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BARCELONA™ CHAIR 1929 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) Berliner Metallgewerbe Joseph Müller 1929–1931 Bamberg Metallwerkstätten 1931 Knoll 1948 to present

189

The design for this graceful chair arose from the commission for the German Pavilion (1928–9) for the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed a building of horizontal and vertical planes built of marble and onyx walls, tinted glass, and chrome-plated columns. He then designed the Barcelona™ Chair so it would not appear too solid nor affect the flow of space. Mies was determined to produce a chair that was ‘important, elegant, monumental.’ Using a scissor frame – with two flawless, curving, chrome-plated steel legs like slashes of Chinese calligraphy – each side was joined by a

cross-bar with bolts, and the entire frame was welded and hand filed. Leather straps, which were stretched over the frame, cleverly concealed the bolts. Knoll began to produce the chair with an entirely singular-welded frame to reduce the necessity for polishing and sanding. In 1964, the thin chrome-plated steel was replaced with polished stainless steel. The Barcelona™ Chair was never intended for mass production, but its designer began using it in the reception areas of his influential buildings – which explains why it is particularly seen in the lobbies of today’s office buildings.

BIC® CRISTAL PEN 1950 Lázló Bíró (1899–1985) Décolletage Plastique Design Team © Société Bic 1950 to present

380

The Bic® Cristal Pen is an iconic invention, due to the genius of the ballpoint mechanism, but it is the inexpensive commodification of the pen by Bic® that has made this little scribbler one of the most indispensable and enduring products. László Bíró patented the pen in 1943. As a young journalist, he was frequently annoyed by the difficulties involved in using a fountain pen. He realized that a technique used in printing, by which a rotary cylinder ensures uniform application of ink, could be adapted for use in a pen. The design depended on precision ball bearings and special ink with the viscosity to allow smooth

application without drying up. Bíró sold the patent rights to several manufacturers and governments who wanted the pen for use in pressurized cabins of military aircraft. It was French manufacturer Marcel Bich who developed an industrial process for the pens that lowered the unit cost dramatically. In 1950, Bich introduced his pens – called ‘Bic’, a shortened version of his name – into Europe. In recent years the pen cap has been redesigned to allow airflow through it, as a safety measure against choking if accidentally swallowed.


BARCELONA™ CHAIR 1929 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) Berliner Metallgewerbe Joseph Müller 1929–1931 Bamberg Metallwerkstätten 1931 Knoll 1948 to present

189

The design for this graceful chair arose from the commission for the German Pavilion (1928–9) for the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed a building of horizontal and vertical planes built of marble and onyx walls, tinted glass, and chrome-plated columns. He then designed the Barcelona™ Chair so it would not appear too solid nor affect the flow of space. Mies was determined to produce a chair that was ‘important, elegant, monumental.’ Using a scissor frame – with two flawless, curving, chrome-plated steel legs like slashes of Chinese calligraphy – each side was joined by a

cross-bar with bolts, and the entire frame was welded and hand filed. Leather straps, which were stretched over the frame, cleverly concealed the bolts. Knoll began to produce the chair with an entirely singular-welded frame to reduce the necessity for polishing and sanding. In 1964, the thin chrome-plated steel was replaced with polished stainless steel. The Barcelona™ Chair was never intended for mass production, but its designer began using it in the reception areas of his influential buildings – which explains why it is particularly seen in the lobbies of today’s office buildings.

BIC® CRISTAL PEN 1950 Lázló Bíró (1899–1985) Décolletage Plastique Design Team © Société Bic 1950 to present

380

The Bic® Cristal Pen is an iconic invention, due to the genius of the ballpoint mechanism, but it is the inexpensive commodification of the pen by Bic® that has made this little scribbler one of the most indispensable and enduring products. László Bíró patented the pen in 1943. As a young journalist, he was frequently annoyed by the difficulties involved in using a fountain pen. He realized that a technique used in printing, by which a rotary cylinder ensures uniform application of ink, could be adapted for use in a pen. The design depended on precision ball bearings and special ink with the viscosity to allow smooth

application without drying up. Bíró sold the patent rights to several manufacturers and governments who wanted the pen for use in pressurized cabins of military aircraft. It was French manufacturer Marcel Bich who developed an industrial process for the pens that lowered the unit cost dramatically. In 1950, Bich introduced his pens – called ‘Bic’, a shortened version of his name – into Europe. In recent years the pen cap has been redesigned to allow airflow through it, as a safety measure against choking if accidentally swallowed.


