Aug 27, 201309:00 AMPoint of View
Ricochet of Neutra’s Boomerang
The architecture and design media have not been kind to modernism recently. Articles vow to “Liberate Architecture from Modernism’s Evils” or describe how modernism ruined architecture; either damning the movement for its rigidity or its superficiality. Sadly, we have all but forgotten the original modernist lessons aimed at lifting up urbanity, making smaller spaces more humane and easily livable. On the other hand, architects and designers who embraced modernism kept their materials affordable and their designs democratic. These abiding lessons of modernism, make us ask, when, if not now, has urban life needed a more affordable, democratic architecture or design that keeps us centered in our smaller-than-ever spaces?
Courtesy VS America
Architects and Historians interviewed on Neutra legacy- such as Phillippe Pare via vs-neutra.com
Furniture manufacturer VS America answers that call with the re-launch of original designs by Richard Neutra, such as his beloved 1940s Boomerang chair. Originally it was designed as a chair that ship builders of the Channel Heights Housing Project in Los Angeles could build themselves (though, like so much early modernist thinking, this proved to be a little idealistic).
Now the chair enters the 21st century to find an increasingly urban world population, looking to invest in one, affordable, modern classic piece for their micro units. "Though Richard Neutra's visionary architecture has put him squarely among the world's modern masters, his mid-century modern furniture has been relatively unknown,” notes Claudius Reckord, VS America’s CEO. “It's exciting for us to add these timeless designs to our collection that includes the work of leading architects and designers like Bruno Paul and Richard Riemerschmied, Verner Panton, and Guenter Behnisch.”
Another design set for launch is the Lovell Easy Chair Steelframe, which was never produced, but taken from a sketch of it was found in Neutra’s 1929 Lovell house archives. Other items like the Tremaine Dining Chair and the Alpha sofas were made for the architect’s clients, but never put into production either. They did get wide exposure in the press hungry for architecture and design innovation when modernism was news in America, and Neutra’s California work came to symbolize progressive design. Now these pieces and other Neutra designs, representing easy modern living, will be available in 2014 to a wider more mature, more receptive market.
This article is sponsored by VS America.