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Architects and Their Chairs “I”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On May 14th

                         “I” is for Isozaki

Image via Architects Architecture Archtectuul

Image via Architects Architecture Archtectuul

Arata Isozaki was born in Oita City, Japan, in 1931. He studied with Kenzo Tange, one of Japan’s leading modern architects, at the University of Tokyo from 1950 to 1954.  He worked for Tange for a number of years and then went out on his own, but continued to collaborate with KT into the 70’s. This attitude is in keeping with native Japanese practices that stress collaboration and cooperation, rather than competition, among professionals. Encyclopedia.com

Architecture writer Martin Filler called Isozaki and his wife, sculptor Aiko Miyawaki, “true cultural citizens of the world.” Raised in a home where his businessman father wrote haiku poetry, he later was attracted toward the avant-garde and readily called his tastes “radical” in everything from music to literature. LA Times:Tastemakers

 

              Furniture & Architecture

 One can see how Japanese design is as much about emptiness as it is about structure – a perspective that comes naturally to the country that gave Zen Buddhism to the world. Japan-ness In Architecture  Arata Isozaki

“What is the essence of Japanese design? Perhaps it is best exemplified in the clean lines of the Marilyn Chair , designed by architect Arata Isozaki in 1972. Isozaki combined the curves of Marilyn with the narrow, vertical lines found in the Mackintosh high-back chair.”  Book: Japanese Design:A Survey Since 1950  Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), was in turn influenced by Japanese design. In its curved side view, the chair makes reference to the body shape of Marilyn Monroe. The chair is constructed of bent laminated wood and a solid beech frame. It retains its original leather-covered upholsteredseat.  Denver Museum of Art

 

Marilyn Monroe Chairs image via www.invaluable.com

Marilyn Monroe Chairs image via www.invaluable.com

 

 

image via: Arata Isozaki at 1stdibs Oval Dining Table and Marilyn Monroe Chairs

image via: Arata Isozaki at 1stdibs
Oval Dining Table and Marilyn Monroe Chairs

 

 

A Pair of Arata Isozaki Monroe Chairs made of ebonized beech image via: https://www.aspireauctions.com/

A Pair of Arata Isozaki Monroe Chairs made of ebonized beech
image via https://www.aspireauctions.com/

 

 

 In 1963 he established Arata Isozaki & Associates, the base from which he continued to work ever since. From his 1960s work such as Oita Prefectural Library, to his 1990s work in locations as far afield as Barcelona, Orlando, Kraków, Nagi in Okayama Prefecture, Kyoto, Nara, La Coruña, Akiyoshidai in Yamaguchi Prefecture and Berlin, to his 21st century work in the Middle East, China, Central Asia, and elsewhere, Isozaki has created an architecture so personal in its ideas and spaces that it defies characterization in any single school of thought. At the same time he resists the temptation to apply a signature style to his jobs, preferring instead to create architectural solutions specific to the political, social and cultural contexts of the client and site in question.  YCAM Re-Mark

 

via Arch Daily Architects: Arata Isozaki Location: Barcelona, Spain Project Year: 2011 Photographs::© Filippo Poli

via Arch Daily
Architects: Arata Isozaki
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Project Year: 2011
Photographs:© Filippo Poli

 

Inflatable concert hall by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki in Matsushima, Japan 52-Weeks-52-CIties-by-Iwan-Baan_Ark-Nova-Isozaki_dezeen_22 Baan is known for eschewing the traditional approach of shooting buildings in isolation. He says his aim with every shoot is to capture the life both within and surrounding the built environment.

Inflatable concert hall by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki in Matsushima, Japan 52-Weeks-52-CIties-by-Iwan-Baan_Ark-Nova-Isozaki_dezeen_22  Baan is known for eschewing the traditional approach of shooting buildings in isolation. He says his aim with every shoot is to capture the life both within and surrounding the built environment.

 

GreatBuildings.com Image - Team Disney Building by ARATA ISOZAKI

GreatBuildings.com Image – Team Disney Building by ARATA ISOZAKI

 

Isozaki draws from a wide-ranging store of references. MOCA’s pyramid-shaped skylights do indeed reflect Egyptian pyramids, for instance, but they are also simple geometric forms. Influenced first by his teacher, the prominent Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, by Le Corbusier and, later, by Otto Wagner, the architect builds on rather than discards his traditional training.

