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An Introduction to Iittala from Olson and Baker an Interview with Oiva Toikka
 
02:21
Oiva Toikka (b.1931) is one of the great personas of Finnish glass design. His imaginative, rich and bold glass art is a departure from mainstream Nordic design. Toikka’s individual style is also evident in the utility objects he creates as they often deviate from the traditional clean-lined puritanism of Finnish design aesthetics. In addition to glass, his artistic activities cover staging, fashion design and plastic interior design elements. Toikka has gained a solid international reputation throughout his prolific career, which dates back to the 1950s, having worked with well-known designers and artists both in Finland and abroad. He has won several prestigious awards including the Kaj Franck Design Prize and the Prince Eugen Medal. In 1993, Toikka was given the honorary title of Professor of the Arts by the state of Finland. Birds by Toikka, a series designed for Iittala combines the artist’s limitless imagination with his expertise in the characteristics of glass. The unique and colorful birds, which are all handmade, have become the passion of collector’s worldwide.
Views: 44 Olson Baker
An introduction to Gubi at Olson and Baker: Mathieu Mategot
 
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Mathieu Matégot (1910 - 2001) was a Hungarian designer and architect. After studying at Budapest's school of art and architecture, he settled in France in 1931. He was a volunteer in the French army, was captured and not released until 1944. After returning home, he started producing handmade furniture in Paris. Matégot's organic forms and lightness of touch create a sense of joy and the ground breaking and innovative techniques that he applied resulted in unique aesthetics and furniture designs. He was the first person to combine metal tubing with perforated sheet metal; ritigulle, a technique he patented and also a pairing that particularly characterizes his work. Like many of his peers Mategot travelled the world in search of inspiration, techniques and upon return transformed these impressions into his own unique designs and interpretations. Wether it was industrial processes or aesthetics, he always collected and interpreted - he even patented and set up his own production to apply these new technologies into his designs, He was a true innovator of his time! In the 1950's - also the one decade - that he devoted to the design of furniture and interior accessories, he created a wide range of distinctive designs that today is considered iconic and contemporary. To ensure quality in the production of his own designs - Matégot set up two of his own workshops - Société Mategot, one in Paris that employed up to twenty workers and a second in Casablanca, Morocco. Both manufactured in limited numbers for up to 200 items and continued until 1959 when Mategot abruptly ended his production and began his work on tapestry, which he would continue for the rest of his career.
Views: 14 Olson Baker
An introduction to Gubi at Olson and Baker: The Semi Pendant Light
 
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The Semi lamp was designed in 1968 as a product of the creative partnership between two architecture students, Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup. Reacting against the 'cosy era' that was dominating Denmark at the time, Bonderup and Thorup wanted to create a lamp that incorporated sharp, clean lines and a geometric shape. Their design was submitted for a competition at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture and won first prize. Semi is a unique pendant lamp, based on two quarter-circles put together, back-to-back. With its its distinctive arch-shaped, enamelled metal shade, lightness of form and unique, timeless design, the elegant Semi lamp achieved great success in the 1980's and became, at that time, the best-selling Danish design, gaining worldwide recognition and iconic status.
Views: 25 Olson Baker
An introduction to Gubi at Olson and Baker: Gubi Chair by Komplot Design
 
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Contemporary interior design is simple, clean and offers an uncluttered look. The furniture that best suits this style features clean-cut lines and striking colours or the innovative use of materials. Individual, unique pieces of furniture are the key to contemporary style. One of Gubi's most innovative products, the Gubi Chair collection, was designed by Boris Berlin and Poul Christiansen of Komplot Design. The Gubi Chair is the first furniture design to be based on the innovative technique of moulding three-dimensional veneer. The 3-D design gives the chair a comfortable seat and sense of lightness. Ground-breaking technology allows the thickness of the veneer to be reduced to half that normally used. The Gubi chair was designed in 2003, has won numerous design awards and is included in the permanent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. From the Gubi Chair collection another very innovative product was developed, the Gubi Chair II. Also designed by Boris Berlin and Poul Christiansen of Komplot Design, the Gubi Chair II offers a simple, clean, minimalist look, the essence of contemporary style. The Gubi II chair is eco-friendly as the seat and back are made ​​of polyester fibre, extracted from used plastic bottles and transformed into felt. In one single process, two mats made from this felt are moulded around a tubular steel frame whilst the edges are cut by a powerful jet stream of water. Simple, minimal style, combined with great strength and low maintenance makes the Gubi Chair II equally suited to private homes, commercial spaces and public places, such as restaurants, cafeterias and museums. The Gubi Chair II was designed in 2006 and has won a number of design awards, recognised for its highly innovative and sustainable approach to furniture design.
Views: 33 Olson Baker
An introduction to Gubi at Olson and Baker: Pedrera
 
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Barba Corsini (1916-2008) & Joaquim Ruiz Millet (1955 - ) designed the Pedrera lamps, which are both modern and classic. Some of the lamps were designed by Barba Corsini, others in association with or by his protegé, Joaquim Ruiz Millet. // Barba Corsini (1916-2008) was a leading functionalist architect who won international praise for his architecture and his design for La Pedrera. Corsini was strongly inspired by German architect, Mies van der Rohe and American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He also had a great affinity to Finnish architecture, which he believed to be the finest in Europe on account of the powerful simplicity of the designs. 'Powerful simplicity' is perhaps an apt description of Corsini's personal design style, as represented by the Pedrera series. // Joaquim Ruiz Millet (1955 - ) created Galeria H20 in Barcelona in 1989, where he furthered his activities as gallery owner, cultural agitator, curator of exhibitions, and editor of books and design objects. During the renovation of La Pedrera in 1991, he discovered the beauty of the great floor lamp (PD2) and rescued it from being thrown in the trash. He contacted Barba Corsini in order to relaunch the original designs from 1955.
Views: 30 Olson Baker
An Introduction to Matthew Hilton from Olson and Baker
 
