Design without dreck
I cannot tell you how much promotional dreck crosses my desk each and every day. I promise not to launch into a rant about it, but let’s just say that I end up dumping a lot of stuff into the Junk Folder without ever reading it (are you listening, PR people who don't spell my name correctly and purveyors of you-know-what-enhancers?)
Given that, I am SO glad I hung on to the email with a link to an online video series Hello Design did for Herman Miller, the Michigan-based outfit that researches, designs, manufactures and distributes furniture, lighting and accessories for homes, offices and institutional spaces, including pieces licensed by the estates of such design giants as Eames and Nelson. They’re exceptionally good at producing pieces that are both beautiful and useful, and were championing the notion of ergonomic furniture long before that word was devalued by being used with such promiscuous abandon.
This fascinating web series of shorts, called Points of View, focuses on projects executed by five cool-kid California architects. These are stunningly lovely homes, both thoughtful and thought-provoking, which are shown - along with video interviews with the architects - as well as photos. You can also roam the rooms to look at Herman Miller products in situ.
Looking at the latter made me ask myself why I don't have have a Nelson Coconut Chair or the Eames molded plywood chair I recently sat in at Design within Reach and which I think should be renamed Platonic Chair – see post below. Then I remembered why - it’s the four kids, mortgage and freelance writer’s income! Still, where there's life, there's hope. (Besides, Cicero said that if you have a library and a garden, you have everything, by which measure I should be completely content.)
I’ve popped a few pictures of these amazing houses. They’re all breathtaking, but I could particularly see myself living happily ever after in the Marmol Radziner Desert Prefab house shown above (when you go to the site, check out the Marmol Radziner jewellry made out of remnants of industrial metal - it's superb). The pics below show homes designed by Cigolle X Coleman, LeanArc, Jennings Architecture and JFAK Architects. What did I tell you?