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furniture

H

ow often do we stop

into our homes are also a means

changes in philosophy in the

to consider the effect

of self-expression. Long gone are

early 20th century. Radical schools

furniture has on our

the days when the procurement

of thought such as Germany’s

lives? Its design has a

of furniture was a matter of

Werkbund and Bauhaus movements

profound impact on the way we

necessity alone. Today it is a triad

sought to reconcile arts and craft

function, feel and go about our

of function, art and design, a

with industrial technology – a far

daily business: the sofa we curl up

chance to visualise and realise our

cry from the pre-modernist view of

on at the end of a long day, the

inner dreams and to create spaces

furniture as an ornament, conveying

pieces that house and organise our

that reflect who we are.

lineage, with a strong connection to

beloved possessions. Not only do

Contemporary furniture design

we expect practicality alongside

and manufacture are still greatly

Since this shift in paradigm,

comfort, but the items we bring

influenced by the revolutionary

designers have strived to push

Modern legacy Whether your tastes tend towards the starkness of Bauhaus or the comfort of Eames, the design revolution of the 20th century opened the door to mass design and manufacture, allowing each and every one of us to enjoy quality furniture and interiors, as Domus Nova reveals

Elegant, light and comfortable, the Eames Lounge chair has been much copied but never bettered

history and tradition. but never bettered”. (A locomotive came in second.)

the boundaries of materials and

The accolades that such pieces

manufacture in an effort to produce

have attracted, matched with an

the ultimate statement piece. Take

ongoing desire to bring design

the iconic Barcelona chair, designed

to every aspect of our lives, has

by Mies van der Rohe in 1929. He

dramatically changed the quality

drew on his extensive knowledge

and diversity of furniture within

in metal framework to design a truly

the home. Modern-day machining

unmistakable classic of modern

techniques

design that is still gracing the most

technology such as CNC milling

stylish interiors 80 years on.

and rapid prototyping mean that

and

computer

Another timeless classic is the

furniture that could not have been

Lounge chair and Ottoman by

dreamt of even a decade or two

Charles and Ray Eames. Symbolic

ago can be created with relative

of modern style and good design

ease. Today, designers can carve

since it first appeared in 1956, it

complex shapes, conceivable only

was produced using revolutionary

on a computer screen, out of a

wood

wide variety of materials with the

moulding

techniques,

bending plywood to create a chair

touch of a button.

that encased deep cushioning

This continual evolution, coupled

upholstered with leather in seamless

with reduced costs, makes innovation

veneered shells. Charles Eames said

accessible to all.

his vision for what became known

it, IKEA is probably Bauhaus’ most

as the No.670 lounger was the

powerful modern-day legacy. With an

“warm, receptive look of a well-used

abundance of different designs and

first baseman’s mitt”.

finishes the Swedish company has

Like it or loathe

It is testament to the Eames’s

helped transform many people’s view

talent that such a dedicated exercise

of decorating and styling their homes.

in comfort does not come at a cost

It is not just mass-produced

to elegance. So much so that Time

design

magazine hailed the lounger as the

from

Best Design of the 20th Century,

development of new materials

describing it as “something elegant,

and

light and comfortable. Much copied

bespoke

that the

has

rush

benefitted

towards

manufacturing furniture

the

methods: production

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