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8/15/2017 1:38:00 PM  

 

Ettore Sottsass (1917 – 2007) would have turned 100 this year. In honor of this occasion, a number of museums and galleries have mounted retrospectives that explore Sottsass’ illustrious career over five decades as both an architect and product designer. Many of Sottsass’ designs are still in production for several manufacturers that Switch Modern represents – Alessi, BD Barcelona, Bitossi, Glas Italia, Kartell, and Zanotta. Throughout the remainder of the year, we thought our blog would be a great medium with which to explore various aspects of the objects developed for each of these brands. Today, we highlight the early part of Sottsass’ collaboration with Alessi in the late 1970s.

Along with several architects and designers in the 1970s – Franco Sargiani + Eija Helander, Alessandro Mendini, Richard Sapper, Riccardo Dalisi – Sottsass helped transform this Italian stainless steel manufacturer into Alberto Alessi’s vision of a “Design Factory.” While Sottsass started producing objects with Alessi in the 1970s, he continued to develop tabletop designs for Alessi in porcelain, wood, plastic, and metal throughout the 1980s and 1990s. His designs from the late 1970s are still in production today and are now considered icons.

 

1978: Sottsass develops an extraordinary range of tableware accessories – each piece like a small piece of architecture. The designer’s oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper shakers all feature a cylindrical form in thick, clear glass with caps in polished stainless steel akin to domes. In addition to the hugely popular 5070 set, Sottsass also created the 5071 parmesan cheese cellar and 5073 condiment set. Each of the components with each of these sets is also available separately – well-weighted cradle bases in polished stainless steel were developed for all of the sets allowing the user to easily move/present/place the group on a surface.

 

1979: In conjunction with Alberto Gozzi, Sottsass undertakes Alessi’s Programma 5 that carefully considers tools associated with preparing and serving cocktails, wine, and champagne. All of the resulting objects become some of the most popular barware pieces that Alessi produces. The forms of the various ice buckets are striking in their simplicity… the 5051 was designed for ice; the 5052 (available in two sizes) was designed to function as a wine or champagne cooler. While these can be used independently, they become uber-luxe when paired with the 5059 stand – a profoundly elegant piece that can be used adjacent to a table – moreover, in any interior where you would like to have easy access to an open bottle of champagne. Objects for the bar were also developed – the 5050 Boston cocktail shaker, 5053 strainer, 5054 stirrer, and 5055 ice tongs. Not only is each piece a beautiful object; each functions perfectly. The two-piece 5050 Boston shaker features a stainless base with a glass repository that is inverted to snugly fit within the base when shaking a cocktail. Using this piece is profoundly sensorial – not only does the transparent glass reveal the colors of the various liquors and mixers, the varying sounds of ice striking the stainless and glass creates a “symphony” in anticipation of that delicious libation. Bottle/drink coasters and a round tray in two sizes completed Programma 5.

We hope that you’ll check out all of the amazing Sottsass designs for Alessi that we show and stock in our Atlanta Alessi store – and, of course, all are also available at switchmodern.com. Stay tuned for additional blogs about Ettore Sottsass’ work for several other manufacturers.




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8/12/2017 10:17:00 AM  

 

As part of a tribute to Ettore Sottsass (1917 – 2007), Kartell has created a collection of designs that take their inspiration from the graphics and forms pioneered by the designer through the Memphis Movement in the 1980s. In addition to offering historic, graphic textiles by both Ettore Sottsass and Nathalie du Pasquier on many of Kartell’s extant upholstered designs like Philippe Starck’s Mademoiselle chair and Piero Lissoni’s Trix daybed, Kartell put into production for the first time three of Sottsass’ designs. The Calice vase along with the Colonna and Pilastro tables/stools are exciting Kartell additions. All were designed by Ettore Sottsass in 2004/2005 and were posthumously placed into serial production by the Italian manufacturer in 2015.

 

Sottsass’ Pilastro and Colonna tables are perfect as occasional/side tables or impromptu stools, these also look great when presented as a cluster in front of a sofa.

 

Pilastro is reminiscent of Sottsass’ totemic sculptures with their tubular rings organized around a columnar form. Each of the five colors – black, green, pink, purple, and red – all sport a fabulous interplay of glossy and matte surface treatment.

