FEATURED ARTICLE: JULY 2014

Brutal Love.

“A box is the easiest thing to build. This ain’t no box,” said Paul Rudolph in response to criticism of the Government Center he designed in the town of Goshen, New York. Completed in 1967, the Brutalist building is considered one of Rudolph’s greatest achievements.

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Mies must-read.

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Photo courtesy of Phaidon

Did you know that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies? Find out what else you don’t know about this master of modern design in Detlef Mertins’ extraordinary monograph, Mies (Phaidon).


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Few authors could have written this book, and it reveals as much about Mies as it does about Dr. Detlef Mertins, who was uniquely qualified for the task. Mertins spent a decade researching and writing this monograph but sadly died before it was published, at 56. He spent the last 10 years of his life living Mies, and I cannot imagine a more touching and selfless tribute to one of the 20th century’s most influential architects.

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860–880 Lake Shore Drive, 1948–51, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Photo courtesy of Phaidon

Growing up with a father who was an architect and a mother who worked for Knoll, Mertins’ appreciation of the built world began in childhood. Born in Stuttgart and raised in Canada, he had an understanding of German and North American culture, which served him well in his roles as architect, historian and writer and as professor of architectural history and theory at the University of Pennsylvania. An avid reader, his Toronto home had to be structurally reinforced to support the weight of his library of more than 4,000 titles that were recently donated to Penn.

Continue reading "Mies must-read." »

Hello, Seattle!

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We’ve been busy opening spacious new locations across the country especially for you. The recently renovated and expanded Seattle Studio opened earlier this month and includes many breathtaking features. Stop by to experience the billowing Light Cloud overhead, a colorific Swatch Wall, the full-room vignettes and much more.

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Camber Sofa, Barcelona Chair and Stool, Saarinen Table

Continue reading "Hello, Seattle!" »

Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now.

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Eames chairs from Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America, an exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Photo by Balthazar Korab, courtesy of the Herman Miller archives.

From quilts in Boston and porcelain in Portland to futurism in New York and expressionism in Los Angeles, there is a rich range of art to see now. Here is a selection of must-see exhibitions running around the country.

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky

ILLINOIS
Art Institute of Chicago
Architecture to Scale: Stanley Tigerman and Zago Architecture

Continue reading "Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now." »

Be Original: Supporting authentic design.

DWR is proud to be a member of Be Original Americas, joining Alessi, Cassina, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller®, Vitra and other companies in the fight against counterfeit design. Being a member means that we’re a vetted retailer of authentic goods.

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Christian Grosen Rasmussen. Photo courtesy of Fritz Hansen

This month’s Be Original profile is Christian Grosen Rasmussen, head of design at Fritz Hansen, the Danish company that produces authored works by Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjaerholm, Piet Hein and others.

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The authentic Egg Chair (1958) by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen.

Q: Why is Be Original important?
A: Because without originality the world would become an imitation of itself and we wouldn’t move forward, expanding our knowledge, improving solutions and thereby life in general. Originality is needed more than ever, so it’s important that we understand and respect intellectual property rights.

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Huge DWR Warehouse Sale this weekend!

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These photos were just taken to give you an idea of what you’ll find at the DWR Warehouse Sale in New Jersey. Take an additional 20% off already drastically reduced prices on overstocked, returned and scratch-and-dent furniture. Prices are up to 75% off original retail. Find details, including information about our Free Shuttle from NYC, at dwr.com/outlet

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A light way to savor summer.

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The designers at Rich Brilliant Willing are saying "Hello, summer!" with a sunny twist on their logo. Stephanie Murg at Unbeige praises the design as a refreshing way to celebrate a season that "is typically welcomed with little more than picnic-themed grocery store displays before it is ushered offstage in a blaze of back-to-school-themed commercials."

We're guessing this playful spirit is what enables RBW to come up with brilliant (and rich and willing) ideas like using audio jacks as connectors in their lamps. What will this summer inspire them to do?

Making the Glass House disappear.

