Philip Berger

Trends: Flooring

As with carpets, manufacturers of other flooring are intensely fixated on promoting a green profile – simply because a material is “natural,” processing and production techniques may impact the sustainability factor. That aside, high style is abundant if you look for it, from the traditional to the edgy. June 13, 2007 Categories: Uncategorized

Trends: Lighting

Could Mies van der Rohe possibly have imagined how widely his famous maxim about less and more would be so broadly and almost indiscriminately co-opted? He would probably applaud the way it’s become a mantra for lighting design. Energy efficiency and heat reduction remain paramount to every corporate program goal. June 12, 2007 Categories: Lighting, Lighting Products, Uncategorized

Trends: Textiles

With durability and eco-friendliness as standard practices, manufacturers of contract textiles can pursue other features including technological innovations or high style. June 12, 2007 Categories: Textiles, Uncategorized

The Graves’ Design Empire Grows

Although Michael Graves may not be superhuman, he is a super-designer. From leadership in the post-modern architectural movement to the hundreds of consumer products his enterprise has turned out, he is one of the few design talents in America who has entered the public consciousness. It seemed only a matter of time before Graves developed a line of contract textiles,…

Rashid Does Floors

Calling Karim Rashid colorful is like calling Bill Gates rich; the basic adjective doesn’t adequately convey the extent of the description. So his lively appearance at the Tarkett Commercial booth—where Rashid displayed four designs he created from various Tarkett’s Azrock products—shouldn’t have surprised anyone who knows him. Dressed in a pale pink suit and shirt and a tie of his…

Alfresco Textiles

In a giant leap from the backyard patio barbecue, outdoor kitchens of surprising complexity have become a new fetish area for acquisitive homeowners. And as exterior kitchens have begat exterior dining rooms, outdoor dining rooms have sprouted outdoor living rooms. These new spaces necessitate upholstered pieces for the outdoors and are rapidly replacing simple garden furniture of metal or plastic….

Contemporary Refinements

You can barely open a high-end shelter magazine without seeing a project by Shelton, Mindel & Associates; editors love the firm’s sumptuously minimal aesthetic. While the firm has frequently had its furniture designs fabricated for particular jobs, Knoll Studio is introducing Shelton Mindel’s first line of production pieces. “We love what Florence Knoll stood for,” says Lee Mindel, specifying her…

Allegorical Furnishings

Chicago designer Lee Weitzman says his Pandora’s Box, a cabinet on legs featuring a geometric configuration with two drawers and two doors, was intended to surprise and amuse. “People look at the piece but it’s not really apparent what it is at first,” he says, “After spending some time with it, though, everyone walks away with a smile.” He’d like…

Serpentine Seating

The three components of the Za (“to sit” in Japanese) modular bench system can be assembled in several elegant and sinuous configurations: straight lines, serpentine curves, and perfect circles. According to Ashley Davis, Advertising Director of Davis Furniture Industries, the curved elements are formed with a new 3-D bent plywood technology, in which the oak veneer is cut into fine,…

Maharam’s Pliable Laminates

During the past several NeoCons, the Maharam showroom at the Merchandise Mart has become more installation space than a simple display area; this year, British artist Liam Gilliam worked with New York architects Fernlund + Logan to create an environment that presents the company’s wares as works of art. Unlike many other exhibitors who try to cram in absolutely everything…

Tables to Commingle

Like other designers in an increasingly green-conscious industry, Norman Diekman’s furnishings are inspired by nature. He says he got the idea for these low sculptural tables from a cluster of tree stumps he saw while walking around New York’s Fire Island. He said they appeared to be in conversation, and he devised the group to reflect the connection and acknowledges…

Taking Textiles to the Streets

Carnegie continues on a path of targeted marketing with its Street & Sport textiles. Their imagery is meant to evoke a mix of extreme sports , graffiti and various expressions of youthful rebellion. While this type of textile might seem improbable for many contract installations, it’s aimed at the Gen-Y staffers who are the ones that specify contract textiles for…

A Shift in the Boardroom

Nucraft commissioned Cesaroni Design of Chicago to design a boardroom table that could be rearranged for other purposes, like training, where a “C” configuration would make more sense. Its newly developed quick gang connection is what makes it distinct: the device aligns, gangs, and flushes the individual components with no tools and no loose parts. Because it looks easy to…

Elegant and Efficient Workspace

The Wedgewood office system for Tuohy Furniture reimagines the strategic configuration of private office space. Los Angeles designers David Ritch and Mark Saffell of 5D Studio recognized that office real estate is shrinking, so that even when you find traditional, individual offices, the space is smaller. To compensate, they took two standard elements of the contemporary office—the small round conference…

Crafting Bamboo

Bamboo is big in interior design—it’s readily found in flooring, wall coverings, and furniture. But its natural form has also been a source of inspiration. As Ruth Livingston recalls, “I was riding on an elephant through a bamboo forest in northern Thailand and thought, We’ve got to replicate these shapes in steel.” When she returned to her Tiburon, California studio,…

Fashion Inspired Carpets

Last fall, Natalie Jones, VP, Brand Management for Lees Carpets, indulged in some retail therapy before attending a new product development meeting with designers at HOK. By the time she reached their offices in Chicago’s landmark Inland Steel Building, she had an inspiration for Lees’ new line of modular carpeting—men’s clothing. According to HOK’s Tom Polucci, the intention of the…

Outdoor Slingbacks

During the 1960s, Richard Schultz added several designs to the Knoll portfolio; one—the “Petal” table—reached iconic status. In 1992, Schultz reacquired rights to his designs and has been manufacturing them under his own signature ever since. Now, with the assistance of his architect/designer son Peter, the company is bounding into the 21st century. Schultz’s line of simple painted aluminum and…

Umbra Upgrades With U+ Line

While Umbra was developing its new U+ studio collection of housewares and accessories, it internally referred to the three style directions as College, Queen West, and Bloor, to evoke the individual flavors of each of these sections of Toronto, where the company is based. If these names mean nothing to you, try Soho, Brooklyn, and Madison, which is what Umbra…