 

Image via The Vintage Poster

Image via The Vintage Poster

 

As the first museum ever to be entirely dedicated to the human species, Domus shines as a source of pride for Galicia. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed the Domus complex, which contains a museum, restaurant and IMAX theater, to look like a ship sail. davidsbeenhere

Domus shines as a source of pride for Galicia. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed the Domus complex.

Domus shines as a source of pride for Galicia. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed the Domus complex

 

Arata Isozaki was instantly recognizable by his distinctive style of dress. He often wore traditional Japanese clothing, and he favored the color black. He appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine in 1986, dressed in a “dazzingly” fashionable Issey Miyake creation. By presenting himself as being sartorially distinct from the crowd, Isozaki provided a contemporary parallel to the flamboyant Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous American architect (and admirer of Japanese culture) who continued to affect Victorian dress long after it passed out of style. Encyclopedia.com

 

Bar Italia News Arata Isozaki

Bar Italia News Arata Isozaki

 

Irata Isozaki, Japanese architect, teacher and theorist. He will be remembered as the designer of such prestigious international projects as Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tokyo University of Art and Design, the Team Disney Building in Orlando, FL…..and the list goes on.

I feel compelled to share this other aspect to his architectural aesthetic that came up often in my research and should be considered when you look at his body of work. Being Japanese brought both light and darkness to the architecture.

 There is thus always an undercurrent of morbid scepticism lying beneath the exuberance of his aesthetic form—a darkness of spirit that became overt from time to time. In his Electric Labyrinth (1968), designed for the Triennale in Milan, for example, the exhibition was haunted by an image of the devastated Hiroshima, combined with traditional Japanese ghosts and demons representing the revengeful spirits of the nuclear disaster. MOMA.org

 

Iraklis/Tumblr

Iraklis/Tumblr

 

 

We work hard to accurately credit all of our resources, both words and images. If we have made any errors or omissions please contact us and we will correct our information.

Architects and Their Chairs “G”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On November 21st

                        “G” is for Gehry

 

Frank-Owen-Gehry

 

 Frank Owen Gehry was born in Toronto, Canada on February 28, 1929. He studied at the University of Southern California and Harvard University. Frank was creative at a young age, building imaginary homes and cities from items found in his grandfather’s hardware store. This interest in unconventional building materials would come to characterize Gehry’s architectural work.  information via, Ruarte Contract

 

      image via, http://ruartecontract.com/frank-gehry-architecture-decoration-materials/

image via  Ruarte Contract

 

Gehry creates unexpected, twisted forms that break conventions of building design. His work has been called radical, playful, organic, and sensual.

His selection of materials such as corrugated metal lends some of Gehry’s designs an unfinished or even crude aesthetic. This consistent approach has made Gehry one of the most distinctive and easily recognizable designers of the recent past. Critics of Gehry’s work have charged, however, that his designs are not thoughtful of contextual concerns and frequently do not make the best use of valuable urban space.

 

My first experience of his work in 2007...love at first sight...University of Iowa

My first experience of his work in 2007…love at first sight…University of Iowa

 

His style has been called Deconstructivist —a post-structuralist aesthetic that challenges accepted design paradigms of architecture while breaking with the modernist ideal of form following function.Frank Gehry looks for an architecture more and more free, with virtuous lines and complex forms, in which the light and its reflection is a principal matter. Furthermore, he is unique in the election of materials, each one more and more unusual giving his works an artistic quality unequaled.   information via, http://www.biography.com/people/frank-gehry-

 

Preliminary sketches for the Panama Puente de Vida Museo | © Frank O. Gehry https://www.foga.com/

Preliminary sketches for the Panama Puente de Vida Museo | © Frank O. Gehry

https://www.foga.com/


“a sculptor that studied architecture”

EMP’s futuristic Frank O. Gehry designed building is constructed of over 21,000 aluminum and stainless steel shingles and 280 steel ribs. If its 400 tons of structural steel were stretched into the lightest banjo string it would extend one-fourth of the way to Venus. Photo courtesy of EMP staff. A world-renowned architect, Frank O. Gehry has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1989), the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award (1994), the National Medal of Arts (1998), a Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1999), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Americans for the Arts (2000). Photo courtesy of EMP staff.

EMP’s futuristic Frank O. Gehry designed building is constructed of over 21,000 aluminum and stainless steel shingles and 280 steel ribs. If its 400 tons of structural steel were stretched into the lightest banjo string it would extend one-fourth of the way to Venus.

