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4/28/2017 12:28:00 PM  

 

 


Bensen’s Sleeper designed by Niels Bendtsen is not your ordinary “sofa bed.” What we love about this piece is that it’s simply a great-looking minimalist, low-profile sofa design with clean lines and tailored details. With a form that effortlessly blends within any interior, Bensen’s Sleeper sofa functions beautifully for sitting and relaxing yet easily converts into an impromptu, comfortable single bed whenever you need one.

 

 


Bensen’s impetus for the design was that “conventional sofa beds involve complex, heavy systems of springs and levers that require several motions or placements – the result is inadequate spring suspension and poor cushioning that compromises comfort in sleeping or sitting. What differentiates the Sleeper from other sofa beds is that the fully supported foam seat and back changes position in one smooth motion.”

 

 

 


Sleeper features a welded steel frame that not only provides internal strength but creates a relative levity compared to wood for ease in moving the piece. The padding is composed of high-resilience foam that has been layered in various densities. Niels Bendtsen developed a unique pivoting system that uses gravity and Sleeper’s own weight to lock itself into place, allowing for an effortless transition from a sofa to a bed. Expertly tailored upholstery is available in a wide range of Danish and Italian textiles that Bensen fabricates as removable covers – all with precisely integrated Velcro that affixes perfectly to the form. These removable covers are ideal for periodic cleaning and can easily be replaced to change up the color and texture while retaining your investment in the sofa.




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By John
4/27/2017 7:56:00 AM  

 

 
Moooi Blown Away

 


Swedish design collective, Front, metaphorically “blew us away” with their Blow Away vase for Moooi, Netherlands, that expertly marries the centuries old tradition of Delftware (white and blue tin-glazed Dutch earthenware) with 21st century technology to enable its remarkable form.


 

  

 


Front approached its Blow Away design by converting the physical form of a Delftware vase into a digitized 3D file and then subjected this now “virtual vase” to simulated wind in order to capture its resulting aesthetic. By freezing this animation, they were able to convert this virtually engendered form into an actual Delftware vase mold that appears to have wind gushing through it – Blow Away is the physical manifestation of a virtual moment. These newly formed mold parameters afforded the mechanism for serially producing the vase. Royal Delft, the legendary Dutch pottery founded in 1653, fabricates Blow Away for Moooi; as with all of Royal Delft’s pieces, each example is hand-decorated.


 

  

 


Given the inherent design significance of this piece, Switch Modern donated an example of Blow Away to Atlanta’s High Museum of Art for its permanent collection of decorative arts and design.




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By Doug
4/26/2017 8:12:00 AM  

 

CVL Luminaires

 


Calée is an engaging and luxe collection of lighting from French manufacturer CVL Luminaires Contract that was recently designed by Pool, the Paris-based creative studio of Léa Padovani and Sébastien Kieffer. The Calée Collection includes several lighting typologies – table, floor, as well as pendant and wall sconce versions.


 

  

 


Each of the Calée forms is an atypical combination of brass or copper cylindrical, square, or rectilinear aspects in various sizes that have been expressed in striking combinations of matte, polished, or graphite finishes. The ways in which the designers have both assembled and dramatically punctuated these juxtapositional forms engenders a visual precariousness – yet, ironically, it is this precisely engineered “imbalance” that ultimately ensures the stability of each shape. Calée’s resulting forms are a fabulous pastiche of Art Deco elements coupled with the aesthetics of enigmatic structural assemblage and visual imbalance associated with early postmodern design in the 1980s.


 

  

 


Switch Modern has recently started representing CVL Luminaires Contract in the United States. All of the manufacturer’s designs are meticulously hand-crafted in France; most are UL-approved making them ideal for either residential or commercial applications.




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4/25/2017 8:01:00 AM  

 

  

 


Known for his futuristic designs from the 1960s and 1970s, Verner Panton originally designed these multiple pyramid form Mirror Sculptures in 1965 as modular panels for use in his home. American plastics manufacturer, Beylerian, started producing each of the three panel versions in 1974 and marketing them as framed set of four. Examples of these vintage Mirror Sculptures from the 1960s and 1970s are extremely difficult to source and command thousands of dollars at auction.


