OBJECT <> PLASTIC <> SEARCH

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PL Series advertisement | Giancarlo Piretti | Anonima Castelli, Italy | 1974

PL Series advertisement

An advertisement for the PL Series by Anonima Castelli in the May 20, 1974 issue of New Yorker.

“Castelli.  When you’re not using it, think of it as sculpture.”

From the foreground, back:  The Plia, The Platone, The Plona.  Two chairs and a table built on a folding frame of polished metal.  Complementary Castelli designs.  Beautifully simple. 


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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Word clock (2563) | Muller and van Dongen | NeXtime, the Netherlands | 1982 | UPDATE

Muller and van Dongen Word ClockHans Muller and Hans van Dongen
NeXtime, the Netherlands, 1982

An update to my post of January 28, 2009, the Word clock by Hans Muller and Hans van Dongen for NeXtime.  The first I’ve seen on eBay for some time, the clock was described as being in “very good condition with no damage detected.”  This Word clock was sold on 3/22/2011 from Brooklyn, New York for $147.50 with $28.70 for shipping.  Bidding was spirited, with 7 bidders and 14 bids.


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Friday, March 18, 2011

Parentesi lamp | Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù | Flos, Italy | 1970

Parentesi lamp Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù
Parentesi lamp
Flos, Italy, 1970

I’ve previously posted about Achille Castiglioni (Sleek spoon) and Pio Manzù (Cronotime clock) and short biographies of the designers can be found in these posts.  I also promised to cover the Parentesi at some point, so here it is.  The Parentesi is a ceiling to floor suspension lamp designed by Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù and is an elegant, functional, and infinitely adjustable lighting solution.  Retail for the Parentesi lamp is $436.

Flos logo

Flos was founded in 1962 in Merano, Italy by Dino Gavina and Cesare Cassina.  In 1959 Arturo Eisenkeil from Merano, an importer of “Cocoon,” a spray-on plastic coating produced in the United States, was tracking down possible applications for this new material.

For Cocoon, liquid synthetic is ejected by means of a spray gun. While hardening it is spread out on a turning frame with a screen around it. One by one the screens are encapsulated. In this way a solid but light-dimming skin of a unique optical structure is formed – every light screen is an only copy.  The process is similar to spinning cotton candy.

Cocoon sprayer Synthetic sprayer.  Image source:  Cocoon.

Eisenkeil joined forces with Dino Gavina and Cesare Cassina and set up a company to produce lighting fixtures. This marked the beginning of the long-standing association between Flos and the Castiglioni brothers and Tobia Scarpa. The first cocoon lamps created were the offspring of this collaboration: Viscontea, Taraxacum and Gatto by the Castiglioni brothers and Fantasma by Scarpa.

Viscontea lamp Viscontea lamp

Taraxacum lampTaraxacum lamp

Gatto lampGatto lamp

Fantasma lampFantasma lamp

The very same year Flos was founded, it also produced a number of modern lamps that were to become classics in Italian industrial design. These first lamps were the Arco floor lamp, Relemme pendant lamp, Toio floor lamp and the Taccia Table Lamp.

Arco lamp Arco lamp

Relemme lamp Relemme lamp

Toio lamp Toio lamp

Taccia lampTaccia lamp

These four icons of modern lighting were designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. Click here to be taken to the Sleek spoon, also designed by the pair.  As a tangible proof of their timeless design and technical excellence, these lamps remain in production today.

Pio Manzù Parentesi sketch

The design of the lamp was inspired by a sketch by Pio Manzù in which a cylindrical box with a slit for light slid up and down a pole and was fixed in place with a screw. According to the sketch, Manzù probably would have had the pole run from ceiling to floor.  Castiglioni replaces the pole with a metal cable which when curved through the bracket results in enough friction to  allow the assembly to remain stable in position with no need for a screw. Image source:  achillecastiglioni.it.

Parentesi lamp The Parentesi lamp is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  It was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1979.

Compasso d'Oro 
To install, a small metal cap, 2.5 inches in diameter, is attached to the ceiling using an appropriate expansion screw.  The ceiling cap has a hook that faces down.  One end of the cable is slipped over the hook.  The cable can be kept at its full length of 4 meters (13 feet) or trimmed as necessary.  An injection-molded, black elastomeric bulb holder houses the on/off switch.  The power cable tails off the back of the fixture and can be plugged into any outlet.  This fixture then slides onto the tubular, parenthesis shaped bracket, which then slides onto the cable.  The fixture can be adjusted and swiveled to direct light.  The bottom of the cable is attached to an adjusting bolt and hooked to a heavy, rubber coated weight, 4.3 inches in diameter at the bottom.  The bolt is then adjusted such that the weight just barely touches the floor.  The tension thus created holds the bracket in place.  Depending on the length the cable is cut to, an additional bracket can be accommodated and can be purchased separately.  The bracket and ceiling holder come in black enameled steel or nickel chrome finish.  The entire lamp weighs about 9 pounds.
Image source:  areaz.co.uk.