A world-renowned architect, Frank O. Gehry has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1989), the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award (1994), the National Medal of Arts (1998), a Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1999), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Americans for the Arts (2000).

Photo courtesy of EMP staff.Situated at the base of the world-renowned Space Needle

 

In His Own Words:

“I approach each building as a sculptural object, a spatial container, a space with light and air, a response to context and appropriateness of feeling and spirit. To this container, this sculpture, the user brings his baggage, his program, and interacts with it to accommodate his needs. If he can’t do that, I’ve failed.”— from the 1980 edition of “Contemporary Architects”

“Building a building is like berthing the Queen Mary in a small slip at a marina. There are lots of wheels and turbines and thousands of people involved, and the architect is the guy at the helm who has to visualize everything going on and organize it all in his head. Architecture is anticipating, working with and understanding all of the craftsmen, what they can do and what they can’t do, and making it all come together. I think of the final product as a dream image, and it’s always elusive. You can have a sense of what the building should look like and you can try to capture it. But you never quite do.”— Conversations With Frank Gehry by Barbara Isenberg, p. 62

information via, http://architecture.about.com/od/greatarchitects/p/gehry.htm

 

EMP Museum – Seattle At the base of the Space Needle, Gehry framed the EMP Museum to look as if its steel-and-aluminum skin is flapping in the wake of Seattle’s famous monorail.
EMP Museum – Seattle
At the base of the Space Needle, Gehry framed the EMP Museum to look as if its steel-and-aluminum skin is flapping in the wake of Seattle’s famous monorail. The building’s remarkable architectural form and sophisticated use of colors and textures can be traced to a melted Stratocaster guitar that served as inspiration to the architect Frank O. Gehry. Architectural Digest

 

 

 Idiosyncratic as it is said to be, Gehry’s philosophy toward designing is simple. He stays original and attempts to balance out the current trends of plain modernism with his own spice. Gehry mirrors the crazy, chaotic, insane aspects of life in his buildings. Like Gehry said himself, “What is architecture? It’s a three-dimensional object, right? So why can’t it be anything?”   www.SilverCreek

 

                                                                                    Furniture

 

EMECO TUYOMYO BENCH DESIGN BY FRANK GEHRY 2009 Emeco with Gehry: A Collaboration in Support of Hereditary Disease Research “Tuyomyo” Yours and Mine: One-of-a-Kind

EMECO TUYOMYO BENCH DESIGN BY FRANK GEHRY 2009
Emeco with Gehry: A Collaboration in Support of Hereditary Disease Research
“Tuyomyo” Yours and Mine: One-of-a-Kind

 

furniture-by-frank-gehry-architect-decor/
furniture-by-frank-gehry-architect-decor/

Gehry had success in the 1970s with his line of Easy Edges chairs made from bent laminated cardboard. By 1991, Gehry was using bent laminated maple to produce the Power Play Armchair. These designs are part of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) collection in NYC.

 

Frank O. Gehry, Easy Edges lounge chair, 1972 www.sfmoma.org

Frank O. Gehry, Easy Edges lounge chair, 1972

www.sfmoma.org

One of the more spectacular 70s chairs is Frank O. Gehry's cardboard chair, Wiggle Side Chair, which is made out of 60 layers of closely compressed ... www.archithings.com

One of the more spectacular 70s chairs is Frank O. Gehry’s cardboard chair, Wiggle Side Chair, which is made out of 60 layers of closely compressed …

www.archithings.com

Frank Gehry Face Off café table and 4 Cross Check arm chairs ...
Frank Gehry Face Off café table and 4 Cross Check arm chairs …

  • The most prominent influence of Gehry’s childhood was the love of fish. The elements he loved in the fish can be constantly seen in all of his buildings. It got him into thinking freely.

“The fish is a perfect form.” –Frank O. Gehry, 1986

 

The shape of the fish is what got me thinking freely. Via silvercreek http://bit.ly/11HXlQU
The shape of the fish is what got me thinking freely. Via silvercreek

 

We always aim to give credit for all images and information, in the event we fail to do that please notify us and we will correct the error. LMV

 

Architects and Their Chairs “C”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On June 10th

        C is for Castiglioni

 

 

 “Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means”.

Achille Castiglioni (February 26, 1918 – December 2, 2002) was a renowned Italian industrial designer. He was often inspired by everyday things and made use of ordinary materials.He preferred to use a minimal amount of materials to create forms with maximal effect.

