Showing posts with label design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label design. Show all posts

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pinterest on (Mode) Parade

   I am now assembling a small collection of boards on design, architecture, photography and style right here:

   The collection of images on my Pinterest boards is presently rather modest, but I anticipate that it will grow in tandem with my developing understanding of it. I've already begun utilising it for my photography efforts, at the very least, and it is a curious way of determining what one finds attractive, even in the face of what seem to be the labile tastes of the rest of the planet. Which reminds me that of the smorgasbord on offer, the pins of most utility appear to be cookery recipes

   Happy image hunting

Monday, 16 June 2014

Barima at Chelsea College of Art's Interior Design Summer Show

   So, it has come to pass that I will soon conclude Chelsea College of Art's Graduate Diploma Interior Design course and henceforth have to update my calling card from "Student Interior Designer" to "Former Student Interior Designer" 

   To celebrate my release graduation, my friend, photographer and college staff member Gavin Freeborn interviewed your author as part of this year's promotional rollout for the annual Summer Show. And yes, I really do sound like that:

   The Summer Show has already commenced and will end later this week on Saturday 21st June. It takes place at:

16 John Islip Street

   It is open to all until 8pm each eve - perhaps some of you will pop your heads around the door and wave a finger. I will share more about my own work and experiences in due course

Friday, 16 May 2014

What Chelsea College of Art & Design Has Turned Me Into

Hand rendered interior elevation by BON, 2013

If I have an ethos as a budding interior designer, I am, like the belated and late modernist American architect Paul Rudolph, concerned with what he considered “the unique element of architecture” – the birth of “living, breathing dynamic spaces of infinite variety. ” Or to put it another way, it is about, as Willheim Dudok once stated, “this serious and beautiful game of space” 

Inevitably, it is a rational approach to space planning that my studies at Chelsea have begun to hone, along with the freedom to channel my interests in storage solutions, theatrical minimalism, colour schemes, illustration and 20th century French design into my project work. Indeed, many spaces may impress or intrigue, but they are ultimately at a remove if they do not feel inviting or habitable. And as I progress, I hope to master the ways in which everything, especially the inhabitant, can be ensconced in its rightful place

- Excerpted from my designer statement for Chelsea College of Art & Design's 2014 Student Catalogue

Monday, 26 August 2013

Not Dead

Just Working. I have to justify that "aspiring interior designer" tag somehow

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Design Lust Object No. 7 - Paul Evans Furniture

The Cityscape sofa, circa the 1970s, by the American Paul Evans (1931 - 1987), idiosyncratic sculptor, artist and furniture designer

This is elegance writ grandiose; a piece such as this may do one a little good in a shy and retiring, minimalist, white interior. But really, it needs a natural-look veneer (perhaps something in stone or a caramel/wood colour), abstract art, large windows, a marble and metal coffee table, a fully stocked liqour cabinet and (to invoke the Beastie Boys) a handy "Bowie" mirror

Monday, 26 November 2012

At Home With Diana and the Vreelands

   This is how one's family should be seen behind their closed doors

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Metal Lust Object No.7 - Set Sail for Longines

Longines solid silver fob watch with engraved hunter case, as sold on eBay (to someone else). And what a beautiful piece it is, too


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Design Lust Object No.6 - George Nelson's Pretzel Chair

George Nelson, born 1908 in Hartford, Connecticut, studied architecture at Yale University. A fellowship enabled him to study at the American Academy in Rome from 1932-34. In Europe he became acquainted with the protagonists and major architectural works of modernism.

He joined the editorial staff of Architectural Forum in 1935, where he was employed until 1944. A programmatic article on residential building and furniture design, published in Architectural Forum by Nelson in 1944, attracted the attention of D.J. DePree, head of the furniture company Herman Miller.
Shortly after this, George Nelson assumed the position of design director at Herman Miller. Remaining there until 1972, he became a key figure of American design, also convincing the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi and Alexander Girard to work for Herman Miller.

