Last Thursday as co-founder of Florida Modernism + Design I sat down with architect Max Strang to talk about Modernist influences in his career, his ideas resonated on a larger scale.
Mother's Day is right around the corner and we want to celebrate some of our favorite female designers. These women may not have been actual birthing mothers of children but were women who birthed ideas, forms, and function nonetheless, besides birthing a few children.
Ceci, a Mother of 2 shares with us her thoughts on what it means to be a Mother and the importance of these females designers who have marked design history with their motherly touch. Once again the English version is just below. Enjoy!
Madres del Diseño
La palabra madre es muy vasta y abarca una infinidad de significados. Con lo que más se le asocia es con el nacimiento. Dar vida o dar inicio a algo nuevo. Aquí en The Empty Apartment queremos celebrar a las Madres del Diseño. Mujeres que tuvieron una visón y la plasmaron dando vida a piezas mobiliarias que cambiaron para siempre la historia.
Estas mujeres se adelantaron a su tiempo. No solamente rompieron paradigmas sobre el lugar que ocupaba su género en la sociedad, sino que revolucionaron con metodologías vanguardistas. Utilizaron nuevos materiales y procesos, reescribieron con su ingenio las bases del diseño, y dieron vida a piezas icónicas de la era moderna.
Inquestionablemente, Ray Eames es la diseñadora mas emblemática de la historia moderna del diseño. En una época donde la igualdad de género era insuficiente, su esposo Charles dijo: ”Todo lo que yo puedo hacer, Ray lo hace mejor”.
Uno de nuestros diseños favoritos de Ray Eames es el Lounge Chair Wood (LCW) porque fue el pionero en la curva bidireccional creada a partir de contrachapado laminado (nunca antes visto en el mundo en ese momento).
El Eames Molded Plywood Elephant representa uno de los primeros ejemplos en los que aparece este animal majestuoso en la obra de Charles y Ray. Lo diseñaron a principios de la década de 1940 como una rama lúdica de sus experimentos de contrachapado moldeado.
na integrante destacada de la generación de diseñadores que creó el movimiento moderno danés de posguerra. Destacable, sobre todo, por ser una mujer en el mundo del diseño industrial dominado por los hombres, desde mediados de la década de 1940 creó, junto con su marido Jorgen numerosos objetos de diseño icónicos. En 1952, diseñaron una serie de artículos de mobiliario para niños (tenían tres hijas), un tema que volvería a surgir en la carrera de Nanna con la creación de Toadstool, una pieza de mobiliario que podría usarse como taburete y como mesa.
Los Ditzels ayudaron a hacer famosa a Dinamarca por su producción de accesorios innovadores, en particular muebles, interiores, cerámicas, textiles y joyas. Ninguna pieza expresó este espíritu más que su silla de mimbre de 1959, que, suspendida por una cadena del techo, aparecía con frecuencia en revistas de moda e interiores. Su forma resistente a la gravedad sugería un estilo de vida liberado, libre de ansiedades ligadas a la tierra, y fue adoptada por una generación idealista de jóvenes con estilo en la década de 1960.
La notable carrera de Maija Isola (1927-2001) como diseñadora textil comenzó en Printex, el antecesor de Marimekko, en 1949 y duró 38 años. Diseñó más de 500 patrones de tela, que cubren una gama increíblemente diversa de motivos y técnicas de diseño.
Mothers of Design
The word Mother is very vast and envelopes an affsinity of meanings. The meaning I relate to the most is with that of giving birth to. To give life or to begin something new. Here at The Empty Apartment we'd like to celebrate the Mother's of Design. Women who had a vision and gave life to design and furniture pieces that changed history forever.
These women were ahead of their time. Not only did they break with gender stereotypes within their societies, but they also were revolutionary with vanguard design methodology. They used new materials and proceses, rewriting, with their knowledge, the basics in design and gave life to iconic design pieces of the modern era.
Unquestionably, Ray Eames is the most emblematic female designer of the history of modern design. In an era when gender equality was insuficient, her husband Charles stated: "Everything that I can do, Ray does better".
One of our favorite designs by Ray Eames is the Lounge Chair Wood (LCW) it was a pioneer piece in curved plywood, never before seen up until then.
The Molded Plywood Elephant represents one of the first examples in which the Elephant appears in the design work of Charles and Ray Eames. They designed it in the early 1940s and it became part of playful line of design of molded plywood.
An integral member of a generation of Danish designers who formed part of a postwar modern movement in design. Noteworthy as a women in the world of industrial design dominated mostly by men. Since the mid 1940s Nanna Ditzel, together with her husband Jørgen designed numerous iconic design pieces. In 1952 they designed a series of furniture pieces for children. They had 3 daughters. A dedication to children's design would be reoccurring in Nanna's career. The creation of the Toadstool was a distinct piece which could be used as stool or as a table.
The Ditzels helped to make Denmark famous for it's innovative products in the areas of furniture, ceramics, textiles and even jewelry. No other piece withheld this innovative spirit more than the wicker hanging egg chair designed in 1959. Suspended by a chain from the ceiling it was popularly featured in fashion and interior design magazines. Its form resistant to gravity is suggestive to a free lifestyle, free of anxieties tied to the earth. The piece was adopted by an idealist youth generation of the 60s.
Maija Isola's noteworthy career as a textile designer began at Printex, the predecessor to Marimekko in 1949 and lasted 38 years. She designed over 500 fabric patterns which include and incredible range of design techniques and motives.
For more information check out the links we used to write this article.
1. You don't need as much furniture as you think you do, just more interesting pieces.
Who says you need the couch or that chair to fill up that corner?
2. Collect what you love, it will inspire you to be more creative.
Taking a life lesson from designer Alexander Girard we could all be more creative daily.
