Product design

Monday, January 31, 2011

bathtastic! italian style with branchetti

This bath van­ity makes me want to move to Italy and design noth­ing but bath­rooms. The joy of mod­ern bath design, with a tra­di­tional twist. From Branchetti's Tan­teante Décor collection.

Seri­ous. Love. Ital­ian style.

bath­tas­tic, Ital­ian style

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Green and gorgeous — Project UDesign's Three finalists

The three final­ists have been cho­sen in Project UDesign! Via Face­book, vot­ers are "crowd sourc­ing" a new wing chair design from Cen­tury Fur­ni­ture. If you haven't heard about it, 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. Three final­ists remain in con­tention, with vot­ing open for the win­ning design on Face­book.

Project UDe­sign ends Octo­ber 19, so please vote soon on the new sus­tain­able wing chair design and show your sup­port for stu­dents of SCAD. The three final­ists include my per­sonal favorite: alifair.

For even more infor­ma­tion, see the video.

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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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