 

  

Verpan, Denmark, is now the licensed manufacturer of the corpus of Verner Panton’s designs and has recently made the three original styles of the Mirror Sculptures – single large depth pyramid, four medium depth pyramids, nine small depth pyramids – available anew.


 

  

Each panel is composed of 3mm thickness acrylic/PMMA and measures 18.9” x 18.9” with varying depths of 3.9”, 5.7” and 10.6”. Any of the panels can be hung individually or arranged in dramatic clusters on a wall. Each version of the Verner Panton Mirror Sculptures is available through Switch Modern.

 




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By Roy
4/24/2017 8:54:00 AM  

 

Ines Floor Lamp

 


Artist Jacopo Foggini has collaborated with Italian manufacturer Edra over the past few years to create several chair designs that push the limits of manipulating polycarbonate – the results create profoundly engaging new aesthetics that blur industrial design and fine art. We are absolutely smitten with his recent, fabulously surreal Ines floor lamp design. As Foggini remarked in a recent interview, it was the first time that he had designed a lamp for a company and Edra was the artist’s logical choice of partner for the collaboration. As Foggini explained, “With Edra, I always felt total freedom to create without limits or boundaries. Edra is one of the few companies able to realize an industrial product with such high craftsmanship to make it somewhat unique.”


 

  

Foggini wanted to create a lamp that “could dialogue with those beautiful sofas that characterize its production—an important lamp, with the dynamics and proportions of an inverted chandelier. I wanted it to be read as a natural element, a stem that branches out like a tree, but also in some polymorphic way as the sinuous body of a woman with long legs, like my former girlfriend Ines, to whom it is dedicated.”


 

  

Foggini remarks that he was inspired by the work of artists, Giacometti and Salvador Dali, as well as filmmaker Tim Burton. Rather than infusing color into the polycarbonate material as the artist had done previously with his range of chairs for Edra – Ella, Gilda B. Alice, Gina – Foggini describes that the lamp’s luxurious finish was applied to create the effect of “gold dripped as wax, in an irregular manner.”


 

  

Switch Modern is delighted to present the entire range of Jacopo Foggini’s work for Edra online as well as highlighting several examples of his work in our Atlanta showroom. For more information on Jacopo Foggini or Edra, please contact us at 404-605-0196.

 




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4/21/2017 3:03:00 PM  

 

 


Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair for Fritz Hansen is an icon of 20th century design.  Designed in the late 1950s specifically for use in the architect’s Royal SAS Hotel project in Copenhagen, its engaging and precise balance of curves was actually achieved by hand in the late 1950s – needless to say, a time period that didn’t afford computer-assisted technologies that now enable today’s complex forms.  The Egg chair also involved emerging technologies like cold-molded foam and the application of a textile onto a curved form to achieve its new aesthetics.  While the Egg chair is often seen in living rooms and lobbies, Jacobsen also designed an ottoman to accompany the chair that can also be used independently.  Not only does the gently “scooped” silhouette of the Egg stool create wonderful visual synergy when used with the chair, it actually enhances the comfort of the Egg by allowing the user to relax with their feet up.  When not being used with the Egg chair, the Egg ottoman becomes a great occasional stool that is easily moved around or becomes an impromptu resting place for a stack of magazines.

Through August 31, Fritz Hansen and Switch Modern are providing a complimentary Egg stool with the purchase of an Egg chair.  The complimentary Egg ottoman will be fabricated in the same textile or leather as the Egg chair.  An amazing deal as the stool alone retails from $2,306 - $3,644 depending upon the textile or leather selected. Please call us at 404-605-0196 for additional details about this special promotional opportunity as well as to review the numerous available textile and leather upholstery options.