At almost 19” in height, the Calice vase will certainly have great visual impact on any surface where it is placed. Its assemblage of “vertical steps,” integrated truncated column, and exaggerated base footprint are all elements that figure prominently in several of Ettore Sottsass’ designs.

Like the Pilastro table/stool and Calice vase, Colonna is also available in five different colors. Ideal as occasional tables or stools – their vertical flutes engender a mesmerizing optical effect.

Philippe Starck’s Mademoiselle chair (2001) is now offered in several textile patterns that Sottsass designed in the early 1980s – iconic Letraset, frenetic Schizzo, and criss-crossed Rete – each textile is available in three colorways. Also offered is Nathalie du Pasquier’s 1981 Burundi pattern for Memphis – its available in two colorways. With any of these new Mademoiselle upholstery options, one can select the chair’s polycarbonate frame in glossy black or transparent.

 

Piero Lissoni’s Trix daybed (2006) has never looked as engaging as it does in Sottsass’ iconic Letraset textile. Sottsass developed the Letraset pattern in 1981 – Kartell now offers this textile in three colorways for Trix (shown here in vibrant fuchsia).

In addition to the aforementioned designs, Piero Lissoni’s Audrey chair as well as his Pop and Plastics Duo collection of lounge chair and sofas are available in all of the Sottsass textiles. Patricia Urquiola’s Foliage lounge chair and settee are available in Nathalie du Pasquier’s Burundi textiles. For more information about these new Sottsass designs or any of the other Kartell pieces that are now available in these engaging textiles that pay homage to Memphis, please contact us at 404-605-0196 or info@switchmodern.com




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8/9/2017 10:01:00 AM  

 

Tetra wall sconce, Émilie Cathelineau, CVL Lighting / CVL Luminaires Contract, France. Left photo: A dramatic installation of Tetra sconces – eight were used to create each of these flanking “wreath” forms. Right photo: Tetra used as a single wall sconce.

The Tetra wall sconce gets its moniker from its formal geometric shape… the tetrahedron. Its four-sided form is composed of an integrated back plate that affixes to the wall or ceiling along with three visible sides – two are composed of solid brass and one of opaque polycarbonate that functions as diffuser. Tetra is offered in choice of four finishes including graphite, nickel, brass, or copper – all versions are available in polished or satin finish.

Nekayah Snider, Switch Modern’s Outside/Contract Sales Representative, remarked that “Tetra always receives an enthusiastic response whenever I present this sconce to architects and designers – its unexpected and engaging form makes it an excellent choice for hospitality interiors."

 

Tetra can be configured to create a number of engaging installations. Left photo: Five Tetra are installed with partially touching sides. Right photo: This group of six Tetra touch sides at the lowermost part of the installation and then are presented as if they are visually “breaking away” from the others. When the sconces are presented as adjacent, up to five sconces can share the same power source.

 

Left photo: Tetra can be used independently as a single source of illumination or presented in multiples to create striking assemblages of illumination. Right photo: Organized like an “illuminated wreath,” this installation of eight Tetra sconces creates an octagonal reveal on the wall or ceiling.

 

The designer working on this project specified a Tetra sconce at each end of the bed’s headboard in all of the hotel rooms – these not only provide illumination but function as sculptural punctuation within the wall’s expanse.

 

 

CVL Lighting / CVL Luminaires Contract has provided some line drawings of the most popular Tetra sconce installations.

Switch Modern recently started representing CVL Lighting / CVL Contract Luminaires in the United States. All of the manufacturer’s designs are meticulously hand-crafted in France; all are UL-approved making them ideal for either residential or commercial applications. For more information about the Tetra sconce or any of the manufacturer’s designs that Switch Modern presents, please contact us at 404-605-0196 or info@switchmodern.com




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8/7/2017 12:16:00 PM  

 

The WEEK-END Collection of outdoor furnishings designed by Studio Brichet Ziegler was recently introduced by French manufacturer and editor, Petite Friture. A comprehensive collection that includes dining chairs with or without arms, dining and bar-height tables of varying sizes, coffee and occasional tables, stool, lounge chair, bench, chaise longue, and even a child’s table and chair.

