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Cool furniture, design objects and desiderata - Page 501

post #7501 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post

Form follows Function seems to have applied to many lasting historical designs down to the most excruciating detail, especially when considering available materials and man hours. It applies very well to common everyday type work which needed to balance durability and economy.

For instance when you have rice glue or hide glue to work with table leg or chair leg joinery looks a whole lot different than it does with modern glues.

Take an example such as the 18th century shaker trestle table, and it is nearly an ideal divergance of economy of time and material and the quality and durability of the end product.

These historical items also tend to fit in nicely with modernist works, in many instances.

All true, but the discussion around form vs. function had turned to a more fundamental question: how do you assess form relative to function as function approaches zero? If a vase is so poorly functioning that it no longer functions as a vase, why assess it as a vase to begin with?

I posited that we should be more and more willing to assess things as non-functioning forms the less and less their would-be functioning impacts the environment to which they belong. Hence, one should evaluate a vase differently from, say, a sofa.
post #7502 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

All true, but the discussion around form vs. function had turned to a more fundamental question: how do you assess form relative to function as function approaches zero? If a vase is so poorly functioning that it no longer functions as a vase, why assess it as a vase to begin with?

I posited that we should be more and more willing to assess things as non-functioning forms the less and less their would-be functioning impacts the environment to which they belong. Hence, one should evaluate a vase differently from, say, a sofa.

I certainly agree, I think it can be a simple assessment. The implication of form follows function is that ornamentation reduces or somehow impedes the function or creation of the piece. That may be a worthwhile consideration for objects actually used in everyday life, but art glass and sculpture are hardly useful, instead their ornament by decoration or form alone are what they offer as function.

I believe the assessment at that stage should be quality of form and quality of decoration.
post #7503 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by etc View Post

Don't blame me, I posted a picture of a cool chair.

I blame you and only you for EVERYTHING.
post #7504 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post

I certainly agree, I think it can be a simple assessment. The implication of form follows function is that ornamentation reduces or somehow impedes the function or creation of the piece. That may be a worthwhile consideration for objects actually used in everyday life, but art glass and sculpture are hardly useful, instead their ornament by decoration or form alone are what they offer as function.

I believe the assessment at that stage should be quality of form and quality of decoration.

Yes. I think the sticking point for some is simply when something is called a "vase" and its function is nominal.

My perspective is that we should not get stuck on what things are called and start by asking whether any function we wish to ascribe to them matters within greater context.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Find Finn View Post

I blame you and only you for EVERYTHING.

I blame Piochair.
post #7505 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post

I am in the form-should-follow-function camp. This applies equally to a chair and a vase. Some things, e.g. a piece of sculpture, are pure form and, hence, the form is the function. But something like a vase must be a good vase or it is poorly designed, no matter how, ahh, unusual it looks.

I am also in the form-follows-function camp. But I understand that sometimes an assigned function is so simple and inconsequential that categorical distinctions like "vase" or "sculpture" become near meaningless. What is the difference between a vase and a sculpture with a hole in it? One man's poorly-designed vase is another's sculptural object. When your vase fails to function properly and becomes sculpture, there is little to no impact on the functioning of the environment to which it belongs. It might as well have been sculpture all along. So why distinguish? Why think function was ever a critical part of the equation to begin with? In contrast, when your sofa fails to function properly and becomes sculpture, you're living room is fucked. The distinction then matters and so to does the function and whether form follows it.

Personally, I would not want a badly-functioning vase, even if it were interesting looking. It would annoy me. This may be for the same reason that you get so upset over Piobaire's mediocrely-taut chair cushions.

Moreover, this kind of blase indifference to good design in favor of aesthetics ultimately leads to things like swan beds and E-type Jaguars, so you have to be careful.

But the bottom line here is that, while you criticize him, your position and Piobaire's are logically indistinguishable. You are willing to accept poor design because it is pleasing to your eye. Piobaire is willing to accept poor design because it is pleasing to his butt.

BTW, all modern lighting designers that I am aware of actually suck in terms of actual design. By this, I do not mean that they are badly designed -- classics are classic -- but that I am not aware of any modern designer that is actually designing modern lighting.

Your IKEA box light is a great example of this. This design makes no use of modern technology or materials. It could easily have been produced a hundred years ago. There has been a real revolution in lighting -- and other -- technologies over the last ten years. Hopefully, a good designer who actually understands these technologies and how to integrate them will come along soon.

Finally, since the demise of the Hummer, people buy luxury SUVs so they can annoy Prius drivers. I thought everybody knew that.
post #7506 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post

Personally, I would not want a badly-functioning vase, even if it were interesting looking. It would annoy me. This may be for the same reason that you get so upset over Piobaire's mediocrely-taut chair cushions.

Moreover, this kind of blase indifference to good design in favor of aesthetics ultimately leads to things like swan beds and E-type Jaguars, so you have to be careful.

But the bottom line here is that, while you criticize him, your position and Piobaire's are logically indistinguishable. You are willing to accept poor design because it is pleasing to your eye. Piobaire is willing to accept poor design because it is pleasing to his butt.

You missed the basic point: it is only a bad vase insofar as one insists on judging it as a vase. As a decorative object or sculpture, it should be assessed differently since the physical functioning no longer matters.

