Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perelman Building, Collab Gallery
2525 Pennsylvania Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Through April 26, 2015
In its new exhibition, Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots, the Philadelphia Museum of Art explores the history of the famous Swiss furniture company from its early licensing partnership with Herman Miller to new collaborations with world-renowned contemporary designers, such as Verner Panton, Antonio Citterio, and Jasper Morrison.
Two of the biggest names in American design are joining forces. Famed furniture manufacturer Herman Miller has bought a controlling stake in Design Within Reach (DWR), the modern furniture retailer. According to a release, Herman Miller has purchased an 84 percent stake in DWR for a price of $154 million. DWR’s CEO John Edelman and president John McPhee will continue to lead the retailer, which currently has 38 locations in North America, as well as e-commerce and the popular catalogue. DWR has recently been upgrading their stores and refocusing on architects and interior designers as well as consumers. A new Manhattan flagship store opened this spring.
Designing for a specific space can be a challenge, but try designing a chair predestined to become a contemporary statement in the newly-refurbished Weston Library, part of the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford, which has commissioned only its third new chair in 400 years. Earlier this year, three partnerships—Amanda Levete and Herman Miller, Barber Osgerby and Isokon Plus, and Matthew Hilton and SCP Ltd—were shortlisted to compete for the prestigious prize, which has officially been awarded to Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby with Isokon, for their low, round-backed design.
Herman Miller is acquiring the renowned textile firm, Maharam, bringing together two of America’s most design-centric companies. Founded in 1902 in New York, Maharam has gained a reputation in recent decades for commissioning textile designs by leading contemporary designers like Hella Jongerius, Tord Boontje, and Paul Smith, and reissuing classic designs by Verner Panton, Gio Ponti, Alexander Girard, and many others. Led by Michael and Stephen Maraham, the company has cultivated a strong connection to the design community and developed products guided by the taste and vision of the brothers. According to a release by Herman Miller, both Maharam brothers will stay involved in the company for at least the next two years. Senior executives with the company will also stay in place.
Herman Miller launched their Select Program in 2008 to offer their customers an extra way to connect with the brand and enhance their collections with limited edition pieces. As part of their 2012 program, Herman Miller is offering the Eames Wire Base Low Table (also referred to as the LTR table) in three special colors on sale now until Spring 2013, when production will end. Read More
The mood was noticeably subdued at this year’s NeoCon World’s Trade Fair in Chicago, which ends today, but many attractive and innovative new products were introduced. For our special Midwest issue we offered a preview of things to look for at the show. Here are a few additional products that stood out at the Merchandise Mart. Read More