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4/20/2017 11:24:00 AM  

 

Frank Gehry Tea Kettle

 


Renowned for his signature architectural masterpieces around the world, Frank Gehry has only created a handful of furniture and accessory designs over the past few decades. His Easy Edges range of cardboard furniture debuted in 1972; Vitra still produces a few pieces from the range. His collection of bentwood tables and chairs for Knoll was introduced in 1992 and many of these designs are still in production today. In the late 1980s, Gehry also created a seldom-seen piece for Italian manufacturer, Alessi. Introduced in 1992 as part of a range of tea kettles introduced by Alessi, Gehry’s Pito kettle combines a canted conical form in highly polished stainless steel juxtaposed with his signature abstracted leaping fish form rendered in mahogany for both its handle and whistle. It’s always been a luxe piece and part of Alessi’s Officina Collection. Although, compared to the prices for the architect’s furniture pieces let alone the commission for a building, his Pito kettle is seemingly an incredible value. And now, even more so as an investment as Switch Modern has recently discovered that it is now in the process of being discontinued by Alessi. Once the manufacturer’s limited stock is depleted, it will no longer be available. We are delighted to still have the Pito kettle in stock and available for purchase. 


 

  

 


Frank Gehry Objects: Wiggle chair, Vitra, 1972; Hatrick chair, Knoll, 1992; Fish necklace, Tiffany, 2006.




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4/18/2017 3:15:00 PM  

 

 


As contemporary and visually stunning today as it was a half century ago, Arne Jacobsen’s Cylinda Line remains an extensive range of stainless steel tabletop, bar, and serving pieces. The range gets its name from the designer’s overarching use of the cylindrical form expressed in various diameters and heights based upon the object’s intended function.  As the story goes, Stelton’s managing director in the 1960s was Peter Holmblad who happened to be Arne Jacobsen’s stepson. Holmblad was interested in creating a cylindrical range of stainless steel and challenged his stepdad to participate in the design process. From 1964 through 1967, Jacobsen and Holmblad overcame several obstacles in producing the range’s distinctive cylindrical form.  New techniques were specifically developed to roll the sheet stainless steel around a cylindrical form where it was welded. As Jacobsen insisted that any resulting seam had to be invisible, new equipment was again developed specifically to polish away any weld marks.  In 1967, Stelton launched its initial collection of 15 Cylinda Line pieces that included barware, table serving pieces, as well as a coffee and tea service.  It garnered the prestigious Danish Design Award the same year.  Throughout the late 1960s, new pieces were added to the initial core range and it quickly became a global sensation. Over the ensuing five decades, examples of Cylinda Line have found their way into the permanent collections of countless museums worldwide including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

In addition to Arne Jacobsen’s Cylinda Line pieces, Switch Modern also shows and stocks many other Stelton classics by Erik Magnussen and Peter Holmblad from the 1970s as well as contemporary designs by Holmbäck Nordentoft, Christina Halskov, and Klaus Rath. As part of celebrating Cylinda Line’s 50th anniversary, we invite you to enjoy a 10% discount on any Stelton purchase through May 15.  Simply use discount code CYLINDA50 when checking out.




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3/10/2016 3:59:00 AM  
It is difficult to overstate the impact of minimalism on art, architecture, and design. When minimalism first emerged in the early part of the twentieth century it was an enormous departure from traditional Western design, which had long focused on crafts and ornamentation. The pioneers of minimalism rejected the stuffiness of traditional design and sought to create functional spaces, furnishings, objects, and art that were stripped down to their essential elements.
minimalism - word on chalkboard
Minimalism has penetrated virtually every corner of life and is apparent all around us—from the sleek designs of the smartphones we use (pioneered by Apple) to the cars we drive, to the Internet and visual designs we see and interact with every day.
We’ll explore key concepts in minimalism, the roots and history of minimalist design, and we’ll look at some influential minimalist designers, past and present.
 
