furniture

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Design

Minimalist Modular Systems Turn Walls Into Feline Playgrounds

May 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman, founders of CatastrophiCreations, design modular wall-mounted systems to keep cats active. Parents of humans and pets alike (myself included) are all too familiar with the trip hazard of toys scattered on the floor. Wilson and Hanneman move the activity zone to the wall with vertical playgrounds that allow cats to climb, jump, scratch, and even tip-toe across swinging bridges. Eschewing bright colors and plastic materials, the designers use solid wood, hidden brackets, and canvas to create more subtle and sustainable products. You can learn more about the the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based business in an interview and factory tour on Etsy’s blog. Check out their range of products, from the Thunderdome to the Temple Complex, in their online store.

 

 



Design

Fasten Seat Belt Sign Not Included: New Furniture Designed Using Retired Aircraft Parts by Plane Industries

May 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In 2016, Plane Industries (formerly Fallen Furniture) debuted a massive chair made using a reclaimed cowling from a Boeing 737 airplane engine. Over the last three years, the small UK-based company has continued to expand their array of furnishings and home goods that are designed and built with parts from civilian and military aircraft. Using exit doors, wheels, exhaust cones, and leading edge slats, Plane transforms them into functional lamps, tables, clocks, and chairs. Their newest design is the BAe 146 Cowling Chair, a smaller companion to the original 737 design.

Plane Industries was founded in 2012 and is led by two brothers who were inspired by their farmer father’s ethic of saving and repurposing materials. The team works out of a studio in Bath, England. See more from Plane Industries on Instagram and Facebook and shop the collection on their website.

 

 



Art

Chairs, Stools, and Coat Racks Carved into Raw Pieces of Wood by Alicja Kwade

March 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Achairisatreeisachair" (2017), image by Roman März

“Achairisatreeisachair” (2017), image by Roman März

Polish artist Alicja Kwade carves into tree trunks to create 3/4-formed stools and chairs that balance with the support of the unfinished segments of wood. The carved furniture would be simple in its construction if taken out of context, but in conjunction with the tree trunks the pieces exist in a liminal space between design object and source material. Kwade’s carved furniture is currently exhibited with Berlin-based König Galerie at the The Armory Show in New York through March 10, 2019. You can see more of her work, like these sculptural installations that create illusions with tree trunks and mirrors, on her website and Instagram.

Detail of "Achairisatreeisachair" (2017), image by Roman März

Detail of “Achairisatreeisachair” (2017), image by Roman März

"Ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker" (2017), photo by Roman März

“Ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker” (2017), photo by Roman März

"Astoolisastoolisastool" (2017), photo by Roman März

“Astoolisastoolisastool” (2017), photo by Roman März

"Astoolisastoolisastool" (2017), photo by Roman März

“Astoolisastoolisastool” (2017), photo by Roman März

Images via @koeniggalerie

Images via @koeniggalerie

"Ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker" (2017), photo by Roman März

“Ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker ist ein Barhocker” (2017), photo by Roman März

Current installation of Alicja Kwade's work at König Galerie's booth at the Armory Show in New York

Current installation of Alicja Kwade’s work at König Galerie’s booth at the Armory Show in New York

 

 



Design

Custom-Built Coffee Tables Constructed from Original Components of the Golden Gate Bridge

February 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Danielle Hankinson

Each rope that suspended San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge from 1935 to the 1970s was made of 229 individual strands arranged in a unique “lay” created at John A. Roeblin’s Sons Company in Trenton, New Jersey. Though these suspender ropes were retired about fifty years ago, the history and strength imbued in them lives on. Strands of History, a Tahoe City, California-based company founded in 2016, focuses on building functional items using the bridge’s original ropes, including a spectacular wood and steel coffee table.

Mary Zimmerman of the Strands of History team explains to Colossal that the company was able to verify the rope’s authenticity by reviewing the original schematics from the Roebling’s company. Every suspension bridge has ropes with a unique lay, which create a sort of finger print for the bridge’s materials.