 

While slatted aluminum seating and surfaces for outdoor use have existed in various forms for decades, the designers, Pierre Brichet and Caroline Ziegler, have re-imagined these in a fabulously engaging way through their WEEK-END Collection. Slats are organized both vertically and horizontally within the same piece infusing the resulting form with an unexpected levity. The horizontally-oriented slats forming the upper portion of the backrest are objectified within an ellipse-shaped perimeter.

 

The entire collection is available with a choice of nine UV-resistant painted color finishes. Upper row (left to right): anthracite, white, blue, burgundy, and brown. Lower row (left to right): gray, yellow, black, and gold.

Switch Modern has recently started representing Petite Friture. We invite you to peruse some of the recent additions to our website. For more information about the WEEK-END Collection, or if there is a particular piece from this French manufacturer in which you are interested, please contact us at 404-605-0196 or info@switchmodern.com




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8/2/2017 11:10:00 AM  

 

 


Switch Modern is having a summer sale on all Bitossi designs… all stocked pieces are 25% off throughout the month of August. A great opportunity to treat yourself to an object produced by one of Italy’s most celebrated potteries. And… get a leg up on annual holiday giving by selecting a perfect gift for the pottery lover on this year’s list.

 


Left photo: Benjamin Hubert’s Seam vessels were introduced in 2014. An extraordinary pottery range that is characterized by its visible “seams” that are treated as compositional design elements. These vertical “seams” are created during the slip-casting process and, rather than being “fettled” or trimmed off the piece, they are celebrated. Each vessel sports a sophisticated combination of interior and exterior matte finish glazes. Right photo: Design maestro and architect, Ettore Sottsass, started collaborating with Bitossi in the 1950s creating a fabulously graphic line of vessels – noted here are the designer’s Chalice and Reel – each is in stock and discounted 25% throughout August.

 


Aldo Londi, Bitossi’s creative director for several decades, not only pioneered a range of forms but innovative glazes including his much-loved Rimini Blu. This glaze is available on an extensive range of vessels and containers as well as the potter’s prized abstracted animal sculptures.

Thru 8/31, all Bitossi prices have been adjusted on the website to reflect a 25% discount from the regular retail price. All orders outside of Georgia ship tax free; shipping is complimentary on all orders. Again, all pieces are in stock and they will go quickly… if you would like to double-check inventory before placing an order, please feel free to give us a call at 404-605-0196 or e-mail us at bitossi@switchmodern.com.




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8/1/2017 2:45:00 PM  

 

The Poliform Dama table or stool is the perfect anywhere surface. Its cylindrical base tapers inwardly as it approaches the top – akin to being “cinched,” it cants sharply outward to define the top. The Dama table’s slightly concave surface makes it comfortable for use a stool yet it can also do double duty as an impromptu table.

 

The Dama stool is fabricated with a choice of Canaletto walnut or cedar wood. Given the inherent natural properties of the latter, Dama will sport knots and irregular cracks that become an engaging component of the table/stool’s aesthetic. A concealed, integrated metal plate located on the underside of the form ever so slightly elevates the table/stool above the surface on which it rests – this design element provides tremendous visual interest.

 

In addition to the natural Canaletto walnut and cedar wood versions, Dama is also available in a range of finishes – a staggering 27 different matte colors and 19 glossy lacquer options. Dama is also offered with two different footprint diameters – 13.5” for solid wood and 15” for painted finish – each version is 18” height. Dama looks amazing when used independently; it also is extraordinary when presented as a cluster in front of a sofa or sectional. Need it fast? The natural cedar version of Dama is available as part of our Quickship program.

For more information about the Poliform Dama table or stool, please contact us at 404-605-0196 or e-mail us at info@switchmodern.com




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7/27/2017 9:13:00 AM  

 

The Seletti Linea lamp designed by Alessandro Zambelli is yet another playful, “illuminating” design from this Italian manufacturer. Clearly paying homage to American minimalist artist Dan Flavin’s contextual exploration of space with tubular fluorescent bulbs in the 1960s, Seletti has created a versatile tube of light that can be leaned against, mounted to, or hung on a wall, rest on a surface or the floor, or even be presented upright with the addition of a modular base.