In the 1950s, George Nelson and his New York office developed an individual and expressive range of seating pieces, several of which have long since achieved classic status. In 1952, even before the famous Coconut Chair or the Marshmallow Sofa, Nelson designed a chair made out of bent wood that was initially referred to, simply, as the Laminated Chair. The bold yet elegant curve of the single wooden piece forming the back and armrests soon inspired the nickname Pretzel Chair. Bent laminated wood is used not only for the backrest and its twin supports, but also for the four legs that cross underneath the seat. The downward taper of the legs contributes to the chair's slender appearance. Due to insufficient manufacturing techniques, the Pretzel Chair was removed from the market after only a few years, which makes it highly valued among collectors today.
His collaboration with Vitra began in 1957. From 1946 onwards Nelson also ran his own design office, creating numerous products that are now regarded as icons of mid-century modernism.

Nelson's office also produced important architectural works and exhibition designs. George Nelson died in New York in 1986. His archive belongs to the holdings of the Vitra Design Museum.
From Vitra

Friday, 9 September 2011

Design Lust Objects No.5 - Daum Crystal

   The trying time I am having whilst seeking to have repairs effected on a Daum crystal cactus in London has inspired this post's content. I suppose that some good should come out of this laboured endeavour

   The artisanal crystal craftsmanship of Daum has been in operation since 1878; its studio still based in Nancy, France, to this day. These valuable and scarce examples of its creativity are a winter-scene nightlight with bronze mounts and a miniature vase featuring a scene of sailboats on a river circa 1900, which I sourced from the Art Nouveau Glass website. I also quite like this acid cut cameo vase circa 1905: 

   Aside from the quality guarantee given by its longevity and handmaking expertise, Daum is also renowned for its practice of the pâte de verre (literally, "glass paste") glass casting method, which allows for the richness and complexity of its myriad forms and sculpting techniques. The effects can be viewed most pleasingly under the right sort of light

   But that is enough for now. This pesky cactus won't fix itself

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

From the Estate of Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

   Hollywood Golden Ager and naval hero Douglas Fairbanks Jr., seen here in a 1940 portrait by Tino Costa, was the quiet perfectionist type when it came to matters of dress and deportment. However, as I've noted in the past, obvious sobriety does not a boring approach make and the sophistication evinced by Fairbanks Jr.'s tasteful cuts and respectable palette will always be worth 300 of the overly adventurous sprezzatura set any day

   Still, as ADG of Maxminimus and Tintin of The Trad, who brought the upcoming auction of Fairbanks Jr.'s effects by Doyle New York to the attention of many, have separately ruminated, it remains to be seen what sorts of prices quiet perfection fetches at auctions these days, whether the subject be famous or, in the case of the scheming Bernie Madoff, infamous and more than a little reviled. I expect that the prices will generally trend within the estimates, excepting perhaps the precious metal accessories such as the platinum, gold, cabochon and diamond dress stud set, and interesting knick knacks such as the personally inscribed first edition Salvador Dali book

   Included are some the pieces I'd be most interested in, were I in New York next Tuesday, 13th of September, and independently wealthy. Of course, it is not only the aesthetics of someone else's acquisitions that should be of interest; the stories behind them should hopefully be worth their prices at auction whenever one needs to spice up a conversation at the dinner table

McCULLEY, JOHNSTON. The Mark of Zorro. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1924. Inscribed by the author in 1925 to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and further inscribed and gifted at Christmas in 1951 from Mary Pickford to Fairbanks, Jr., with Pickford's tipped in Christmas card. Original gilt faux leather. Spine tips and corners rubbed, spine faded, with the bookplate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Fairbanks, Sr. famously played Zorro in the 1920 film, the year he married Mary Pickford. Using his affectionate nickname of "Jayar" for Junior, Pickford thought Fairbanks, Jr. "would like to have this book of your father's"

14kt. gold gufflinks

A selection of a navy pinstriped wool double-breasted suit, labeled Stovel & Mason Ltd. 32 Old Burlington Street, London W1., handwritten Sir Douglas Fairbanks December 1946 with a black silk woven with white oxford motif tie, labeled Crimplene; black herringbone wool Chesterfield coat, labeled Stovel & Mason Ltd. 32 Old Burlington Street, London W1., handwritten Sir Douglas Fairbanks January 1958; and a two-piece suit in black, white and burgundy Glen plaid, labeled P. Caraceni Roma, and handwritten Sir Douglas F 1953
14kt. gold cigarette case and lighter by Tiffany & Co. with a gold cigarette holder by Cartier
George III style mahogany partner's desk

The aforementioned dress studs and cufflinks set

9kt. gold dresser set from Finnegan's Ltd. of Bond Street, formerly owned by Douglas Fairbanks Sr.