Once a sufficient supply was in the hands of Strands of History, the company got to work determining a way to showcase the strength, beauty, and history of their chosen material. The incredibly strong rope weighs one pound per inch, and is so dense that only five cuts can be made before a fresh 14-inch abrasive blade is required. Strands of History brought in experts from Bushey Ironworks and Roundwood Furniture to help design the coffee table and wrangle the finicky raw materials. Bushey weighed in with forge welding techniques to stabilize the ropes, and Roundwood suggested a deeply striated Claro walnut wood that is about 80 years old.

In creating something new out of such storied materials, Zimmerman explains, “All of us that work on these projects are committed to the preservation of this historic steel. This required exploring various techniques to maintain [the rope’s] structural integrity, as well as to preserve the unique lay of the wire and its inherent beauty and attraction.”

You can take a look inside Strands of History’s workshop on Instagram, and learn more about their projects with the Golden Gate Bridge suspender ropes on the company’s website. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Design

What’s New Is Old Again: A Classic Norwegian Chair Produced with 100% Recycled Materials

February 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The newest chair by Nordic Comfort Products (NCP) is a unique and sustainable twist on an old classic. Their R-48 model has furnished schools and offices since the 1960s, but has previously required virgin plastic and a metal base. Their recent addition, the S-1500, was designed by international design firm Snøhetta, and is constructed from nothing new. The marbled green chair is composed of 100% recycled plastic sourced from local fish farming companies’ old fish nets, ropes, and pipes and a subframe made from recycled steel.

The design is a result of a two-year research project by Snøhetta to investigate plastic’s journey through the supply chain and see how it might be repurposed as a building material once it has served its original purpose. Typically NCP uses plastic from China to create their furniture. Their new chairs will create a local, circular economy which puts to use the worn out tools of neighboring businesses while also cutting down on fossil emissions from shipping materials internationally. The chair will be showcased at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair from February 5 to 9, 2019. You can see other ways Snøhetta is putting their plastic research to use on their website and Instagram. (via Fast Company)

 

 



Design

Wooden Credenzas and Cabinets Elegantly Open into Surprising Silhouettes

February 5, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Sebastian ErraZuriz (previously) creates functional storage pieces that double as elegant sculptures for his ongoing series Mechanical Cabinet. His credenzas, cabinets, and other units open in a myriad of creative ways, like a piece that fans out in four different directions, or an unassuming box which opens to reveal nearly two dozen drawers and a mirror.

“We tend to understand reality by constraining meaning into closed and simplified boxes defined by previous cultural conventions,” he explains in a press release for his current solo exhibition Breaking the Box at R & Company in New York City. “We live within these pre-established cognitive borders, where we only tend to see, recognize, and accept as true that which has been previously ordered and defined.” Breaking the Box is on view through March 9, 2019. You can see more of his designs on his website and Instagram.

      

 

 



Art

Secondhand Armchairs and Loveseats Reconstructed Into Dripping Multi-Media Sculptures by Nina Saunders

December 12, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Danish artist Nina Saunders creates sculptures that drip, tip, and spill what appears to be amorphous contents onto the ground, turning domestic objects of comfort and kitsch into sculptural pieces unintended for practical use. Her works typically involve secondhand furniture like armchairs and love seats, with the occasional melting piano thrown into her multi-media practice. Floral fabrics run from chair to floor, while the shiny black exterior of a piano seems to leak from its position on the balcony of a busy mall.

No matter what alteration Saunders makes to her collected furniture objects, they are always rendered unusable, with cushions ballooned to an abnormal proportion or legs leaning to an unnaturally slanted angle. Several of her works were included in the recent Hang-Up Collections Exhibition at Hang-Up Gallery in London alongside works by Banksy, David Shrigley, Bonnie and Clyde, and several others. You can see more of Saunders’ sculptural works on her website.

 

 

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