Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Cat’s Couch that’s the Cat’s Meow

Korean furniture designer Senugji Mun has designed a couch fit for a feline.

This Cat’s Tunnel Sofa was designed so that pet’s and their owners have a place in the home to share.  Ample seating for humans… and an amusing tunnel system for cats!

Would you like to see more furniture that accommodates your pets?

Enjoying the Whimsical with Hubert Le Gall

Today we are posting a delightful interview with french artist Hubert Le Gall.

Watch for yourself!

Le Gall elegantly describes his love of making furniture that is art.  Le Gall says art is often taken too seriously.  By making furniture, his creations becomes intimate and functional.

Browse through some of his playful designs below and check out his gallery here.  You can also read this piece on Le Gall from a 2005 feature in the New York Times.

Igneous Fusion Meets Metamorphic Design

We were just grumbling over here at Unbranded HQ that lava lamps have dominated the world of volcano inspired furniture long enough.

Luckily, just as we were organizing our protest signs we came across Maffam Freeform.  With Latvian designer Raimonds Cirulis at the helm, Maffam Freeform produces beautiful furniture and home pieces from basalt fiber and natural resin.

Basalt is a volcanic rock that forms once lava has cooled.  The basalt fiber is created by a hand made process.  Basalt rock is crushed and stretched through a unique  “spinner” machine, which turns the newly formed basalt fiber into a yarn like form.  Basalt fiber is similar to carbon fiber.  It is lightweight, highly resistant to heat and and other physical forces, and possesses three times the strength of steel.  Given the composition of this unique material, Maffam Freeform furniture can be used indoors or outdoors.  The hand cultivated process of creating the basalt fiber makes each item especially distinct.

Mono Table with Arche Chairs.

The Arche Chairs feature a hollow inside and a handle on the top back of the chair for convenient transport.

The spiral detail is truly extraordinary.

Mono Table with Pandit Chairs.

Pandit Chair.  The Arche, Pandit, and several chairs featured below can be stacked on top of like models for easy storage.

Lucky Whale Chairs with Mini Table.

According to the manufacturer’s website, the Whale Chair “is created to lie down and watch the volcanos erupting, whales grazing at the shore and watch a hazardous comet approaching the earth’s atmosphere as it was told in the news.”

To that, we say FINALLY!

Ego Chair.  Another fantastic description from the Maffam Freeform website.  “The title of this chair says it all – a fine place to place one of the most precious things that we own – you!”  We feel like we’ve found a company that just gets us…

Manu King Chair with King Table.

Fit for a king indeed.

Stranger Chair.

The name suggests this to be something odd.  In fact, it is highly functional.  Use the Stranger for a seat or stool.

Basic Chair.  Nothing basic about it to us.

Boss Chair.

Can anyone else see Darth Vader in this?.

We just couldn’t resist modeling as we typed up this post.  Sorry about the mess on the floor.

Google London Office: Remodeled

A few months ago, Google unveiled their renovated offices in London’s trendy Soho district.  The finished product looks like an office space fit for Austin Powers.

A few things we are crazy about:

We love the two tone color blocking on this chair.  The high back looks like it would provide privacy for taking a phone call, or from hiding from a pesky coworker.  Style AND function, that’s what we like to see!

I wonder if Google got a deal from The Voice for ordering the stationary leg option…

This couch is just what we need for an intimate cocktail hour with our closest friends.  The color is fresh and the lines are clean and smooth.

We love these nooks with built in booths.  We would love to see booths break out of the restaurant business and spread their wings to other locations!  And the curtain is the perfect touch for secret meetings and impromptu games of “7 Minutes” (two agenda items that frequent the halls of UnBranded).

This rainbow chair looks funky and comfy!  Who wouldn’t want to take a conference call in this nest?

The ultimate retreat.  Wall to wall velvet.  Need we say more?

This looks like the perfect hideaway to get some real work done.  And since the mystery of how to recycle the cardboard coffee carriers is solved, efforts can be refocused to another project!

What a lovely patio for office brainstorm sessions, outdoor lunches, or in house cocktail hours.  The stone chairs and tables positioned in the grass are cool and minimal.  And who doesn’t love a classic picnic table?

In all, the Google London office showcases some amazing furniture pieces.  It’s certainly given us at Unbranded Designs a starting off point for customizing our own space.

Furniture Design Adapting to Technology

Steven Kurutz wrote a fascinating article for the New York Times in March on the need for furniture design to evolve in order to keep up with the ever-changing technology landscape.

We urge you all to read the article in its entirety, but we will highlight a few key points.

First, Kurutz talks about technology shrinking the physical world.  Thanks to digital storage space, many people are downsizing their STUFF onto their computer, iPads, and Kindles.  This effectively eliminates a lot of traditional furniture pieces, especially in the home office.  The “home entertainment center”, filing cabinets, bookcases, and even the traditional desk are on the verge of becoming obsolete.  This creates interesting challenges for the design community as they consider what kinds of furniture people are actually using in their homes and offices.

Another interesting point Kurutz brings up is the speed of technological changes, and how quickly the design world is forced to adapt.  It is difficult for designers to incorporate technology into designs when technology changes so quickly, thereby risking the furniture becoming useless.  Cord management is one area that designers feel safe to experiment with, and I think we can all agree that this is a necessity.  However, there is still a gap between how our gadgets and furniture mix together.