HANG-IT-ALL 1953 Charles Eames (1907–78) Ray Eames (1912–88) Tigrett Enterprises Playhouse Division 1953–1961 Herman Miller 1953–1961, 1994–present Vitra Design Museum 1997–present

424

This hanging device, made from wooden balls and painted wires, was intended for children to organize anything from coats, scarves and gloves to toys and roller skates. The delightfully coloured balls – red, pink, blue, magenta, ocre, yellow, green, and violet – that appear to float freely in space enhance the sense of playfulness appropriate for a child’s environment. The Hang-ItAll is incomplete until the child chooses and arranges the objects to hang on it. Like an empty frame or skeletal structure for a mobile, the piece cleverly encourages creativity and involvement. Throughout Charles and Ray

Eameses’ remarkably productive careers, they maintained their desire to satisfy the consumer’s needs and their interest in experimenting with new materials and types of production. This piece meets the need for order in a child’s room, while its experimental quality is evident in its structure, which uses an inexpensive method of mass production that simultaneously, instead of individually, welded metal wires together. The original rack was manufactured by both the Tigrett Enterprises Playhouse Division and Herman Miller until 1961. It has been reintroduced by Herman Miller and Vitra Design Museum.

ARCO FLOOR LAMP 1962 Achille Castiglioni (1918–2002) Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (1913–68) Flos 1962 to present

583

Inspired by everyday products, the Arco Floor Lamp was developed as a freestanding interior version of a standard street lamp. Arco comprises an arching arm fixed to a rectangular base of white Carrara marble. The telescopic arm supports the light at a distance of over 2 m (6.6 ft) from the base, allowing for a dining table and chairs to be positioned comfortably under the shade. The arm, made of satin-finished stainless steel with a Zapon-varnished aluminium reflector, weighs over 45 kg (100 lb), but the designers incorporated a hole into the marble base to allow a broom handle to be inserted, enabling

two people to lift it. Arco was produced during the Castiglioni brothers’ most prolific period of lighting design, from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. Together with Flos, the producers of Arco, they redefined the nature and purpose of interior lighting, affording it a sculptural as well as a functional role. The Arco Floor Lamp has become one of the most admired design objects of the post-war period and is a regular prop in various media, perhaps most famously in the 007 film Diamonds Are Forever.


HANG-IT-ALL 1953 Charles Eames (1907–78) Ray Eames (1912–88) Tigrett Enterprises Playhouse Division 1953–1961 Herman Miller 1953–1961, 1994–present Vitra Design Museum 1997–present

424

This hanging device, made from wooden balls and painted wires, was intended for children to organize anything from coats, scarves and gloves to toys and roller skates. The delightfully coloured balls – red, pink, blue, magenta, ocre, yellow, green, and violet – that appear to float freely in space enhance the sense of playfulness appropriate for a child’s environment. The Hang-ItAll is incomplete until the child chooses and arranges the objects to hang on it. Like an empty frame or skeletal structure for a mobile, the piece cleverly encourages creativity and involvement. Throughout Charles and Ray

Eameses’ remarkably productive careers, they maintained their desire to satisfy the consumer’s needs and their interest in experimenting with new materials and types of production. This piece meets the need for order in a child’s room, while its experimental quality is evident in its structure, which uses an inexpensive method of mass production that simultaneously, instead of individually, welded metal wires together. The original rack was manufactured by both the Tigrett Enterprises Playhouse Division and Herman Miller until 1961. It has been reintroduced by Herman Miller and Vitra Design Museum.

ARCO FLOOR LAMP 1962 Achille Castiglioni (1918–2002) Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (1913–68) Flos 1962 to present

583

Inspired by everyday products, the Arco Floor Lamp was developed as a freestanding interior version of a standard street lamp. Arco comprises an arching arm fixed to a rectangular base of white Carrara marble. The telescopic arm supports the light at a distance of over 2 m (6.6 ft) from the base, allowing for a dining table and chairs to be positioned comfortably under the shade. The arm, made of satin-finished stainless steel with a Zapon-varnished aluminium reflector, weighs over 45 kg (100 lb), but the designers incorporated a hole into the marble base to allow a broom handle to be inserted, enabling

two people to lift it. Arco was produced during the Castiglioni brothers’ most prolific period of lighting design, from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. Together with Flos, the producers of Arco, they redefined the nature and purpose of interior lighting, affording it a sculptural as well as a functional role. The Arco Floor Lamp has become one of the most admired design objects of the post-war period and is a regular prop in various media, perhaps most famously in the 007 film Diamonds Are Forever.