Lots of different bulbs will fit the Parentesi lamp, one suggested is a 120V, 120W, BR-40 reflector flood.  Some stores sell a 150W version for use with the lamp.  It really depends on how much light you want.   I use a 65W flood in mine.  

Castiglioni Parentesi lamp kit

When first sold, the Parentesi lamp came in a kit created by Castiglioni.  The kit was vacuum packed and featured handles that made it easy to carry.  Image source:  achillecastiglioni.it.

Parentesi lamp packaging

Now, all the parts of the lamp come tightly packed in a small cardboard box.

Parentesi lamp Parentesi lampAbove:  the Parentesi bracket in nickel chrome.  Below:  Parentesi lamp in low light conditions.

Parentesi lamp weight Parentesi lampParentesi lamp

Clockwise from upper left:  the rubber coated Parentesi weight and adjusting bolt, Parentesi bracket in black enamel, bottom view of Parentesi lamp.

Ingo Maurer designed the Hot Achille lamp as an homage to and celebration of the Parentesi lamp. Hot Achille consists of a freely rotatable aluminum reflector hung on a length of adjustable cable and powered by a counter-weight and electronic transformer with a continuously variable dimmer.

Hot Achille lamp Hot Achille lamp, detail

The Hot Achille lamp.  Image source:  YLighting.

References

Retrieved February 20, 2011 from http://stardust.com/floslighting.html

Retrieved February 20, 2011 from http://www.cocoon.ws/historie_en.html

Retrieved February 21, 2011 from http://www.achillecastiglioni.it/en/projects/id-17.html


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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

L’Utopie du tout Plastique 1960 – 1973 | Philippe Decelle | Fondation pour l’Architecture, publisher | 1994 | PART 6

Philippe Decelle L'Utopie du tout PlastiquePhilippe Decelle
Diane Hennebert
Pierre Loze
Fondation pour l’Architecture, Bruxelles, Belgium, 1994

This post covers pages 88 through 91 of this important work. For this chapter, the entries are listed in order of their appearance. The form of the entries is different for this chapter than others because there is limited designer and artist information presented in the catalog:

page + name + type of object, designer or artist, year, company, location, type of plastic (PMMA), size, colors

This chapter covers inflatable objects made from poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA).

88 Toy chair, Rossi Molinary, 1968, Totem, Italy, PMMA, 68 x 86 x 83 cm, transparent

89 chair, 1971, France, PMMA, 84 cm tall, transparent

89 Sphere chair, Boris Tabacoff, 1971, MMM (Mobilier Modulaire Moderne), France, PMMA, 62 x 64 x 70 cm, transparent

89 bedside table, PMMA, 42.5 x 36.5 x 33 cm, transparent

90 cylinder and ball lamp, Ugo la Pietra, 1968-69, Poggi, Italy, PMMA, 71 x 40 cm, transparent

90 cylinder lamp, Ugo la Pietra, 1968-69, Poggi, Italy, PMMA, 131.5 x 31.5 x 36.5 cm, transparent

90 triangular lamp, Ugo la Pietra, 1968-69, Poggi, Italy, PMMA, 19 x 34.5 x 20 cm, transparent

90 handkerchief vases, 1975, Guzzini Brothers, Italy, PMMA, 18 and 27 cm tall, transparent red and purple

90 vases, Luigi Massoni, 1973, Guzzini Brothers, Italy, PMMA, 10 and 20 cm tall, transparent and transparent red

90 Pop lamp, J.P. Lorence, 1972, K.L. Diffusion, France, PMMA, 8 fins, transparent red

91 Cepusglio de Gino nightlight, Ennio Lucini, 1968, Guzzini Design House, Italy, PMMA, 32 cm tall 16 fins, transparent yellow


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Saturday, March 12, 2011

L’Utopie du tout Plastique 1960 – 1973 | Philippe Decelle | Fondation pour l’Architecture, publisher | 1994 | PART 5

Philippe Decelle L'Utopie du tout PlastiquePhilippe Decelle
Diane Hennebert
Pierre Loze
Fondation pour l’Architecture, Bruxelles, Belgium, 1994