Check out some pieces below that have incorporated technology into the design.

Crate and Barrel Geneva L Sound System Pedestal.  A sound system built to look like a piece of furniture, and house your iPod.

Laptop desk and chair – all in one!

Victrola for iPad.  An old sound system is new again.

Nomad Table for iPad by Spell.  The table has a groove so you can pop your iPad upright.

CB2 Tucker Camo Laptop Table.  The top flips open so you can store your iPad or laptop.  The table is lightweight enough to move from couch to chair – so long traditional desks!

iCon bed by Hollandia with built in speakers.

What pieces of furniture have you replaced with technology?  Would you like to see your gadgets better incorporated into your furniture pieces?  Tell us your thoughts!

Chadhaus Furniture: Chic and Sustainable

Oh Seattle, you have done so much for us.  Nirvana.  Starbucks.  Grey’s Anatomy.  (Yes, we did list those in order of importance.)  And now, environmentally friendly sustainable furniture.

The Chadhaus furniture and design company was created by husband and wife team Chad and Emily Robertson in 2006.

Their business is described as ” a small-scale operation that is part laboratory, part workshop, and part design studio”, which we love.  The word laboratory is just not used enough today.

The designs are classic yet modern at the same time.  Sleek, cool, and beautiful; what more could you ask for?

All of the materials are local to the Pacific Northwest.  The steel is recycled and manufactured in Seattle.  The trees are salvaged or harvested in a sustainable way.  All pieces are available in a wide variety of wood and steel combinations; walnut, sycamore, elm, cherry, fir dark, fir whitewash, popular whitewash, cherry whitewash, black steel, natural steel, and white steel.

Chadhaus also features customized pieces.  Check out these great beds!

For more information please visit the Chadhaus website.

Believe that you can do it. Cause you can do it!

We came across this YouTube gem and had to share right away.  What a great message for all of our designers!

“This is your world
You are the creator.
I have freedom on this canvas.
Believe that you can do it.
Cause you can do it.”

Even better, we think that EVERYONE can gain inspiration from this video!

It’s the kind of thing you want to watch every morning for a little inspiration.  In fact, that’s just what we’ve decided to do at Unbranded Designs.  Thank goodness this came along when it did.  Our old ritual was reciting scenes from The Newsroom.

 

Recycle This!

We at Unbranded have this little dream of making our entire office space one giant cardboard box fort.

Note – this design is still a working model.  We would really like to get a slide in there somewhere…

Anyway, imagine our delight when we discovered a company that makes furniture out of cardboard!

Enter SmartDeco.  SmartDeco boasts affordable, lightweight, durable, eco-friendly furniture made entirely out of cardboard!  And when we say durable, we mean it.  According to the manufacturer, the pieces can hold over 400 pounds.

Check out the SmartDeco SmartDresser, just $51!

All the pieces are available in natural or white.  Drawers can easily be removed to create shelving.

Here is the SmartDeco Intellidesk, only $32.

The Intellidesk comes with a snap on Lid Shield which creates a smooth, waterproof work area.  As demonstrated by the picture above, these pieces are easy to customize with your own creativity!  We would love to see a piece fully decorated!

SmartDeco SmartStand – $37.

Get the full SmartSet for $119.

For added storage, you can buy a Connection Lid to pull the SmartStand or SmartDresser together.

We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but this is just what the cardboard fort needs. And if we don’t use it, we can give it to our cousins for college.  Or make another robot.  After all, it’s 100% recyclable!

Our Childhood Revisited… as Furniture

Check out these nostalgic furniture pieces by the New York based firm Jellio.

GummiLights… Do you think these would still work if we soak them in vodka?

Button Bench

Super Table.  Bam!  Slap!

Candy Table.  Don’t get your hopes up, the table is not filled with candy.  IT IS FILLED WITH SQUIRT GUNS!!!!

Seriously, squirt guns!  Dreams… coming true…

Lite Table.  This table features 100 oversized pegs that you can actually move around to create designs, just like we did as kids!

Rubik’s Cube® Table

Seat Hearts.  Because candy hearts are not just for the month of February.

I mean really, flowers and chocolate are so overdone.

Ice Cream Bench

Jellio also creates amazing custom pieces.  This American flag was commissioned for a U.S. Army base in Michigan.  The flag is made up of about 50,000 red, white, and blue army men!  This not only speaks to our inner child, but also our inner patriot and our unapologetic Toy Story fan.

Image

For more furniture pieces or to check out other custom design jobs, please visit Jellio’s website.

Welcome to the Blog!

Welcome to the official Unbranded Designs Blog!

Here on our blog, we’ll be bringing you interesting information, stories, and interviews that pertain to the furniture design community.  Also, we think it’s only fair that you understand what’s going on with the business, the struggles we face, and the successes we achieve.  We may talk about a great new partnership we forge, a random legal issue we run into, or discuss a new employee we hire. Of course, we also reserve the right to post completely random YouTube clips, because sometimes we all need a little push to get us through the day.  And if there are things you are curious about, just ask!  We will do our best to give you the skinny.

So sit back and enjoy as we highlight some of the best that the vibrant, talented furniture design community has to offer.  We encourage everyone to share their feedback in the comments section, vote in our online polls, and email us at blog@unbrandeddesigs.com if you have a cool story that you think needs sharing!

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