GLOBAL KNIFE 1982 Komin Yamada (1947–) Yoshikin 1983 to present

877

Global Knives created a sensation when launched onto the world’s culinary stage as an alternative to traditional European-style cutlery. Japanese industrial designer Komin Yamada was commissioned to develop a superior, radical knife made with the best materials and employing a modern design concept. The result was the avant-garde Global Knife. Yamada had access to a large budget for his exploratory and innovative design, allowing him to create a chef’s knife that appealed equally to the professional and domestic market. Made from an extremely high-grade stainless steel, the Global Knife has a remarkably

sharp blade that is resistant to rust, stains and corrosion, owing to being ice-tempered and hardened. With close reference to tradition, as with the Samurai sword, the Global Knife is carefully weighted to ensure perfect balance in use. There is no unnecessary material included and the thick, round handle is inviting to hold. Further evidence of Yamada’s genius, with the two-millimetre diameter ‘black dot ‘design on the handle, the ‘too smooth’ or ‘too cold’ impression is avoided, resulting in the decorative signature design that doubles with the practical effect of securing a firm, warm grip.

IPHONE MOBILE PHONE 2007 Apple Design Team Apple Inc. 2004 to present

998

The launch of the iPhone in 2007 was the result of several years spent investigating the merits of touch screen technology. Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, saw that mobile phone technology was dictated by the keypad, and while the range of programmes and functions of the phones developed, they became difficult to use, restricted by the limitations of the keypad. The iPhone is a sleek and minimalist object, with only three buttons on the sides and one on the front, which directs the user back to the high-resolution touch-screen menu. The iPhone is an altogether more intelligent product, with

inbuilt sensors that alter the display from portrait to landscape views when the phone is rotated. The brightness of the display adjusts according to surrounding light, and the motion sensors automatically turn off the screen when the phone is held up to the user’s ear, to avoid any unintentional pressing on the screen. This easy-to-use product is at once a phone, an iPod and an Internet communications device, forcing Apple’s competitors to rise to the challenge of rethinking the functions of a phone.


GLOBAL KNIFE 1982 Komin Yamada (1947–) Yoshikin 1983 to present

877

Global Knives created a sensation when launched onto the world’s culinary stage as an alternative to traditional European-style cutlery. Japanese industrial designer Komin Yamada was commissioned to develop a superior, radical knife made with the best materials and employing a modern design concept. The result was the avant-garde Global Knife. Yamada had access to a large budget for his exploratory and innovative design, allowing him to create a chef’s knife that appealed equally to the professional and domestic market. Made from an extremely high-grade stainless steel, the Global Knife has a remarkably

sharp blade that is resistant to rust, stains and corrosion, owing to being ice-tempered and hardened. With close reference to tradition, as with the Samurai sword, the Global Knife is carefully weighted to ensure perfect balance in use. There is no unnecessary material included and the thick, round handle is inviting to hold. Further evidence of Yamada’s genius, with the two-millimetre diameter ‘black dot ‘design on the handle, the ‘too smooth’ or ‘too cold’ impression is avoided, resulting in the decorative signature design that doubles with the practical effect of securing a firm, warm grip.

IPHONE MOBILE PHONE 2007 Apple Design Team Apple Inc. 2004 to present

998

The launch of the iPhone in 2007 was the result of several years spent investigating the merits of touch screen technology. Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, saw that mobile phone technology was dictated by the keypad, and while the range of programmes and functions of the phones developed, they became difficult to use, restricted by the limitations of the keypad. The iPhone is a sleek and minimalist object, with only three buttons on the sides and one on the front, which directs the user back to the high-resolution touch-screen menu. The iPhone is an altogether more intelligent product, with

inbuilt sensors that alter the display from portrait to landscape views when the phone is rotated. The brightness of the display adjusts according to surrounding light, and the motion sensors automatically turn off the screen when the phone is held up to the user’s ear, to avoid any unintentional pressing on the screen. This easy-to-use product is at once a phone, an iPod and an Internet communications device, forcing Apple’s competitors to rise to the challenge of rethinking the functions of a phone.


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