 

The Linea lamp is available in a choice of six colors – green, pink, red, blue, white, or yellow. As this image illustrates, even the color of each power cord coordinates with the color of the tube. Each Linea lamp’s tube color is juxtaposed with light, natural wood that forms cylindrical encasements that are located on the top and bottom of each tube.

 

Left photo: Each Linea lamp features an integrated looped tab that allows the user to hang the lamp from a wall or ceiling. Flexible plastic cradle mounts/brackets are also included should the user desire to affix the lamp to the wall at a gravity-defying angle. Right photo: An optional, cruciform-shaped wooden base is available separately should the user wish to create a free-standing floor lamp.

These “light tubes” are fun and allow tremendous flexibility for presentation in clever ways. Imagine several of these suspended from a ceiling, a pair presented across each other on the floor, an arrangement mounted at different angles on a wall… perhaps even a “grove” of free-standing floor lamps. All colors of the Linea lamp including the optional base are available to order online or through Switch Modern’s Atlanta showroom. For more information about Linea or any piece within Seletti’s extensive range, please contact us at 404-605-0196 or info@switchmodern.com




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7/25/2017 12:41:00 PM  

 

Sun wall sconce, Émilie Cathelineau, CVL Lighting / CVL Luminaires Contract, France. Part of the designer’s Earth collection that features six new wall sconce designs. Illustrated here is the Sun version with an engaging pattern of radiating linear perforations – each in varying lengths and culminating in a circle of varying diameters.

The Earth wall sconce collection from CVL Lighting / CVL Luminaires Contract, France, was recently created by Émilie Cathelineau and sports six different designs – Sober, Radian, Sun, Mandala, Palm, and Turtle. All feature a disc form – most with decorative perforations that diffuse light in spectacular ways. Many of the Earth sconces are available in two sizes.

 

The Earth wall sconce collection is available in several satin finishes – brass, nickel, copper, and graphite – noted here are magnified images of each of the six different designs illustrating their respective decorative perforations.

 

Radian wall sconce, Émilie Cathelineau, CVL Lighting / CVL Luminaires Contract, France. With perforations that mimic a fan, Radian creates a fabulous interplay of light and shadow.

 

Sober wall sconce, Émilie Cathelineau, CVL Lighting / CVL Luminaires Contract, France. As its name suggests, Sober is the only example within the Earth collection that does not feature disc perforations – this sconce diffuses light in a uniform fashion around the disc perimeter.

Switch Modern has recently started representing CVL Lighting / CVL Luminaires Contract in the United States. All of the manufacturer’s designs are meticulously hand-crafted in France; all are UL-approved making them ideal for either residential or commercial applications. For more information about any of the wall sconces in CVL’s Earth collection or any of the other CVL Lighting / CVL Luminaires Contract designs that Switch Modern presents, please contact us at 404-605-0196 or info@switchmodern.com




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7/20/2017 7:57:00 AM  

 

Groundpiece sectional, Antonio Citterio, Flexform, 2001. Since its introduction, Groundpiece has been one of Flexform’s most popular seating systems.

Many of the European brands that Switch Modern represents use tailor-made upholstery covers that are cleverly affixed to the upholstered form’s structure and cushions. Several sofas, sectionals, beds, and lounge chairs from a range of manufacturers – Bensen, Flexform, Giorgetti, Poliform, Walter Knoll, and Zanotta – all provide replacement covers for most pieces within their respective collections. Most even still produce these replacement covers for designs that have long been out of production. At a fraction of the cost of what a new example of the same piece would cost, new replacement upholstery covers represent a wonderful way to renew and refresh an existing piece that you’ve enjoyed over the years while protecting your long-term investment.

 

In addition to Groundpiece, the Flexform Patrik sofa shown in this print ad from 1985 was popular for years. You always loved the upholstery on this piece but perhaps your adorable pets also “loved” Patrik’s original upholstery way too much? Regardless of when they were purchased, all Flexform furniture pieces were an investment worthy of protecting by simply refreshing these pieces with new upholstery recovers.