Key Concepts and Characteristics of Minimalism

“Less is more.” –Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, renowned German-American architect
At its core, minimalism is more a principle than a design element. When constructing something according to minimalist principles, the designer asks whether each element is necessary for the proper functioning of the item, or is any part superfluous.
Key characteristics of minimalism include:
  • Emphasis on clarity and simplicity of form
  • Frequent use of monochromatic surfaces
  • Clean vertical and horizontal lines
  • Lack of narrative or anecdotal content/references
  • Elements or layers that don’t intersect, allowing each to exist independently
 
minimalism in modern home bathroomminimalism in modern home design
Minimalism Takes Root
Minimalism as we know it today was born in the twentieth century, yet it was influenced by things that came before it—among them, traditional Japanese design (more on that later), which is minimalist at its core. Other key influences include:
  • The de stijl (Dutch for “the style”) art movement, which began in the Netherlands in 1917 and lasted until around the 1930s. The movement aimed for simplicity, reducing designs to their essential forms. Use of rectangular forms, horizontal and vertical lines, primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), and white, black, and gray are hallmarks of the style.
  • Architects like van der Rohe. Minimalist architecture incorporates modern materials like glass, steel, and stone. In his style, structural frameworks are minimal, spaces are open, and lines are clean. Perhaps the best counter example of minimalism is the Victorian style, with its unabashed emphasis on ornamentation and opulence.
de stijl art example

An example of de stijl art, by G. Rietveld and V. Huszar. Photo source: Public domain (PD-1923)
Minimalism began with architecture in the early twentieth century, around the 1920s. Van der Rohe was one of the first prominent architects to employ minimalist design principles. Fueled by the availability of modern materials post World War I, such as glass, concrete, and steel, minimalism took root. Building standardization was also emerging, which further helped minimalism take hold. Buckminster Fuller, a prominent twentieth century architect and inventor, designed domes using simple geometric shapes that still look modern today.
While the focus on simplicity began with architecture, it soon spilled over into art, interior design, and even fashion and music.

Minimalism in Art

The 1960s saw tremendous growth in minimalist art, as artists began to reject art they felt was stale and academic, pushing past conventional boundaries between various media. They began using industrial materials in their work, focusing on materiality and anonymity. Painting and sculpture incorporated sleek, geometric lines and shapes that challenged conventional aesthetics. Painters used rudimentary geometric shapes in their work without superfluous decoration—a reaction against abstract-expressionism. In the words of minimalist painter Frank Stella, “What you see is what you see.”
Although minimalist art reached its peak during the 1960s and 1970s, its principles still have a huge impact on virtually every facet of society. As one example, minimalism has carried over into the digital realm and is an increasingly important part of Web design today.

Japanese Design: Paving the Way for Modern Minimalism

One only needs to look at traditional Japanese architecture to see that minimalism is at its core. Clean lines and forms, few embellishments, simple color choices---all perfect elements for contemplation.
mimialism in a japanese home mimialism in a japanese living room
Japanese design parallels Japanese culture, both of which are focused on simplicity and the Zen philosophy—from food preparation and presentation, to traditional stone (Zen) gardens, to architecture and even personal dress (i.e. the traditional kimono).
The Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi (wabi, meaning simple beauty, and sabi, meaning beauty that comes with age) calls for design with no unnecessary features. The Japanese concept of ma emphasizes the essential space between objects—space that allows the objects to stand out and have meaning. Minimalism is heavily influenced by these same concepts.

Minimalism in Design: Practical Tips

While the minimalist approach is “less is more,” this doesn’t have to mean boring, and it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice infusing your personality into your decor. In fact, the quite the opposite is true; when you carefully choose furnishings and objects that resonate with you, the space inevitably becomes a reflection of your personality. Here are a few design ideas for inspiration.

#1: Create a Mid-Century Modern Look

A pop of color in your modern living room space adds visual interest. Choose a monochromatic base, and consider adding a pair of colorful Walter Knoll armchairs for a standout look. Patterned pillows add additional interest without detracting from the overall simplicity of the design.