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The Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Conn. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

During the annual Glass House Summer Party, we were treated to Fujiko Nakaya’s art exhibition Veil. On view through November 30, this project “produces an opaque atmosphere to meet the building’s extreme transparency and temporal effects that complement its timelessness.” Huh?

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Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Here’s my unscholarly interpretation: Nakaya is using fog – something that normally hides things – to give shape to a transparent house. It’s as if Johnson drew his house in invisible ink and Nakaya’s fog is the “black light” needed to reveal the secret message.

Continue reading "Making the Glass House disappear." »

Stepping inside Philip Johnson's library.

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Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Architect Philip Johnson had his 384-square-foot Library-Study painted white with a red door when it was completed in 1980. However, Johnson later changed the color specifically to a nameless brown because, in his words, “It’s an emotion, not a color.”

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Note the Ghost House in the distance. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Rarely open to the public, this one-room workspace stands alone on the 49-acre, 14-structure Glass House property that Johnson designed for himself in New Canaan, Connecticut. In Johnson’s day, there was no path to the Library-Study, so guests had to find their own way through tall grass and wetlands. “It keeps the uninteresting people out,” he explained.

Continue reading "Stepping inside Philip Johnson's library." »

Need to see your space in 3-D?

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Looking for something creative to do this long weekend? Check out the DWR 3-D Room Planner, a free online tool that lets you see your space furnished with DWR furniture. You can also improve your view, move walls, add square footage -- anything your heart desires.

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A sleek space created by Martin Mobley of DWR West Hollywood.

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Hello, Chicago!

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Photo by William Zbanek

The new DWR Chicago Studio in Lincoln Park is now open, and we invite you to stop by. We’ve combined our two previous locations into one, giving you a bigger, brighter space to luxuriate in authentic modern design.

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Photo by William Zbanek

Upon arrival, the first thing you’ll notice is the blazing Light Cloud of hanging pendants billowing over the entryway. Inside, the furniture is arranged in “houses” to help you envision how these pieces will work in your own home. And just for Chicago, we’ve created a Dining Test Lab where you can test-drive the largest assortment of iconic dining chairs in the world.

Continue reading "Hello, Chicago!" »

Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now.

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Untitled by Bill Owens. Gelatin-silver print from the series Suburbia, 1973, on view at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

From celebrating suburbia in Scottsdale to Jeff Koons in New York to mythic and mystical modernism in Seattle, there is richness to enjoy everywhere. Here are the must-see exhibitions happening around the country.

ARIZONA
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Bill Owens: Suburbia 

CALIFORNIA
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert & Jane Myerhoff Collection

Continue reading "Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now." »

What we're reading: Mies

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We're kicking off our summer reading with Detlef Mertins' amazing monograph, Mies (Phaidon). A full review will follow in a few weeks (or however long it takes to meander through 560 pages of Mies). Until then, drop us a comment to let us know what you're reading or to suggest what we should read next.

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The Farnsworth House. Photos courtesy of Phaidon.

Looking for another book to dive into? Check out our review of Cape Cod Modern (Metropolis Books).

"First of its kind," says Houston Chronicle.

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Photo by Gary Zvonkovic

The new DWR Houston Studio is now open and getting rave reviews. Sarah Rufca of the Houston Chronicle writes, "The new Design Within Reach studio in Highland Village is the first store of its kind in Texas."

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Photo by Gary Zvonkovic

She continues, "Just across from Restoration Hardware's stucco fortress of luxury in Highland Village, the two-story windows that wrap around the new Design Within Reach studio leave little to the imagination, beckoning instead with Eames chairs and Noguchi coffee tables dramatically lit by satellite chandeliers and artichoke lamps."

Stop by and see what all the excitement is about. We look forward to seeing you.

It's the Herman Miller Sale at DWR!

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Eames Lounge and Ottoman

Authentic classics by Eames, Nelson, Noguchi (all the heavy hitters) are on sale, in stock and shipping for free. Shop the Herman Miller Sale.