This is perfectly logically consistent with condemning an ugly chair. I've explicated on why in multiple posts. In short: given that function is relative to environment, the extent to which a thing's form should be assessed versus its function should be directly variable with that function's impact on its environment. A vase or bowl is more easily taken as a decorative object, for which function is merely nominal, than would be a sofa or bed, which are extremely obstructive if they do not function as one would typically ascribe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post

BTW, all modern lighting designers that I am aware of actually suck in terms of actual design. By this, I do not mean that they are badly designed -- classics are classic -- but that I am not aware of any modern designer that is actually designing modern lighting.

Your IKEA box light is a great example of this. This design makes no use of modern technology or materials. It could easily have been produced a hundred years ago. There has been a real revolution in lighting -- and other -- technologies over the last ten years. Hopefully, a good designer who actually understands these technologies and how to integrate them will come along soon.

Finally, since the demise of the Hummer, people buy luxury SUVs so they can annoy Prius drivers. I thought everybody knew that.

I don't think increasing functionality (such as by implementing technological advancements) is necessary or sufficient for good design. Rather, it seems good design is more about improving form's relationship to function, whatever that function might be. In other words, technologically, you may be right: nothing would have stopped the lamp in question from being manufactured 100 years ago. But socially, intellectually, etc., such a lamp may not have been acceptable. Many modernist designs are modernist and good designs not because they innovated technologically but because they were willing to implement forms that were previously avoided for bad reasons.
post #7507 of 8694
I want an Aalto vase...put some tulips in it.

My mom recently found the small or medium sized one in a thrift store...like $3, with the Ittala sticker still on it (maybe in the original box too).

Gotta love when someone with traditional american tastes gets a piece like that as a wedding present from some distant cousin...says "my what a stupid looking vase" and tosses it in the donation pile.
post #7508 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Seriously, my chairs are no more fugly than a Grand Repo or Eames.

Okay, maybe we need to level-set.

What are some examples of chairs you think are attractive and not fugly?
post #7509 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Okay, maybe we need to level-set.

What are some examples of chairs you think are attractive and not fugly?

Dude, let it go.
post #7510 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Dude, let it go.

This is meant to be a productive line of discussion. We all thought you liked the way the Eames and Repos chairs looked--or at least I thought so. Now it occurs to me that your starting point may be completely different.
post #7511 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

This is meant to be a productive line of discussion. We all thought you liked the way the Eames and Repos chairs looked--or at least I thought so. Now it occurs to me that your starting point may be completely different.

I'm afraid this is going to not sit well with you...I like the way the Eames looks but I still think it's kind of fugly. I like how it looks as the design carries out its function so well, namely that of comfortably lounging, but I still think it's a little fugly. Something can be at once unattractive yet somehow visually appealing.
post #7512 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

I'm afraid this is going to not sit well with you...I like the way the Eames looks but I still think it's kind of fugly. I like how it looks as the design carries out its function so well, namely that of comfortably lounging, but I still think it's a little fugly. Something can be at once unattractive yet somehow visually appealing.

wtf
post #7513 of 8694

That Thonet chair is dope, but $6k with the ottoman for fabric? $8k for leather?  Seems steep for a lounge chair - 50% more than the Eames.

post #7514 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post

Personally, I would not want a badly-functioning vase, even if it were interesting looking. It would annoy me. This may be for the same reason that you get so upset over Piobaire's mediocrely-taut chair cushions.

Moreover, this kind of blase indifference to good design in favor of aesthetics ultimately leads to things like swan beds and E-type Jaguars, so you have to be careful.

But the bottom line here is that, while you criticize him, your position and Piobaire's are logically indistinguishable. You are willing to accept poor design because it is pleasing to your eye. Piobaire is willing to accept poor design because it is pleasing to his butt.

BTW, all modern lighting designers that I am aware of actually suck in terms of actual design. By this, I do not mean that they are badly designed -- classics are classic -- but that I am not aware of any modern designer that is actually designing modern lighting.

Your IKEA box light is a great example of this. This design makes no use of modern technology or materials. It could easily have been produced a hundred years ago. There has been a real revolution in lighting -- and other -- technologies over the last ten years. Hopefully, a good designer who actually understands these technologies and how to integrate them will come along soon.

Finally, since the demise of the Hummer, people buy luxury SUVs so they can annoy Prius drivers. I thought everybody knew that.

I have bonsai stands in my house for tropical bonsai. The Bonsai go outside every summer and rather than rearrange my whole interior I simply put some chinese pots on the stands, one is a rice container and the other is a wine vessel. Both of these are entirely useless as those objects currently, because I'm not going to store rice or wine in either of them.

They could do a fine or miserable job of that intended purpose, but I'll never know, I just look at them and think about how much I like how they look. They're not particularly notable, just some random Qing Dynasty works of questionable origin (meaning they're probably early 20th century repros).

So there is a space for functional pieces that go largely unused because either their function is no longer an everyday need, or because they're ascribed a name like 'vase' so that they can appeal to a wider audience.

I don't know many people who collect art glass for the sake of collecting art glass, but there are plenty who have bowls and vases that go unused and amount to nothing more than decoration. I don't over indulge in this, but I do see the appeal of art glass, sculpture and pottery.
post #7515 of 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencycle View Post

That Thonet chair is dope, but $6k with the ottoman for fabric? $8k for leather?  Seems steep for a lounge chair - 50% more than the Eames.

Yes I noticed the Thonet is in line with pricing of a Grand Repo. Both seem hard to stomach for a lounge chair.
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