#2: Make a Statement with Graphic Posters

A classic black and white kitchen with pops of color—a red tea kettle, counter-top appliances, and storage containers—preserves the minimalist ideal while drawing in the eye. A black-and-white graphic poster is an ideal element to add visual interest to your kitchen/dining space.

#3: Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary

A room free of clutter is important for any space, but none more so than the bedroom: your personal sanctuary. The basics, including a comfortable bed and functional dresser, end tables, wardrobe, and table with minimal embellishments will help you create your Zen space. To create a more dramatic look, consider painting one wall gray, and keep the overall look monochromatic. A Minotti bed, such as The Anderson, is stylish, comfortable, and sleek, making it a perfect addition to anyone’s private retreat.
monochromatic bedroom interiorminotti bed in monochromatic color
“Warming Up” Minimalism

A common complaint about minimalist style is that it’s cold, sterile, and uninviting, but this doesn’t have to the case. It’s possible to add warmth without adding clutter. Let’s look at some ways of doing this while maintaining minimalist principles.
  • Incorporate natural materials—Steel, glass, and stone are core minimalist materials, but without the softening influence of wood and natural fibers, the space can feel cold for some. Add a cluster of branches or a contemporary floral arrangement and an area rug made from a natural fiber such as New Zealand wool to warm up the space.
  • Add color—Rather than adding unnecessary objects to your space, find interesting ways to use color. Colorful pillows, a knit throw, an area rug, placemats, or even a single wall painted another color can create a dramatic effect. Only introduce colors that complement each other, and be sure to pay attention to how colors affect feelings. Only use colors that invoke the feelings you want (and that you want your visitors to experience).
  • Add texture—A rug or other floor covering designed with different textural elements or a pattern that creates a three-dimensional effect adds interest to any space. Opt for a hammered metal bowl or a modern sculpture for additional texture. 
 
living room with warm minimalism
Notable Minimalists
  • Buckminster Fuller—An American designer best known for his geometric dome designs, Fuller was a visionary for his day.  His designs are still studied and celebrated.
  • Dieter Rams—The industrial designer whose 10 principles of good design are a model for designers today.
  • Steve Jobs—The pioneering information technology entrepreneur and inventor whose Apple technology has forever changed society.
Other notable minimalists include A.G. Fronzoni, an Italian minimalist furniture designer; Japanese furniture designer Tokujin Yoshioka; and Swiss designer Peter Wigglesworth.
Minimalism, the design revolution of twentieth century, has impacted every facet of modern life, from architecture, to interior design, to art and Web design. This innovative movement is functional, unobtrusive, and honest at its core.
 



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2/23/2016 2:14:00 PM  

When a person hears the phrase “less is more” – especially regarding art and design – they might imagine a scene with sparse decorations, monotone surfaces with flat lines, and very little clutter or embellishment. In interior design, this would be called minimalism. It’s an aesthetic that’s widely known today, with its roots appearing fairly recently in American visual art of the 1960s and 70s.

Minimalism in art is often seen as a reaction against anything that’s unnecessarily elaborate. Minimalists believe art shouldn’t “symbolize” anything; instead, it should represent only the materials at hand, providing the viewer with an immediate, pure visual experience.

Living minimally creates an incentive to buy only quality items that are built to last, which runs counter to the ideal of working more, earning more, and thus spending more to accumulate more belongings only for the sake of owning them.  Conversely, by uncluttering and buy only quality items that you truly want and are essential, you feed your soul and the benefits of living with less will be immediately apparent. You will start to view meaningless “stuff” as an obligation, debt and stress – so look for treasures that truly enhance your life and don’t just fill it up.

To read more about the origins of minimalism, as well as how widespread its influence is today, see the infographic below.

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:



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Recent Posts
Bensen Sleeper Sofa
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We Remain “Blown Away”
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CVL Luminaires Calée: Luxe Illumination from France
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Frank Gehry: Tea Kettle as Investment
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Minimalism: The Design Revolution of the 20th Century
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What Is Minimalism?
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