The Modern Chair

Our home-base museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, opened a new exhibit yesterday called “The Modern Chair”. It is the first in a series of exhibitions that will lead up to the opening of the museum’s first permanent collection of 20th-21st century architecture and design. The exhibit features furniture starting in the Machine Age, highlighting a move from carpenters to industrial designers in the furniture industry.


Rudolph Schindler. Wilshire Medical Office Side Chair, about 1943

During this time, the chair became more than a utilitarian object. Architects and Designers began seeing the chair as an opportunity for engineering. It became a means for material exploration and the study of the human body. Tubular steel, plywood, and fiberglass began to have a role in furniture.  “The Modern Chair” features famed chairs from Charles and Ray Eames, Charlotte Perriand, Harry Bertoia, and Le Corbusier, all of whom contributed to a new, modern, ideal. (via).

le corbusierLe Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris), Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand
Chaise Lounge, designed 1928, manufactured about 1933


Here at Maxine Snider, we can see this influence in our own furniture. Our City Bench and Bauhaus Sofa combine steel and upholstery with crisp lines and a clean aesthetic reflective of the era.


citybench_mainMaxine Snider, City Benchbauhaussofa_mainMaxine Snider, Bauhaus Sofa

It is exciting to see the AIC’s renewed interest in the history of design and it’s influences, and we look forward to seeing more work by those that inspire us.


All images via The Art Institute of Chicago and Maxine Snider Inc.

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Ghost Architecture by Edoardo Tresoldi

In Puglia Italy, artist Edoardo Tresoldi has created a masterful sculptural installation that reinterprets the remains of an ancient church. Tresoldi worked with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Archaeology Superintendence of Puglia to re-imagine the splendor of the church at the Archaeological Park of Siponto. The work, simply named Basilica di Siponto revives the remains, allowing visitors to transcend time and see the splendor of the cathedral.

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Photographs taken by Blind Eye Factory detail the magnitude of the project. Showing how the work sits beautifully in the archeological site. Tresoldi’s eye for detail, and the original architect’s eye for space is breathtaking.


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Tresoldi included replicas of even the smallest detail, including columns and the original sculptural figures.




You can see more of Edoardo Tresoldi’s work on his Facebook and Behance page. And follow us: Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Process Refinement: From Dirt to Sphere

Hikaro Dorodango is the ancient Japanese art of turning dirt into spheres. Artist Bruce Gardner has mastered this craft. Gardner describes his spheres as “nearly the perfect expression of process refinement”. Each Dorodango feels personified, their perfection through labor and extreme fragility through material allowing them to feel intimate.

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“A traditional pastime among the children of Japan, the exact origin of hikaru dorodango is unknown. The tradition was dying out until taken up by Professor Fumio Kayo, of the Kyoto University of Education, as a means to study the psychology of children’s play. In the course of his research, Kayo developed a simple technique for creating dorodango. With the help of Japanese media, Kayo has revived and extended the popular reach of this tradition to the point where it is now an international phenomenon.” –Bruce Gardner


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Watch the beautiful video by P2 photography, then go try the practice yourself with the instructions on Bruce Gardner’s website.

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To Sharpen a Pencil

Professors at the Free University of Bolzano in Italy conceived a clever project for 20 of their design students.  The project, called La Matita Rossa, challenged them to rethink the user’s experience when sharpening a pencil.

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The students came up with many thoughtful new approaches.

A notched handheld with blade.

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A tool kit for fine tuning the perfect point.

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A wearable approach.

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The interactive method.

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A fantastic project that challenged the students and yielded amazing creations.  To view more of the concepts click here.


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Pencil Shaded Shapes as Wallpaper

The creative team at Front Designs approached this collection by first cutting shapes out of paper.  After putting together several variations they made pencil drawings of the layouts. Using these for the final collection allows the patterns to be subtle yet have a three dimensional quality that adds interest to wall.

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They partnered with Eco Wallpapers to bring the line into production. We are charmed by the subtle yet textured feel the wall paper offers a space.  To order, go here.

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Updated 60’s Home Keeps Its Prairie Roots

A long time family home in Quebec was in need of an update.  Architecture Open Forum worked with the owners to honor the prairie style and horizontal lines of the 60’s home while bringing a contemporary feel both inside and out.

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The outdoor area provides an excellent space to enjoy the surrounding landscape.  The yard is easily accessible from several points and enjoyed through large windows throughout the home.

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The interiors were designed by FX Studio par Clairoux.  They brought a minimalist vision with clean lines and muted colors, allowing the architecture to come through.

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The cedar wood and natural stone used outside the home is continued inside adding warmth.  It was important to maintain a ‘soul’ to the home.



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For more images go here.


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Portraits in Threads

Cayce Zavaglia has taken her skills as a painter and applied it to portraiture through embroidery.  She has been producing her photo-realistic portraits for several years.


She has been showing the back or ‘verso’ of her works after she discovered that the resulting patterns yielded a captivating result worth sharing several years ago .


Taking inspiration from the strong lines and colors, she has recently begun producing paintings of the verso, capturing the detail and depth of the embroidered works.


Each approach holds their own for the precision and intricacy but taken as a body of work the metaphor for the many sides, uniqueness, and evolution of the person within the portrait comes through.  For more insight, listen to the artist discuss her process in this short video.


Check back with us next week for new designs

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Bringing Birchbark to Modern Design

Turning birchbark into a usable material is an age old Siberian craft.  Anastasiya Koshcheeva has used the material to create the ‘fabric’ for her Taburet stool.

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Although she has been applying the wood in different applications, in her stool she sews and folds it to create a faceted seat which when viewed from alternate angles plays tricks with the eye.

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Natural birchbark is water repellent, anti-bacterial, and is both strong and flexible.  The use as a seat in this way is a fantastic vehicle to take advantage of those qualities.

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The birch is sourced and fabricated in Russia by craftsmen still using traditional methods. Koshcheeva’s pieces introduces an age-old use of material into a fresh form for today.



Check back with us next week for new designs

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Lonely Houses

Small houses with backdrops of open sky make up an ongoing series by the photographer known as Sejjko.  These traditional homes found in Portugal have caught his eye as well as ours.

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Each has a unique personality that feels intimate, welcoming and yet at the same time are in contrast to their stark surroundings.  The photographer edits them to “bring them as close as possible to the way my eyes see them.”

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A reflective series that connects Sejkko to his feelings of home and childhood. Those moments when we feel lost yet safe exactly where we are.  To read more on the project head here and to see more of his work follow his instagram.

sejjko combo


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25 Lamp by Kovac

Named for the 25 pieces of wood that create it, this lamp begins as a flat pack item but unfolds to beautiful silhouette.


Available in Oak, Ash, or Birchwood and handmade in Sweden with sustainable materials by the Kovac Family.


Not only is it an attractive lamp, the proceeds go to support the Kovac Family’s Biomimicry project which is attempting to create light without using electricity by using elements in nature that already do just that.


Promoting sustainable design in a deceiving simple way.


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