Thursday, September 30, 2010
At the crossroads of social media and the real world, an innovative contest called Project UDesign is making history. First-of-its-kind in the furniture world, social media is being used to "crowd source" a new wing chair design from Century.
The competition is a collaboration between BiOH, Century Furniture, Ultrasuede and Savannah College of Art and Design. SCAD design students were asked to design a wing back chair that would be made using BioH (a soy-based foam) cushions and Ultrasuede EcoDesign upholstery, which is manufactured with recycled materials. Fifteen original designs have been narrowed down to six, with voting open for the final three designs on Facebook.
The competition is amazing from so many angles. First, the winning design is being chosen by the public via Facebook. This is truly a first in the furniture world. Second, the student whose design is chosen will not only have their chair produced by Century Furniture, but will also receive royalties on every sale. What a way to launch a career! Finally, in the most public of forums, consumers and the entire furniture industry will have a chance to witness sustainable furniture design and learn about available eco-friendly options. Green and gorgeous collide!
The amazing six semi-finalists are shown below. You have until October 3rd to help select the three finalists by voting here.
On Monday, October 4th, the three finalists will be announced. Voting continues online through October 19th for the winning student design. That lucky student will be announced October 20th at the High Point Market. Vote for your favorite and become part of this history-making project! For even more information, see the video.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I am wrestling once again with the issue of authenticity, in particular with regard to furnishings. I received the new Restoration Hardware catalog last week, and flipped through it, even though I'm not a fan of their current look. I was shocked when I reached page 16 and saw this:
photo from Restoration Hardware's web site
To me, this is clearly a "knock off" of the Egg Chair, designed in 1958 by Arne Jacobsen. No attribution given in the catalog to the designer, although perhaps alluded to with the name "1950s Linen Copenhagen Chair"? There are plenty of copies of the Egg Chair being sold all over the internet, and I don't care for those either. Am I holding RH to a higher standard? Have they tweaked this chair in some way that makes it different enough to not be a knock off? And how different is "different enough"?
Further along in the catalog on page 28, I see a mirror with this descriptor: "our handcrafted mirror is an exact reproduction of an early 19th-century Italian baroque antique". Pictured below:
from Restoration Hardware's web site
Now, this doesn't offend me at all. It's an exact copy of someone else's design, and it's described as such. So the question remains: when is a copy a "knock off" versus a reproduction? Is there a time limit, 50 years perhaps?
Does it matter that we don't know who originally designed the mirror but we do know who designed the chair? The licensed, original Egg Chair design is still being manufactured by Republic of Fritz Hansen. Is it okay to copy it, given the copies sell for substantially less and are thus available to far more people?
Monday, September 27, 2010
Another BIG Thank You to Nancy Schoeffler for her support of Spaces & Places and her wonderful article in the Hartford Courant. This photo was featured on the front page of the Home and Garden section in print and online September 24th!
A special thanks to photographer Stephen Dunn for waiting to photograph my space while I finished up the last touches!
The Spaces & Places event concluded yesterday with a nice crowd of visitors and some serious camaraderie between participating designers and the wonderful volunteers who made it all happen! As the inaugural year for this first-of-its-kind event in Hartford, there were a few frustrations along the way, but we are already considering how to make it even better next year.
Many thanks to all the visitors who came to the event in support of Rebuilding Together Hartford and The Hartford Preservation Alliance. These two great organizations pulled together the volunteers and sponsors necessary to mount not just a beautiful interior design showcase, but also a vendor marketplace and an educational display of some of Hartford's building legacy.
A HUGE shout out to everyone involved, with special thanks to these folks who really made this event special for me: the incomparable Jodie Liddy for her calm, Gabriela Galarza-Block for her eternal optimism, Richard Ott for his ability to diffuse impending diva explosions, Sharon McCormick for her generous friendship, Marianne Donahue for her inflapability, Cynthia Dodd for making me laugh and Adrianne Cronk for continous emotional support. These talented and fun people were a joy to share Spaces with. Cheers all!!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
A warm Thank You to Nancy Schoeffler for her support of Spaces & Places and her lovely blog post at CTDigs, the Hartford Courant's Home and Garden blog.
Spaces & Places benefits two wonderful community non-profts in Hartford CT — Rebuilding Together Hartford and the Hartford Preservation Alliance. Please join us September 23rd for the opening night cocktail party 6:00to 9:00 p.m. The main event will be open on Friday, September 24 through Saturday, September 25, from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, September 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $50 for the opening night event and $25 for general admission, and can be purchased by contacting email@example.com or calling Rebuilding Together Hartford at 860.757.9425 or Hartford Preservation Alliance at 860.570.0331.