Achille Castiglioni was born in Milan and studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano University and set up a design office in 1944 with his brothers, Livioioni Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. In 1956, Castiglioni founded the Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (Association for Industrial Design, ADI). Castiglioni taught for many years, first at the Politecnico di Torino, and in 1969 he led a class in Industrial Design at the Politecnico di Milano.

MoMA’s permanent collection in New York hosts 14 of his works. Other works may be found in the following museums: Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Kunstgewerbe Museum in Zurich, Staatliches Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Munich, Design Museum in Prato, Uneleckoprumyslove Museum in Prague, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The Denver Art Museum, Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Angewandte Kunst Museum in Hamburg and Koln

 

 

 

Sanluca, designed in 1960 by Achille and Pier Giacomo, is a modern take on the traditional lounge chair - See more at: http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/three-best-italian-lounge-chairs#sthash.wLMLWGNv.dpuf

Sanluca, designed in 1960 by Achille and Pier Giacomo, is a modern take on the traditional lounge chair – See more at: http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/three-best-italian-lounge-chairs

 

 

Achille Castiglioni . sancarlo, for Tacchini http://www.tacchini.it/

Achille Castiglioni . sancarlo, for Tacchini
http://www.tacchini.it/

 

 

Achille Castiglioni, Sella telephone stool, 1957, for Zanotta (designed with Pier Giacomo Castiglioni).

Achille Castiglioni, Sella telephone stool, 1957, for Zanotta (designed with Pier Giacomo Castiglioni).

 

 

1980's 'vintage' Leonardo table, Achille Castiglioni Architectural trestle work table Pin by Ryan Tam on Tables | Pinterest

1980’s ‘vintage’ Leonardo table, Achille Castiglioni Architectural trestle work table
Pin by Ryan Tam on Tables | Pinterest

 

 

the achille castiglioni effect www.designboom.com

the achille castiglioni effect
www.designboom.com

 

 

The famous Arco Floor Lamp with its elegant marble base was designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for the Italian manufacturer Flos.

The famous Arco Floor Lamp with its elegant marble base was designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for the Italian manufacturer Flos.

 

 

Design is one of the highest expressions of twentieth-century creativity, and Achille Castiglioni is one of its greatest masters. His objects stand as clear examples of rigorous method, technical skill, exuberant talent, and wit, combined to achieve a beauty that is fulfilling on both a rational and an emotional level. His work exemplifies the ideal of good design.

With his functional and purist yet playful objects, Castiglioni has shown that form and function, while certainly the main ingredients for successful design, cannot be a designer’s only concerns. He has thus contributed invaluably to updating modernist design to contemporary modern.

Paola Antonelli
Associate Curator
Department of Architecture and Design

Excerpt from MOMA exhibition

 

Overview of all products by designer Achille Castiglioni

 

We apologize if we have failed to credit a quote or an image to the correct source. Please let us know and we will correct the error.

 

Starchitecture’s Positive Impact on Museum Traffic

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On October 16th

 

 

Maman by Louise Bourgeois in front of The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain image via koikile on Flickr

Maman by Louise Bourgeois in front of The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain image via koikile on Flickr

 

Today’s museums are as much about the architecture as they are the collections within. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain was designed by Frank Gehry and was the starting point of a trend that still continues, often referred to as the Bilbao Effect. Simply put, Bilbao’s $200-million gamble bringing the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to the Basque region of Spain paid off, culturally and economically.  The Guggenheim Museum’s success in Bilbao did more than perhaps any other cultural institution to convince leaders and developers that where mega-projects go, economic transformation follows. (The Atlantic Cities.com.).

Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill writes that over the past fifteen years, other cities sought to imitate Bilbao’s success by building new museums or museum additions designed by starchitects as part of civic renewal projects. Examples include the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland designed by Steven Holl, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England and the Royal Ontario Museum addition in Toronto, both designed by Daniel Libeskind, the Denver Art Museum addition designed jointly by Daniel Libeskind and a local architecture firm, and the Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration in Hartford, Connecticut designed by César Pelli. The Ars Aevi Museum in Sarajevo designed by Renzo Piano is to be opened in Sarajevo in 2014. All of these projects are meant to use the drawing power of a spectacular building to attract tourists and other visitors to cities that would not otherwise be major destinations.s, by OMA. (Philanthropy Daily).

