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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.

Friday
Aug172012

designer profile: sean dare

What are your sources of inspiration?
The everyday! Nature, Friends, Family. Architecture, Materials, Processes, the Past and Present.

What are your interests outside of design?
Family, music, arts, film, water sports.

Form vs. function?
A harmonious balance is ideal….

What one item do you wish you owned?
The patent to the water powered engine.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
What a great question! I think it would have to be something that has made a ‘real’ difference, something like a cardiac pacemaker or artificial limbs.

Who are you design icons?
Charlotte Perriand, Vladimir Kagan, Hans Wegner, Carlo Mollino, Dieter Rams, Marc Newson the list could go on and on!

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
It has to be our house.

Where was your favorite place to live?
My hometown of Brighton is one of my favourites, that’s why I am still here! There’s such a diverse mix of culture, arts, history and beautiful scenery—from the beach to the rolling hills of the Sussex downs.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
It changes! We redecorate our house every couple of years and with each fresh approach my favourite room changes. Currently its the bedroom, We have just painted the wall behind the bed in an ochre yellow and added my newly designed Walnut and Maple bedframe. The tones of the Walnut and Maple work beautifully with the yellow.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Do it yourself! Painting is easy and fun. Don’t pay people to do it if you can do it yourself.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
If you never try, you’ll never know!

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

Friday
Aug102012

meet us: jason lewis

Where’s your favorite place to live?
Chicago.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
I don’t think I have a favorite room, they are all in a tie for third place.

What are your sources of inspiration?
I do get inspiration from other furniture, buildings, objects—I think a lot of my desire to design and build things comes from an appreciation of things other people have built.

What do you drive?
A sweet 2011 Mazda.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A dishwasher.

What are your interests outside of design?
Books, movies, television. Mostly hanging out with my kids, pretty much anything I do in my free time has to also be entertaining to a 4 and 5 year old.

Who are your design icons?
the Eames, Hans Wegner, Sam Maloof, Finn Juhl, George Nelson, Paul Mccobb,  I could keep going.

Form vs. function?
I will cheat and say both.

What’s your personal decorating style?
Do you mean the decorating style I would like to have, or the decorating style that I actually have?

What’s your favorite element/possession?
An Eames bent plywood chair that was in my grandparent’s house. The first piece of furniture that I really noticed as something other than an object in the background.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Being able to do something I enjoy for a living.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Clean up the house.

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

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.

Friday
Jul202012

designer profile: mermelada estudio

Mermelada Estudio:
Juanmi Júarez, Alex Estévez, and Laura Blasco
Where was your favorite place to live?
Barcelona. We love our city, the people, the weather and the food.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We all have a terrace in our apartments and it is our favourite place. We love host parties there and bring our friends over.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
There are many. If we had to choose one, it would be the Eames Fiberglass Chairs because of their importance in the history of design.

How do you get around?
Laura rides a Vespa, Juanmi a Ducati and Alex a bicycle.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Laura wishes she had a greenhouse, while Juanmi´s wish list is too long to put it here. Alex covets a house in Cap de Creus in Northern Catalonia, one of the most beautiful places in the world—Salvador Dalí had a villa there.

What are your interests outside of design?
Laura loves shoes, Juanmi fancies cars and motorcycles and Alex enjoys acting—right now he is working on a play.

Who are you design icons?
We have many, but if we had to name one it would be Tappio Wirkkala.

Form vs. function?
Form together with function. We do not think of these two as opposites.

What is your personal decorating style?
We love to mix contemporary design pieces with vintage furniture and traditional objects from all around the world. We really treasure handmade objects.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
Laura’s favourite possession is a coat hanger from her gran, Juanmi’s a Lladró special edition of a porcelain Ford Fiesta from the seventies and Alex’s a watch from his grandpa.

What’s your biggest indulgence?
It has to be breakfast. Every time we have the chance we have breakfast in the studio with friends, other designers, artists, neighbours, clients… they are always welcome to our table.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
“There is no place where success comes before work, except in the dictionary.” which is commonly attributed to Donald Kendall, the co-founder of PepsiCo®.

To see all of Mermelada Estudio’s current designs for CB2, go here.

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