Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jens Quistgaard: The Designer Behind Dansk

Quistgaard designed an astonishing number of fabulous tableware products for the American company Dansk Designs from the 1950s through the 1970s, helping to convert Americans to the modernist aesthetic. Here is a sampling of some of those creations, some portraits of the designer himself and a clip from a new film on Quistgaard by Stig Guldberg. For more information about the film, The Designer Jens Quistgaard: A Saucepan for My Wife, and where to purchase it, visit jensquistgaard.com. For an in-depth look at Quistgaard by Guldberg, see Modernism Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring 2011.

Friday, March 4, 2011

From the Archives: Shoji Hamada

The Variety of Sameness
By Susan Harnly Peterson

Shoji Hamada was one of Japan’s greatest modern potters. A colleague of Bernard Leach, he was a “Living National Treasure” and deeply influenced potters in Japan and around the world, with his move to simplicity and his free, abstract painting style. He was also a teacher of Yuzo Kondo, one of the four ceramists of the Kondo family who are featured in Modernism Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring 2011.

Download the full article here. (PDF 7mb)

Pets and the Modern Home

Here are some products for your pet that won't interfere with your style!

Gourmet Dining
The Big Pooch Luxury Pet Dish (above, left) from Wetnoz balances function and style. In stainless steel with rubber feet and handle, it functions as both a scoop and a bowl, and features a rubber handle and no-skid feet. Available from puremodern.com for $126. The smaller L’il Pup Dog Dish is $80 and an optional booster stand is $66-$74.

Feathered Friends
The Nesting Box, by Danish designers Henrik Holbaek and Claus Jensen of Copenhagen’s Tool Design for Eva Solo, has an adjustable entrance to offer birds of many sizes a sleek home. The box is made of white solid or striped glazed terra cotta that reflects heat to keep fledglings cool in summer. A plastic lid keeps out wind and rain and its locking mechanism keeps out cats. Available for $74.50 at emmohome.com.

Pacific Pacifyer
Petprojekt’s Squeeki Tiki (above, right) dog toy will give your dog a taste of island living. These non toxic toys are soft and durable and available in seven bright colors for $14 at otomik.com.

Chic Confinement
Designgo of Brooklyn, New York, offers the black eiCrate (right), in powder-coated steel wire,  for use indoors or out. A fitted cover is available to keep out winter’s chill. $220 at gopetdesign.com.

Prairie Dogs
With its spaced wood slats for peeking out, the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Architectura (above, left) is a perfect hiding place for dogs and cats. The 24x24x19 inch box of birch plywood and MDF is made to order for $349 by the California-based Prefabpets. The company also sells the platform Dog Day Bed, (above, right) in birch plywood with a foam cushion with a removable orange ultrasuede cover, or dark walnut plywood with a grey cover. Available for $149 to $349 depending on size. To order: 619/241-5631 or prefabpets.com.

For more great pet products, see Modernism, Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring 2011.

Northwest Modern

Modernists of the Pacific Northwest have received little attention, even as those in Southern California have become household names. The new documentary film, Modern Views, looks at the work of these visionaries and finds relevance for today.

Modernist Houses for the Modest Set

Palm Springs, once a winter retreat for Hollywood’s glamorous types, began welcoming the middle class in the 1950s, thanks to the residential developments created by the Alexander Construction Company. Far from cookie-cutter boxes, the houses were designed by forward-looking modernist architects, like William Krisel, Dan Palmer, Donald Wexler and Charles Dubois. Photographs by James Schnepf.

For more about the Palm Springs Alexanders, see Modernism, Vol. 14, No. 11, Spring 2011.


Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic house, built for the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh in 1935, dramatically cantilevered over a waterfall in southwestern Pennsylvania, is most often pictured as a potent sculptural object. But Wright also designed it for livability, with multiple terraces and glass corners and natural stone flowing from outdoors into the interior, bringing the house’s occupants into an intimate relationship with nature. He also provided a complex array of indoor environments for various activities, while retaining a refreshing openness. These photographs provide a sense of what made Fallingwater such a pleasant weekend retreat in all seasons.

For more about Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, see Modernism, Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring 2011.