Monthly Archives: December 2013

Great Story, Great Design

A story behind a design adds that extra layer of uniqueness making a good piece into a more special one. It connects you with the designer as well as with others who can empathize with the story – this is why great design can strive to be universal. Personally, Saana Hellsten’s Slider Stool was at first just nice, simple, and clean. I enjoyed the larger seating area, its overall shape, and the thinner back support. But, I wouldn’t have bought this design if I saw it on sale.

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However, after reading the motivation and story behind the chair and understanding why the piece is called the Slider Stool, my feelings changed completely for the better. Hellsten describes the design saying the seat is representative of a slider in which you sled on during the winter snow days and the white steel legs are representative of the snow. It should bring out the fond memories of the viewer’s childhood. She also diagrams a fun collage of the ‘versatility’ of this chair.

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The Slider Stool is the third most popular design at 43%. Vote for it if you would like to see it on the market!

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The Cradle Chair

At first glance, this hemispherical chair (if you can even call it a chair – it’s more of a curved bed) may seem like something whimsically pulled out of a child’s imagination. However, the Cradle Chair, designed by Richard Clarkson, is much more than just a ridiculously comfortable piece of furniture.

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The motivation behind the Cradle Chair is actually from individuals suffering from Autism and Rhythmic Movement Disorder (RMD). In his portfolio, Clarkson states, “It is about creating a safe, comfortable, and relaxing space in which the user can dissipate the overstimulation of their senses… We had a strong focus creating a solution for sufferers of RMD but the chair is not exclusively for them and will bring relaxation, comfort, and calmness to anyone who uses it.”

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This is Industrial Design at its finest. Clarkson not only created something for the masses that looks aesthetically pleasing and feels warm and inviting. But it is also disruptive in its form, which brings even more people to stare at it and eventually want to experience and buy it. But on another level, this piece serves a very specific purpose – it satisfies the needs of the the clients, who in this case are those with Autism and RMD.

What do you think?

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Bucketfeet & Unbranded Designs found at Block37

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bucketfeet, it is a startup that has a similar mission to Unbranded Designs’ – to help artists and designers bring their work from concepts to the market. Bucketfeet, instead of working with furniture, collaborates with shoe designers. To find out more about the company’s inception and its more personal stories, check out their anecdotes here!

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Fortunately for us, Bucketfeet was searching for tables to highlight their canvases and featured shoes in their pop-up store located in Chicago’s Block37. They were eventually able to check out some our designs and had a special liking for David Greene‘s FOLD designs – a series of stools, chairs, and desks that are all  pattern cut steel, hand-folded, powder coated in countless different forms, and assembled by David and his team in Chicago. They really appreciated the uniqueness, simplicity, and yet sharp features of the FOLD tables. As a result, the Chicago startup grabbed some tables and are now using them in their Block37 pop-up store!

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Coffee table (40” x 40” x 18”), Stool (12” x 12” x 30”) Console Table (46” x 12” x 36”)

If you have time this holiday season, go to Bucketfeet’s store in Block37 and check out their awesome shoes and our equally awesome furniture!

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The Single Cord Lounge

The Single Cord Lounge chair is definitely a fun piece that I would buy to place in my apartment. The piece utilizes the materialistic properties of rope, such as its tension and yield strength, to create a reliable and interactive seating arrangement. The frame is made out of a single board of ash. Interestingly, the rope is only one 100 ft. cord as stated by its designer, Josh Shiau, who is currently and Industrial Design student at RISD.

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The-Single-Cord-Lounge_05_1383948033On a different note, this piece reminds me of another chair that utilizes a cord and its material properties as its seating arrangement. It is the Carnaval Chair and was designed by Guido Lanari. Both chairs are warm and welcoming but I cannot see them going into the same environments. Shiau’s chair can be placed in a home, apartment, or any sort of residential area whereas I can see Guido’s design being placed in a office and more corporate setting.

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Tell us where you think these two chairs would be most ideal and if they can be placed in the same setting!

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Three in One

At first glance, the Three in One by Unbranded member, Kai-ning Huang, seems like a regular curved wooden chair. But it is much more than that. It is truly a fun, interactive, and practical piece that I could really see being sold on the market tomorrow.

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It starts off as being once solid wooden chair that can be disassembled to form two more identical counterparts. The user simply pulls off the sides of the original piece, creating two miniature L-shaped seats with cushions. The original chair still retains in its original form but is now stripped of material and appears to be more naked, modern, but still welcoming. The overall curvaceous form and light colors add an extra dimension of security and invitation to the user, which definitely limits the environment this product  can be placed in. Ideally, I can see this going into a smaller home or apartment for a younger aged user who wishes to save or simply create their own space.

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One suggestion for this piece was to add a table between the two removable side-seats so that it can be a complete set. What other advice can you give Huang or is it perfect the way it is?

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