Highlights from Design Week: ICFF.

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Introducing the Su Stool by Nendo for Emeco.

Whether you call it NYCxD, ICFF, Wanted, Design Week or something else, New York City in mid-May is the place to see what’s happening in furniture and product design. Here are the highlights from the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.

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Su and Broom stools in the Emeco booth at ICFF.

Hello, Su! The latest launch from Emeco, the sleek and simple Su Stool (top photo) made its NYC debut at ICFF and the DWR SoHo Studio. A beautiful mix of Japanese simplicity and American craftsmanship, Su will be available at DWR in July. Also new from Emeco is the Broom Stool designed by Philippe Starck.

Continue reading "Highlights from Design Week: ICFF." »

Remembering Massimo Vignelli.

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It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Massimo Vignelli. The Italian architect and designer died on May 27 at 83. In recent weeks, word of his illness motivated the design community to generate a campaign of letters, to let Massimo know how much he changed the world in which we live. At DWR, we sent him a letter, which read:

We wanted to let you know how much we appreciate the contributions you’ve made – not only to the world of modern design but also to the world in general. We’re firm believers in the notion that work such as yours improves the lives of people everywhere.

Also, we thought you might like to hear what a few of our own people had to say about you.

Continue reading "Remembering Massimo Vignelli." »

Zaha Hadid gives Nube Chair top honors.

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Finding furniture that can hold its own inside a Zaha Hadid building is not an easy task. Fortunately for Vienna University of Economics and Business, the solution was found in the Nube Chair. Designed by Jesús and Jon Gasca for Stua, the Nube Chair is similar to Hadid's architecture in its play of straight and fluid lines.

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Nube was selected for the University's new Library, Learning Center and Cafe. "The Hadid project needed furniture that could be serious in one setting, and playful in the next. Nube was able to meet both requirements," says Jon Gasca.

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May 24: The Most Modern Birthday.

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Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision closes May 28. Photo by Herman Miller.

Today is the birthday of Alexander Girard, Edith Heath, Florence Knoll and Isamu Noguchi. If it's also your birthday, you're keeping company with some of the most creative minds of the 20th century. To celebrate this day, we suggest visiting the Alexander Girard pop-up exhibition at 446 W. 14th Street in New York (closes May 28), Heath Ceramics in Sausalito, the Knoll Museum in East Greenville, or the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City.

Have you been to any of these places? If so, let us know what you think.

Highlights from Design Week: WantedDesign.

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Granit Teacup by Eva Zeisel. Photo by Kevin Shea

Whether you call it NYCxD, ICFF, Wanted, Design Week or something else, New York City in mid-May is the place to see what’s happening in furniture and product design. Here are the highlights from WantedDesign.

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Photo by Kevin Shea

Starting with the Design Within Reach booth, we debuted the Odin Table by Norm Architects, launching in September. The table was shown with the Finn Chair, also by Norm, and a new chair by Omar de Biaggio.

Continue reading "Highlights from Design Week: WantedDesign." »

Highlights from Design Week: Herman Miller.

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Upholstered Eames Chairs, Girard Wall Panel. Photo by Gwendolyn Horton

Whether you call it NYCxD, ICFF, Wanted, Design Week or something else, New York City in mid-May is the place to see what’s happening in furniture and product design. The Michigan-based company Herman Miller exhibited in a stunning space at the Standard Hotel. They also hosted a pop-up exhibition celebrating Alexander Girard (on view until May 28).

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Photo by Gwendolyn Horton

Raise your hand if you love George Nelson. Designed in 1958, his Swag Leg Desk is looking sharp with the new Mirra 2 Task Chair and a lamp by Ilse Crawford.

Continue reading "Highlights from Design Week: Herman Miller." »



Featured Articles

07.25.14   Brutal love.
07.25.14   Mies must-read.
07.02.14   Making the Glass House disappear.
07.02.14   Stepping inside Philip Johnson's library.
04.29.14   Cape Cod Modern must-read.



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