In Design Classics on October 31, 2011 at 9:38 pm
Image by pahlkadot
Traditional Christmas Charm Without a Trip to IKEA
Creator: Anderson & Boberg
Origin: Gefle, Sweden
Liking Ikea as we do, it may not be the quickest route to the simple, traditional Christmases of times past. The Swedish Angel Chimes however may offer a small taste of exactly that. Swedish Angel Chimes consist of a collection of carefully made brass parts which are easily and quickly assembled to make a candle powered table top mobile. A trio of cherub like angels describe a circle as they turn striking a pair or chimes to create a gentle ringing sound. The chimes were created in 1948 for a simpler, cleaner, well more Swedish aesthetic than seen in earlier German chimes based upon the same principle dating from 1906 and probably much earlier than that.
Until recently the chimes were still made at the original factory in the port of Gefle, Sweden and now are produced to the same specification in Turkey using the same equipment and processes. There are also many look a likes originating from China which are based on the same principle but don’t quite match the Swedish design of 1948. The design was popularized by Anderson & Boberg who continued production for over 60 years with only minor refinements to the original classic design.
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In Design Classics on October 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm
Fermob Bistro Folding Chair
Creator: Bernard Reybier
Origin: Thoissey, France
The Fermob Bistro chair is a folding outdoor chair made from powder coated steel available in wide range of modern and traditional colours. The chair was created in response to the need for a chair that was more easily mass produced and transported in the face of the increasing popularity of plastic garden furniture. The chairs are produced using modern fabrication techniques using ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly methods.
Although the original metal working shop was established in 1889 by a lone craftsman in Thoissey, specialising in the production of iron gates, production eventually moved to Saint-Didier-sur-Chalaronne under the direction of Bernard Reybier where the Bistro chair was made on a greater scale using mass production techniques but still in a traditional style using traditional techniques and materials. The success of the Bistro chair has allowed this iconic design to be produced indigenously in France for an increasing numbers of customers further and further a field with large numbers of chairs being exported around the world most notably for Times Square and Harvard University in the United states. Popularity is due to further grow since the Bistro chair is long lasting, completely recyclable and is undeniably chic.
In Design Classics on August 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm
Wall Clock with Balls
Creator: George Nelson
Origin: Zeeland, Michigan, USA.
Well if you have any kind of affection for the optimism of the fifties and it’s cheerful, futuristic designs then you’ll love the Nelson Ball clock. The technicolored wooden balls cast interesting shadows and the hands are bold and playful, almost cartoon like in style. The clock looks as though it might have been taken from a scene from a ‘Jetsons’ episode but the colors are harmonious and the design simple enough to look great in most modern interiors. The ball clock is said to have been created after catching the eye of George Nelson who discovered a sketch of the design after a dinner party attended by fellow designers Isamu Noguchi, Harper Irving and Buckminster Fuller any of whom might have had the original inspiration for the ball clock.
The Nelson Ball clock first went into production in 1948 in Zeeland, Michigan, USA and is now manufactured to the original specification under license in Poland by Vitra. George Nelson was an award winning architect and writer and is said to have started his architectural and design career after ducking in to the architecture department building during a heavy rain shower while an undergraduate at Yale University.
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In Design Classics on August 9, 2011 at 3:55 am
Big Box Sound on a Bookshelf
Creator: Dr. Amar G. Bose
Origin: Massacussetts, USA.
Today’s design classic was inspired by a recent visit to a Polish community picnic on Cape Cod. The music was full, loud and clear and despite lively conversation and a torrential downpour (covered picnic) the sound came from a single table top Bose wave radio. These distinctive bow fronted radios have a unique ‘folded organ pipe’ arrangement inside which gives a surprisingly solid sound from such a simple, elegant compact enclosure. The Wave radio was introduced as a more zen alternative to the overly high tech sound systems of the 80s and 90s.
The wave system was first made available in a table top radio in 1993 and now comes in a variety of configurations but in the same classic enclosure. Dr. Amar G. Bose has remained inspirational throughout the company’s history. Bose started out in high school repairing radios and after gaining a PhD from MIT, winning contracts with the US government and NASA he is now honored by providing state of the art sound systems for no less than the Cistine Chapel in Rome.
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In Design Classics on August 8, 2011 at 3:05 am
Sperry Top-Siders Boat Shoes
Creator: Paul Sperry
Origin: Connecticut, USA.
Well I’ve always liked boat shoes and couldn’t pass up a visit to the sea faring, North East coast of the US without picking up a pair of the authentic original Sperry Top-Siders. The distinctive moccasin style, with chunky leather laces and metallic eyelets are instantly recognisable but it wasn’t until I got them home and looked at them more closely that I started thinking about what made them so successful in the first place. At first glance the soles seem to have nothing but a lightly textured rubber surface just like carpet slippers and only when you flex them do you see a very fine herringbone pattern of slits appear. This novel design came about as a solution to slippery decks and was inspired by the patterned paw pads of his pet spaniel ‘Prince’. The slits are individually razor cut to achieve the necessary fineness.
The first shoes were produced by Sperry in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1935 for sailing enthusiasts, then Abercrombie & Fitch and then the US Navy and now for people from all walks of life and all around the globe.
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