This post covers pages 84 through 87 of this important work. For this chapter, the entries are listed in order of their appearance. The form of the entries is different for this chapter than others because there is limited designer and artist information presented in the catalog:

page + name + type of object, designer or artist, year, company, location, type of plastic (PVC), size, colors

This chapter covers inflatable objects made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

84 Apollo chair, Khanh Nguyen Manh, 1968, Quasar, France, PVC, 65 x 75 x 83 cm, transparent and white

84 Venus chair for child, 1968, Quasar, France, PVC, 47 cm, orange

84 Relax chaise lounge, 1968, Quasar, France, PVC, 60 x 75 x 160 cm, transparent

85 wallboard, PVC, 255 x 95 cm, transparent and white

85 lamp, PVC, 26 x 76 cm, transparent and white

85 Chesterfield sofa, PVC, 62 x 172 x 95 cm, transparent

85 table, 1968, Quasar, France, PVC, 75 x 75 x 83 cm, transparent and white

86 round chair, Quasar, France, PVC, 61 x 93 cm, transparent and gray

86 round chairs, Plasteco, Italy, PVC, 56 x 90 cm, 59 x 85 cm, transparent

86 ottomans, unattributed, PVC, 32 x 45 cm, transparent and orange

86 sofa, Plasteco, Italy, PVC, 63 x 180 x 91 cm, transparent and yellow

87 chair, Rees, Stein & Co., England, PVC, 57 x 90 cm, zebra (white and black)

87 chair, Rees, Stein & Co., England, PVC, 55 x 83 cm, zebra (white and black)

87 Blow-Up chair, K. Göhling, 1969, Germany, PVC, 80 x 92 x 173 cm, gray

87 Tore chair, Jean Aubert, Jean-Paul Jungmann and Antoine Stinco, 1967, Piermag, France, PVC, 57 x 100 x 95 cm, transparent and gray

87 chair, Pierre Laurens, 1970, Pierre Laurens, France, PVC, 60 x 90 x 100 cm, white and transparent gray

87 round chair, Eurovinil-Grossetto, Italy, PVC, 63 x 80 cm, transparent gray


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Thursday, March 10, 2011

63526 letter rack | Walter Zeischegg | Helit, Germany | 1973

Walter Zeischegg Walter Zeischegg
63526 letter rack and 63527 magazine rack
Helit, Germany, 1973

An update to my post of February 27, 2010, the 63526 letter rack and 63527 magazine rack by Walter Zeischegg for Helit.  That post and those of July 24, 2010 and September 12, 2010 have all been about the magazine rack.  The letter rack, while similar in design, is necessarily smaller.  I’ve seen the letter rack in white and black.  I also found one that was described as being “dark brown, almost black.” But it may also have been manufactured in other colors, like the magazine rack was made in red.  I’ll update with any other colors if I find them, but the letter rack is a seldom seen item.  Please comment with any information you may have.

WhiteHelit 63526 letter rack, whiteThe Helit 63526 letter rack in white.  Note the original “helit” sticker.

Helit 63526 letter rack, whiteHelit 63526 letter rack, whiteHelit 63526 letter rack, whiteHelit 63526 letter rack, white

Image source:  eBay.  Item is for sale 220€ ($306).  Note the original sticker on the letter rack.  Like many plastic items in white, there is discoloration present.

Dark brown
Helit 63526 letter rack, dark brownHelit 63526 letter rack, dark brownHelit 63526 letter rack, dark brown

The imprint is very small, on the underside of the rack.  It reads in two semicircles:

· helit 63526 ·

w. zeischegg

Helit 63526 letter rack, dark brownDescribed by the seller as “very dark brown, almost black.”  This letter rack was sold on 12/27/2010 and attracted 7 bidders and 12 bids.  Sold for 53.77€ ($70).  Image source: eBay.

Black

Helit 63526 letter rack, blackHelit 63526 letter rack, black The Helit 63526 letter rack in black.  Note the original “helit” sticker.

Helit 63526 letter rack, black Bottom of the Helit 63526 letter rack.


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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Magic Hole armchairs and two seat sofa | Philippe Starck and Eugeni Quitllet | Kartell, Italy | 2010

Starck Magic Hole seriesPhilippe Starck and Eugeni Quitllet
Kartell, Italy, 2010

From YouTube.  A survey of Kartell at the 2010 Milan International Furniture fair.  Color uniformity contributes to a sleek, sophisticated look.  Thirteen brand new products and three existing ones were presented, including the Magic Hole series.

The Magic Hole line from Kartell is a new trio of products manufactured via a rotational moulding technique. Included in the collection is a two seater sofa, an armchair and a smaller table-front armchair.