To learn more about the Guggenheim Bilbao: visit little aesthete wonderful images and information….

 

In addition to being an architect, Steven Holl is also a watercolorist who uses this medium to explore the possibilities of light. Above is a watercolor "sketch" of one of his studio's latest projects, the Nanajing Museum. Read more: INHABITAT INTERVIEW: 7 Questions with Architect Steven Holl

In addition to being an architect, Steven Holl is also a watercolorist who uses this medium to explore the possibilities of light. Above is a watercolor “sketch” of one of his studio’s latest projects, the Nanajing Museum. Read more: INHABITAT INTERVIEW: 7 Questions with Architect Steven Holl

 

I offer to you, just for fun, Wikipedia’s lists of: Starchitects, Former Starchitects, and Canonic Architects

Starchitects: feel free to offer any names you feel should appear on these lists

Former Starchitects

Canonic Architects

 

Royal Ontario Museum-Studio Daniel Libeskind

Royal Ontario Museum-Studio Daniel Libeskind

 

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (beeld en geluid).Image by Iwan Baan

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (beeld en geluid). Image by Iwan Baan

 

Museum of Biodiversity (or Biomuseo) Panama City, located in the alleged epicenter of biodiversity, Panama’s Biomuseo strives to tell compelling stories about nature’s wonders and thus stress the importance of their safeguarding. Architect Frank Gehry

Museum of Biodiversity (or Biomuseo) Panama City, located in the alleged epicenter of biodiversity, Panama’s Biomuseo strives to tell compelling stories about nature’s wonders and thus stress the importance of their safeguarding. Architect Frank Gehry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Watermill Center is a wondrous world. It was founded in 1992 by stage director, playwright and visual artist, Robert Wilson. With a degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute  and enormous talents in painting, sculpting, furniture and lighting design, he is a genius in many arenas.

 

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He has been described as a pioneer in the art world who has changed the way we look at theater, art and design. Here is a classic example of Robert Wilson’s unique approach and extraordinary vision.

When Robert Wilson sent his ‘shopping list’ for the contents of his installation for the Isamu Noguchi: Scultpural Design exhibition at the Design Museum in summer 2001, it included: nine tons of silver sand; six tons of black lava sand; numerous sacks of broken glass; scores of aluminium squares; several dozen of bales of fireproofed straw; and enough loose hay to build a haystack.

The result was a sensational sequence of galleries: one shrouded in darkness, the next brightly illuminated, followed by stepping stones tripping across an elegantly raked sea of sand and the icy white set elements from Martha Graham’s 1944 Herodiade standing in a lake of shattered glass.

It was an extraordinary tribute to the work of Isamu Noguchi, the American-Japanese designer-sculptor whom Wilson had befriended in the 1960s and 1970s while making his name as a promising young theatre director and designer in New York.

 

Isamu Noguchi Installation by Robert Wilson

Isamu Noguchi Installation by Robert Wilson

The Watermill Center describes themselves as an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities. They also are loosely, a museum. The Watermill Collection of over 7,000 art and artifact pieces spanning the history of humankind is integrated into all aspects of the building and grounds as a reminder that the history of each civilization is told by its artists.

One of the artists is Robert Wilson himself. When you visit the museum you will see some of the chairs he has designed. As of 2011 the collection of chairs numbered 1,000, including his designs and many international classics.

The center is set up as a laboratory for the arts and humanities to support the work of emerging artists. Watermill is a global community living and working together among the extensive collection of art and artifacts. If you are fortunate enough to be accepted into the Residency Program, then this is what you have access to: in Wilson’s words, “I maintain the space and allow others to interface with it, change it, and develop their own work in an aesthetic that can be completely different from my own.”

 

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Two Tourists

 

In conclusion we quote Robert Wilson from a story in Artspace , A Place Where We Ask Questions

When I was a student, I was assigned to design a city in three minutes. I handed in a drawing of an apple with a crystal cube in the center. When asked, I explained that it was my idea for a city—that our communities need centers like the crystal cube that can reflect the universe, the same way the cathedral was the center in a medieval village. It was the tallest building, the place where people congregated to exchange ideas; where artists showed their work; and where people came for contemplation and spiritual growth.

Watermill is such a center: a place where we ask questions. We must always ask, “What is it?” But we must not say what it is—for if we know what we are doing, there is no reason to do it.

I share Watermill with artists who are doing what no one else is doing. They continue to inspire me year after year.  Robert Wilson