 

 

Upper photo: Neo Sectional and Neo Sofa, Bensen, 1998. Lower photo: Canyon sectional seating system, Bensen, 2002. Designed by Niels Bendsten, the Neo and Canyon seating ranges have been popular since their respective introductions. Allright… you’ve become tired of that late 1990s fashion color upholstery that you originally ordered but you still really enjoy the comfort and look of these sectionals… replacement covers are the answer.

 

The Onto bed designed by Niels Bendsten in 1996 has been a Bensen classic for two decades… you still love the form and associated ergonomics but have become tired of the way the upholstered headboard looks after 15 years. It’s so easy to simply keep the bed and just order replacements covers. Swapping these out is easy and your bed will look and feel new again.

 

The iconic Gilda lounge chair (1954) and Sacco chair (1968) have been produced for years by Zanotta. Replacement covers are available for all upholstered Zanotta designs at a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire piece.

Whether your piece is still in production or now long out-of-production, all were designed with removable upholstery to not only enable periodic cleaning of the textile covers, but to actually change it up when you desire something different – color, pattern, or texture. Switch Modern provides quotations on a regular basis for replacement covers for various manufacturers that we represent. Please contact us at 404-605-0196 or info@switchmodern.com to get a quotation as well as review current textile options available.




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7/18/2017 8:31:00 AM  

 

Lucellino LED lamp, Ingo Maurer, Germany, 1992/2015. This design icon from the early 1990s is one of Ingo Maurer’s best known lighting designs. Its name is a clever portmanteau – in Italian, “luce” means light and “uccellino” translates as little bird. Its form is quite literally a proprietary light bulb with affixed hand-crafted goose feather wings that has been “tethered” to its thin brass flexible support wire support and soldered to its thin red power cord. The base plate of Lucellino LED is equipped with a touch sensor for switching and continuous dimming. Lucellino is included in the permanent collections of several museums worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

 

With Lucellino, Ingo Maurer’s treatment of the bulb form is an integral part of the lamp’s overall aesthetic. Employing elaborate LED technology that was developed collaboratively by Ingo Maurer and Toshiba Materials, the goal was to update Lucellino by creating an LED bulb form that mimics the aesthetics associated with the frosted bulb of the original design yet also dims like an incandescent bulb. The resulting TRI-R bulb is a technological masterpiece and is difficult to distinguish from the bulb used in the lamp’s original design. It’s manufactured exclusively for Ingo Maurer and can only be used in Lucellino LED. Left photo from Ingo Maurer illustrates the first batch of Lucellino LED lamps being produced.

 

Delight lamp, Frans van Nieuwenborg and Martijn Wegman, Ingo Maurer, Germany, 1980. Like Lucellino, this fabulously conceptual design is another Ingo Maurer icon. Delight is such a simple, clever piece… it features a special heat-resistant white fiberglass square cIoth with an integrated bulb socket in the center around which the soft cloth with its luxe woven subtle shimmer can be “draped” in various ways by the user to create an “illuminated object” – functioning in this photo as a table lamp.

 

With its integrated loop tab on one side, Delight can also be hung on a wall functioning like a sconce – gravity also assists with the way in which the cloth drapes. For many years, the manufacturer recommended a frosted incandescent 40 watt E27 base bulb for use with the lamp. With the advent of LED technology, clearly other bulb options (and associated resulting aesthetics) are now available. Delight is included in the permanent collections of several museums worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Switch Modern has just started adding Ingo Maurer lighting designs to its website. For more information about either Lucellino LED or Delight as well as any other extraordinary lamp manufactured by Ingo Maurer, please contact us at 404-605-0196 or info@switchmodern.com




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Recent Posts
Alessi + Sottsass: Iconic Design in the Late 1970s
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Kartell Goes Sottass: A Tribute to Memphis
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CVL Lighting: Tetra Wall Sconce
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Petite Friture: WEEK-END Collection
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Bitossi Sale: 25% Off in August
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Poliform: Dama Table or Stool
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Seletti Linea Lamp
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CVL Lighting – Earth Wall Sconces
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Replacement Covers… Bensen, Flexform, Giorgetti, Poliform, Walter Knoll, Zanotta
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Ingo Maurer Lucellino LED + Delight Lamps
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