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Entries in design (18)

Monday
Jun102013

guerrilla truck show: chicago

What: The 9th Annual Guerrilla Truck Show
When: Tuesday, June 11 from 5:30-9:30pm
Where: West Fulton Market

guerrilla: a small independent group of product, furniture designers and artisans that band together to provide an innovative venue to vent their ideas and creativity.

For “Chicago’s Annual One Night Art & Design Event”, local and independent artists and designers will be taking to West Fulton Market once again.

Every summer during Neocon, Morlen Sinoway Atelier hosts the show as a platform for creatives to showcase their work in a very temporary gallery—within the back of a truck.

What started with 13 U-Haul trucks, has expanded to both temporary and permanent indoor spaces—everything from furniture and lighting to metal and theatre fabrications should be un-expected.

photos courtesy of: facebook.com/guerrilla_truck_show

Friday
Sep072012

how it's made: the fleet chair

We first met designer and woodworker Jason Lewis in 2007 at the Guerrilla Truck Show in Chicago. Coinciding with Neocon, the show has become an annual event where local designers, artists and craftspeople exhibit their work within a small moving truck—which purposely line up with the elevated sidewalks of the Fulton Market district.

Jason’s skills as a designer and craftsman were evident in the furniture pieces he showed—including the original wood version of the fleet chair which has been in his portfolio since about 2001. At the time we were without a qualified source to mass produce the chair in the quantities we needed, so while we weren’t able to work with Jason immediately, we knew a good thing when we saw it so we kept it in mind and kept his business card handy.

In 2009, when the opportunity presented itself to mass produce the wood version, we revisited Jason’s workshop—blocks from our new offices—to see which of his designs would be best to pursue. Soon after the idea sparked to reconsider all metal fleet chairs.

Originally inspired by his idea to mirror the elegantly curved back within the seat, the design was easy to envision in metal—including second and third versions in yellow and orange powder-coated metal.

And while the wood version is hand-crafted with mortise and tenon joinery, production of the metal version—as shown below—requires an almost equal amount of hands-on time and level of expertise.

Wednesday
Aug082012

how it's made: specs trefoil chair

Although we’ve collaborated with designer
Liora Manne on many rugs, placemats, pillows and coasters, the specs trefoil chair is our first furniture piece using her signature Lamontage® fabric.

Not familiar with the patented process? First, light colored fabrics resembling cotton puffs are blended by hand to form the marbled-looking yellow, blue and green of the trefoil pattern.

Once matted, each marbled color is cut into trefoil shaped tiles. The artists then layout the colored tiles on top of the rich base which will form the darker “grout” in-between the tiles.

The tiles are then fixed to the base by a needle punching process that entangles the fibers and forms the finished fabric.

When the fabric is finished, it’s sent to the factory for the upholsterer to build the benchmade specs chair and cover it with the exclusive trefoil fabric.

To see how benchmade upholstery is made,
go here.

Monday
Jul162012

the making of: the family rug

First, recipes are prepared which will dye the natural wool to match specified colors.

Bunches of spun yarn are then loaded into a dyeing cabinet—boiling water is added along with the dye coloring—for 3-4 hours of dyeing time. Yarns are ready for tufting after drying in both a machine and warm sunlight.

Next, heavy cotton canvas—which will be the back of the rug—is stretched and nailed to an iron frame.

The pattern design is then transferred to the stretched cotton with the use of stencils—which leave outline markings for tufters to follow.

Since the pattern of the family rug is fairly graphic—using a lot of straight lines and blocks of colors—tufting is much like coloring in the lines while kneeling on the floor…or balancing on a scaffold for the larger 8x10’ version.

Tufting is the process of punching the yarns with a hand-tool through the canvas and back to create the pile—much like blades grass which stand up through soil.

When the entire rug is completely tufted, liquid latex is painted onto the backing which will help hold the weavings in place. Once dried in natural sunlight, the rug is removed from the iron frame, the edges are cut, rolled and stitched under.

And even though the pile is trimmed to an even length by a machine, well trained eyes ‘knit pick’ loose yarns with scissors and skilled hands. Finally, each rug is inspected, rolled and packed for shipping.

Thursday
May032012

meet us: robert and cortney novogratz

How did you meet?
We met at a party in Charlotte NC.
Love at first sight.

You both come from families very similar to your own-big and design oriented-do you see your kids becoming a third generation?
Def. we hope it will become a family business. Since we are so hands on with our kids, and work out of our homes, the kids are definitely exposed to our fun, creative and crazy world.

With a large, active family and a growing business, how do you stay organized?
It’s organized chaos but organized. We are doers and get things done.

What’s your favorite room in your house?
The kitchen.

Where is your favorite place in the world and are there any destinations on your wish list?
Paris. We love big urban cities…would love to go to Capetown. and Tokyo.

Do you have an absolute favorite find from your world travels or local treasure hunts?
And which one do you most regret NOT purchasing?
A vintage foosball table from Italy. Few regrets as we enjoy the hunt.

What inspires you?
Our children.

Which has more influence on a project—the architecture or the people who live there?
People—every home should be a direct reflection of the people who live there. From their personalities to the way they live—a project is most influenced by its inhabitants.

Do you have a favorite architect?
Frank Gehry—we love his work because he balances art, sculpture and architecture in a way nobody else has. The second you lay eyes on a Gehry building, you know he designed it.

If you could Novogratz absolutely anyone’s home—whose would it be?
The White House. We love the history of the home and all of the amazing people who have lived there before, but we would love to make it more fun and better reflect the Obama family.

What are your favorite and least favorite colors?
Love all colors. Don’t like tones like beige.

Why did you want to work with CB2?
The people—it’s a big family too!

Do you have one low-budget decorating tip?
Paint can transform a space.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t take your success—or your failures—too seriously.

To see all of the Novogratz’s current designs for CB2, go here.