Archive for September, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Green and Gorgeous — Project UDesign

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.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

authenticity — "knock off" versus reproduction

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?

Thoughts, any­one?

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Monday, September 27, 2010

cynthia mason interiors — in the news (again)

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!!

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

cynthia mason interiors — in the news

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 tickets@spacesplace.org or call­ing Rebuild­ing Together Hart­ford at 860.757.9425 or Hart­ford Preser­va­tion Alliance at 860.570.0331.

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