Not included in the lots, these photographs are merely for illustrative purposes:

Pictured on the left and centre with Fairbanks Jr. are the late President Ronald Reagan and the late Cary Grant

With the late actress Virginia Field

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Design Lust Object No.4 - Charlotte Perriand et Jean Prouvé

Made from lacquered aluminium and wood, this striking piece from the pre-Tetris/pre-Jenga Fever era is an example of the distinctive 1950s "Mexique" bookcase designs created by the French designer Charlotte Perriand (1903 - 1999) at the Atelier Jean Prouvé, ostensibly the only one Perriand would work with. History has it that it was originally designed for la Maison du Mexique, a dormitory at Paris's Cité Universitaire when Perriand was tasked with designing its meeting rooms, cafeteria and forty students' rooms. She worked extensively with Sonia Delaunay, who was in charge of the coloration. Already, one is under the impression that Perriand possessed a particular sense for organisation; this creation was an example of her goal to bring a sense of idiosyncratic, attractive aesthetics to functional living

In the 1930s, Perriand was partnered with the notably more well-known Le Corbusier, as pictured above, having gained his attention with her chrome-tube furniture installation, 'Bar sous le toit' (bar under the roof), at the Salon d’automne in 1927. She devoted herself to leftist causes and healthy living, as evocatively displayed in the poster below as she defies the elements in nothing but the gloves and lower half of her ski ensemble. An exhibition on Perriand, detailed at The Hotel Corail, is now in its final weeks at the Petit Palais Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Design Lust Object No.3

Today, I'd prefer to go with a classic: Gerrit Thomas Rietveld's structural composition in Mondrian colours, the Red and Blue Chair (1917; now permanently displayed at MoMA). I can attest that it is surprisingly more comfortable than it looks, and as slide-friendly

Monday, 20 June 2011

Design Lust Objects Nos.1 & 2

A day's double from the redoubtable Paul T. Frankl:

Woodweave chair circa 1938

Faux zebra-lacquered finished wood console/occasional table circa the 1930s

Apparently, the Yale Press-published Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design, written by Christopher Long, is very much worth a perusal. And you semi-regular readers do know how much I appreciate the aesthetic and the skillful. Especially, that which comes in curvy, visually soothing, utilitarian forms

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Metal Lust Object No.4

Antique emerald, rose cut diamond and rose gold tie pin, via Andrew Hartley Fine Arts

Monday, 15 November 2010


   Anyone seeking guidance in amassing elegant furniture, accoutrements and high-class baubles could do worse than look for inspiration in the recently auctioned former belongings of Ponzi schemer and convict Bernard L. Madoff and his wife Ruth

   Certainly, what I've seen of their blink-and-miss artwork selection speaks to the genteel preoccupations of the gilded rich and the overall aura of the pieces seem dismayingly restrained, but the 18th and 19th century home furnishings, along with gleefully cheeky outliers like the bull-shaped footstool in leather demonstrate that the "bad guys" almost always enjoy fine decor (and speaking of dismayingly restrained, it seemed rather obvious that Mr. Madoff sought to construct a quiet, serious and respectable identity, like other men of his tastes, out of Lobb, Charvet and Turnbull & Asser - and not with the subtle, ludic polish of an Ahmet Ertegun, either). The jewellery collection was, in my eyes, the clear highlight. I might have reacted emotionally to seeing the timepiece collection, in small part due to seeing a platinum Cartier Ronde Solo amongst the solid gold Patek Philippes, Piagets and Audemars-Piguets, and in large part due to dropping an iron on my foot whilst trying to read the interweb simultaneously. Ordinarily, I'm a great multitasker

   I only wish I could see the expensive bonfire that will be lit by the fellow whose $1,700 bought him a selection of Mr. Madoff's underwear - all because he wanted the socks. I'm not even sure many of them are silk. Maybe the Prada pantyhose was the true gem