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Born in 1957, Matthew Hilton studied at Portsmouth College of Art and then at Kingston Polytechnic. After graduating he worked for Capa as an industrial designer and model maker. He then set up his own design studio/workshop in 1984. SCP was the first manufacturer to produce Hilton’s work, launching Hilton’s Bow shelves at Milan Furniture Fair in 1986. Nineteen years on, SCP and Matthew Hilton continue to collaborate, producing seminal furniture such as the Balzac armchair, Orford sofa and Flipper coffee table to name but a few. While continuing his relationship with SCP, Hilton has gone on to work with many well respected international manufacturers including CASE, Driade, Disform, Sawaya and Moroni, XO, Montis, Perobell, Authentics, Montina, Livit and Ycami. 2007 saw the launch of Matthew Hilton’s own brand of furniture and he is now launching new designs with both CASE and SCP.
Views: 24 Olson Baker
An Introduction to Fritz Hansen at Olson and Baker Production of the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen
 
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The Egg is a chair designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 for the Radisson SAS hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is manufactured by Republic of Fritz Hansen. The Egg was designed in a typical Jacobsen style, using state-of-the-art material. Related to the Egg is the Swan chair and, to some degree, many of Jacobsen's plywood chairs such as "7", the Ant, the Cigar, the Grand Prix-chair, the Pot, the Drop and the Giraffe. The Egg (like the Swan) was also designed as a couch. While the Swan couch is still in production, only a handful of Egg couches have ever been made. A few were made for the Radisson Hotel, and a few years back[when?], some were made as a "special edition" couch. The price was quite high — about 400 000 DKR, the equivalent of roughly 75 000 USD. The reason for the limited production of the Egg couch, besides the wish for exclusivity, is the difficulty involved in making it, plus a design flaw: the couch is too big to be covered by two entire cow-hides, which is only just possible with the Egg-chair. This leaves a very visible stitching down the middle of the couch. This problem can, however, be solved by making the upholstery in fabric rather than leather.
Views: 102 Olson Baker
An introduction to Gubi at Olson and Baker: The Masculo Chair by Gamfratesi
 
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We take a closer look at The Masculo Chair for Gubi designed by Gamfratesi in 2008. "With the design of Masculo chair our idea was to experiment with a kind of contradiction between a partly classical design as deeprooted in the Danish furniture tradition, and challenge it in the combination with contemporary dynamic lines and translations of materials and production techniques. We required to examine the impact of the meeting between something partly traditional, but in an atypical context, and it appears to the effect of this contrast, that the chair is to be situated some interesting place in the borderland between harmony and disharmony." - GamFratesi
Views: 19 Olson Baker
An Introduction to Verpan at Olson and Baker Production of the Verpan VP Globe by Verner Panton
 
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Designed by Verner Panton in 1969, the VP Globe Pendant Light has become a revered post-modern icon thanks to its simplicity and completely unique globe design. The VP Globe Pendant Light is stunning from all angles, as practical as it is striking. The light domes above and below the shielded bulb expose Panton’s passion for detail. Each piece carries an individual number stamped into the stem of the lamp and with all our pieces, supplied with its certificate of authenticity.
Views: 41 Olson Baker
An introduction to Gubi at Olson and Baker: Bestlite
 
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Robert Dudley Best (1892-1984) was heir to the world's largest lighting factory, founded in Birmingham in 1840. Despite its proud history, Best felt that the lamp designs produced by the factory were outdated. In 1925, Best visited the International Exhibition of Modern Design in Paris, where many of the designs exhibited were influenced by the work of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. Inspired by what he had seen, Best began his studies of industrial design in Paris and Düsseldorf, where he became close friends with Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus movement. It was during this time that he made the first sketches of what would become the iconic Bestlite design.
Views: 22 Olson Baker
An introduction to Gubi at Olson and Baker: Jacques Adnet
 
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Jacques Adnet (1900 - 1984) was a French architect and Art Deco Modernist designer and an icon of luxurious French Modernism. After completing his studies at the Municipal School of Design in Auxerre and the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs, Adnet established the company, JJ Adnet with his twin brother Jean. In 1925, Adnet was recognized as one of the most promising young designers at both the Salon d'Automne and Les Expositions des Arts Decoratifs. As well as designing furniture and mirrors, Adnet designed apartments and offices for numerous clients, including the French President and Unesco.
Views: 21 Olson Baker
An introduction to Gubi at Olson and Baker: Greta Grossman
 
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Greta Grossman (1906-1999) maintained a prolific forty-year career on two continents: Europe and North America. Her achievements were many and encompassed industrial design, interior design and architecture. In 1933, having successfully completed her fellowship at the renowned Stockholm arts institution, Konstfack, she opened Studio, a combined store and workshop. During the same year Grossman married jazz musician, Billy Grossman with whom she later emigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles. Through the 40's and 50's Grossman exhibited her designs at museums worldwide, including MoMA in New York and The National Museum in Stockholm. "The fact that she is relatively unknown just makes the process for Gubi more interesting, as we have an honest opportunity to continue to convey Greta Grossman's designs.Greta Grossman was known in her time in both Sweden and California, USA. However, she ended up largely unknown and almost forgotten. I am very happy that we can give this magnificent female designer a second comeback." - Jacob Gubi
Views: 14 Olson Baker

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