3. Don't be afraid of color, it adds emotion to a home.
Monet, Barragan, Le Corbusier and Frida Kahlo all knew a thing or 2 about living passionately.
4. If it doesn't matter get rid of it, free your space.
We consume way more then we need, items with no real meaning or purpose.
5. Travel and support independent creatives, your collected treasures will tell your journey.
A home to reflect the stories of those who live there, a collected space, unique and individual.
Christmas, it's seriously right around the corner. The smell of cider and apple pie, the scent of advent candles and wreaths. Quality time with family. Comfort & warmth, everything silver & gold. Whichever way you celebrate Christmas, this holiday is marked by many with a slowed-down, switched-off lifestyle. Hopefully, your work emails go unread, your social feeds take a break, you lay off the Instagram-a-thon and FB posts. It’s time to disconnect, slow down and hopefully recharge.
The Danish have a word ‘hygge’ that's pretty awesome to reflect on in this state of being. Pronounced hue-guh, this slight verbal entity carries a lot of weight. Hygge captures this feeling of coziness, contentment and a comfortable vibe of well-being that comes with the simple things in life, like love, laughter and a glass of wine. The Dutch also have a word - gezellig - that captures similar sentiments in the Netherlands. It translates to quality and comfort.
Denmark Christmas Traditions
I've never spent Christmas in Denmark and I was recently told that it was a must-see, so I looked into how the Danes do it. Here are some items and traditions that I found. I think I can get into the Danish spirit from afar with a little Christmas hygge of my own.
The Advent Wreath - the advent wreath symbolizes the holidays in Denmark. Four candles sit atop the wreath, marking four Sundays until December 24th. Made with sprigs, berries, cones, and ribbons, the wreath is a wonderful holiday tradition.
The Advent Candle - here’s another Danish tradition to mark down the days until Christmas. The candle has 24 markings on it, signifying the length of the candle to burn one day at a time. Every night at supper, families light the candle for the one day marked. Children often blow out the candle before it reaches the next date.
Christmas decorations - The Danish national colors of red and white highlight the home decorations in festive ways. The Danish Christmas tree stands above all, majestic in its history and with items like tinsel, garland, paper hearts and twinkling lights adorning it.
Strong drinks - For the unprepared, the mulled Christmas wine or the strong Danish beers might be the right addition to a Danish Christmas. Warm liquor on a cold winter night in Denmark will certainly be needed!
Hygge as Lifestyle
An article in The New Yorker notes that hygge is synonymous with winter in Denmark, and with it is the necessities of candles, wooly slippers, soft blankets, a hot fire, and contented feelings. I think Hygge can also be in the Summertime, basking under the sun with your feet in the river off a dock with a glass of wine. Hygge has transcended mere feelings of Christmas comfort to become a lifestyle term and the Danes know how to do it well!
I won't be back in Scandinavia until 2018 but I have my holiday wreath of eucalyptus, pine, and pampas grass from House of Lilac up on my door and am planning some cozy candlelit dinner parties with friends before the year is over. Gearing up for 2018!
There are lots of real estate investors buying up properties in Miami, renovating them and flipping them for a pretty penny. For a buyer, having to remodel a home might be cumbersome but there are a few issues with the renovation jobs you typically come across in Miami.
A. Renovations are typically done in the cheapest possible way, cheap tiles, cheap cabinets, mostly Ikea that won't last more than a few years, or that fake wooden flooring that echoes under your shoes, which is just horrible and not long lasting.
B. These real estate investors don't usually have the historic appreciation nor the aesthetic sensibility to know what to preserve nor know how to enhance the architectural details that actually make the house charming and unique in the first place.
Last weekend I did a house tour with my friend and realtor Estefania Grigio from The Good Egg to the historic home above, located in the neighborhood of Coconut Grove in Miami. It was a rare find. From her list of homes built in the 40s and 50s this one actually had most of its original features such as bathrooms, flooring, and archways. I pointed out a few minor decorating tips that even though cosmetic, would really enhance the original features of the home. As a homeowner and my mission with The Empty Apartment is to share ways in which a home can be personalized through collected items and story telling. Architecture plays a large role in the way we perceive and live in space so it would only make sense that we personalize the architecture or better yet choose a space that we can really make our own. A kitchen or bathrooms that are already remodeled like so many others, out of cheap materials doesn't seem appealing to me. A much less expensive home waiting to receive a personal touch could be a rewarding project for a place to truly call home.
We begin moving out of our parent's home, perhaps. A search for a new abode, a place to call home. Sometimes with roommates, in a different city, with a budget in mind. What we are to find, we have no idea. Best to keep expectations at a low, the energy of adventure is high. The experience of moving might be stressful for some, exciting for others. We all want to feel that sense of security and comfort in a home. The possibilities of how this happens might be endless. Finding a new home whether purchasing or renting becomes a new chapter in our life.
The Empty Apartment is always going back to this initial experience of walking through an empty space and listening to the architecture that is already speaking a monologue. The monologue is the history of the location, the purpose of the building, the architectural details that perhaps have been hidden, removed or destroyed over time. How do we turn these monologues into conversations when we move into the space and make it our home?
The conversation gets rich when we bring in our Grandmother's lounge chair, that dining table gifted from our neighbor who was moving out that fits everyone who comes over, and that wallpaper we fell in love with on a whim but had to go back to the store to buy more as we clearly didn't know how to calculate wallpaper in the first place. The experience of building a home begins with Architecture. Space will dictate the movement and flow of habitual interaction. It is our process to collect the items that will speak about our journey and how we interact with space. The home is only made once we have left our imprint on it.
"Architecture is exposed to life. If its body is sensitive enough, it can assume a quality that bears witness to past life" - architect Peter Zumthor.