installation, and they’re susceptible to direct sunlight and high temperatures. But how much does that matter at a few dollars per platter-size hexagon, lug, arc, orbit, or alien? (Sheets of custom text, meanwhile, start at around $100.) Couture called the collection “very clever,” and Tihany enthused, “It’s a very affordable way to change the whole mood of your room.”

Client/Design
blik, LLC, Venice, CA: Scott Flora, Jerinne Neils, principals
Materials
Vector-based digital designs, cutters slice pre-colored film overlaid with adhesive
Software
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

Joyn

In the Bouroullec brothers’ vision of elastic office utopia, workers can cluster under arched wood-frame canopies or screen each other out with wavy plastic bays or one-man booths called “talkpoints.” But at least the colleagues will always have their wiring in common—it’s set in a channel bisecting the white-melamine conference table. Tihany called the system (whose components start at $360) “very smart, and perfect for the bourgeois loft-living creature.” Albrecht cautioned, “It could have the same problem as the Eames storage system. You were supposed to be able to build it yourself and keep changing it around, but in reality, everybody just ordered it built from the factory and left it that way, to save themselves the trouble.” Overall, though, he dubbed Joyn “a great concept, a farm table that can be customized.”

Client
Vitra, New York
Design
Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, Paris
Materials
Melamine, steel, fabric, leather, wood, plastic

Bespoke Stripe by Paul Smith

It’s been a healthy few years for fashion/furnishings crossovers, with Karim Rashid and Jonathan Adler trying their hands at sweaters or purses and Scalamandré turning curtains into coats. After Paul Smith started using Maharam textiles for suit linings and accessories in 2002, the company reciprocated by commissioning him to design worsted-wool upholstery fabrics. On the gray, brown, or navy backdrops, mens-wear pinstripes ($78 per yard contract net) break into rainbows every foot or so. Couture said she would have hoped for a broader color range—”with Paul Smith’s sensibility, he could have been more adventurous.” But Albrecht raved, “It’s Savile Row, with an edge. And obviously, it’s best for a very tailored piece of furniture.” For the launch last fall, the fabrics were wrapped around the wavy slabs of Arne Jacobsen’s Oxford chair, reissued by Fritz Hansen.

Client
Maharam, New York
Design
Paul Smith, London, with Maharam Design Studio, New York
Materials
Worsted wool, jacquard-loomed based on yarn windings series

Good Night and Baby Zoo

Kids can recompose their rug patterns by moving around this zoological collection’s cordless night-light. They can place the LED disk so it’s a pretend water bowl for a cheetah or an egg for an owl, or the light’s six-inch-wide silvery lid can serve as a bedtime mirror. Designed by Laurene Leon Boym for Flos, the wool rugs come in 10 different pictograms ($375-$775 retail), and the lights can be switched to amber or blue to evoke suns or moons. Albrecht was concerned that drowsy passersby would trip over the light, but Tihany’s praise was unreserved: “It’s beautiful, totally unusual and clever, and definitely very cute,” he said. “It’s great that kids can make their own original design; it’s like a game.”

Client
Flos S.P.A., Bovezzo, Italy: Piero Gandini, principal; Francesco Rodriquez, project manager
Design
Boym Partners Inc., New York: Laurene Leon Boym, principal; Ida Wanler, junior designer; Sevanti Roy, textile consultant; Flos USA, Huntington Station, NY: Bill Costa, project director
Materials
Vegetable-dyed wool, injection-molded polycarbonate, LED with chrome aluminum cover
Software
Adobe Illustrator, Graphite

    

Exhibition Armature

Albrecht had already seen architecture shows hung on J. Meejin Yoon’s aluminum frameworks and could attest to their portability and adaptability. “It works very well for museums that have a need for flexibility,” he explained. The system was originally developed—on a shoestring $15,000 budget—for exhibits detailing the Brooklyn Public Library’s expansion plans. The easels can be either stretched vertically to display two-dimensional objects or bent into Z’s to hold models or sculpture. They’re light enough to be rolled into place on wheels tucked into their ells, and heavy enough to remain stable once upright. Their central panels are perforated and double-layered, so wherever they’re left exposed, moirés form.

Client
Brooklyn Public Library, New York; The Architectural League of New York
Design
Meejin Yoon Studio/ MY Studio, Boston: J. Meejin Yoon, principal; Eddie Chiu-Fai Can, project architect
Materials
Aluminum sheets, plates, and bars, cut by digital-file-controlled water jets
Software
Adobe Illustrator, AutoCAD

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