Magic Hole two seater sofa

Magic Hole two seater sofaAbove:  Magic Hole two seater  sofa at the 2010 Milan International Furniture fair.  Below:  Kartell promotional image for the Magic Hole two seater sofa.

The three pieces project a clean silhouette with straight surfaces ending in nicely rounded curves and slim sectional legs. The stylistic and functional design contrasts with and enhances the linearity of the pieces. An internal flared orange “pocket” was created in the interior hollow curve of both arms, which can function as a magazine holder or for other convenient storage.  It’s decorative to boot, thanks to the strong contrast of the orange against the black single mould frame, although I’ve seen it hinted that the Magic Hole will be made in gray and white in addition to black.

Magic "Hole"Close up of the magic hole.

Magic Hole armchairsMagic Hole armchairsAbove:  Magic Hole armchair and smaller table-front armchair at the 2010 Milan International Furniture fair.  Below:  Kartell promotional image for the Magic Hole armchair and smaller table-front armchair.


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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mr. Impossible chair | Philippe Starck with Eugeni Quitllet | Kartell, Italy | 2007

Philippe Starck Mr. Impossible chairPhilippe Starck with Eugeni Quitllet
Kartell, Italy, 2007

When Kartell released the La Marie chair (given product code 4850) by Philippe Starck in 1998, it was the first completely transparent chair made from a single polycarbonate mould.  Kartell has been a pioneer in research and development of the technical expertise necessary to execute designs out of polycarbonate, a material both more expensive than and more difficult to use in injection moulding.

La Marie chair

The La Marie chair.  Image source

Starck certainly drew from the Ero|S| chair as inspiration for the Mr. Impossible Chair (given product code 5940).  The seat was given its name on the first sketch.  Originally, the concept was to bind two separate polycarbonate sections together without adhesive, which initially seemed impossible.   Joining techniques that existed at the time would have left a visible and unsightly seam.  The Mr. Impossible chair was launched at the Milan International Furniture Fair in 2007. 

Mr. Impossible chair

The Mr. Impossible chair.  Image source: Plataforma Arquitectura.  Click below to be taken to the Plataforma Arquitectura site.

Plataforma Arquitectura logo

In the September, 2008 Wired, Starck was asked what the inspiration was for Mr. Impossible.  He responded:

The speed of evolution for our civilization and the dematerialization that rules all our production.  Take the computer:  It was the size of a room, then a briefcase.  Now it’s a credit card.  You cannot dematerialize a chair completely, because you must continue to sit on it.  But you can make it invisible.  That’s why I made the Mr. Impossible with a double shell – it’s basically made of air.

Mr. Impossible was designed in collaboration with Eugeni Quitllet.  Born in April, 1972, Quitllet began studying design at the Ibiza art school in 1991 and earned a Diploma of Design and Interior Design at La Llotja (Spanish for “The Exchange,” so called because it is located on the top floor of the stock exchange.  The school boasts Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró as attendees) art school in Barcelona, Spain in 1996.  Quitllet met Starck in Formentera in 2001 and has worked with him on numerous projects.  The Magic Hole trio of two seater sofa, and two armchairs for Kartell come to mind as another outstanding result of their work together.

Mr. Impossible technical data sheet

Mr. Impossible technical data sheet.

The seat is made of transparent or batch-dyed polycarbonate and the frame is made of transparent polycarbonate.  There are two molds, one for the sear and one for the legs.  The two parts are welded by laser to produce a nearly indestructible, colorful, textural and seamless design.

Mr. Impossible chair

Close up of the Mr. Impossible chair.

Mr. Impossible chairs

A selection of Mr. Impossible chairs in a variety of colors.

The Mr. Impossible chair comes in 9 colors, transparent: crystal, green, grey, ochre, purple, and red orange, and opaque:  Kartell red, white, and black.  The Mr. Impossible chair is 55 cm wide by 54 cm deep and 84 cm tall.  The seat height is 46 cm. 

A short design and history video of the aptly named Mr. Impossible chair from YouTube.

Starck with Mr. Impossible Chair

Philippe Starck with Mr. Impossible chairs.  Image source:  Indish.

New York Kartell Flagship, Mr. Impossible

New York Kartell flagship in May, 2008 exhibiting and celebrating the Mr. Impossible chair.  Image source:  Mocoloco.  Click the logo to the right to be taken to the Mocoloco site. Mocoloco logo

References

Gaut, Adrian. (2009, September). Design: Impossibly Starck. Wired, 88.

Retrieved February 21, 2011 from Eugeni Quitllet:  http://eugeniquitllet.com/bio.htm


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