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Cool furniture, design objects and desiderata

venessian

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Not to beat a dead horse here but it's not like young artists are being ripped off their designs. These are designs/IP that are 60 years old at this point, have been milked to death by licensed makers and in many cases are in the public domain. In which case, those are no longer knock-offs or fakes, but just another available version of public-domain design.
Exactly, again.
Also, those designs were produced in a mechanized, production-oriented culture already, which they celebrated.

In many cases the re-issues are very valid for a number of reasons besides simply budget. Does anyone really want to buy and use a Wassily, Rietveld, etc., chair built to exact original materials and hardware/details/specs? I doubt it. Or a Vico Magistretti "Maui" chair built of the original spec polymer? No, unless one really loves cracks, etc. Not all progress is heinous or insulting to the "original spirit", etc. The original designers certainly were not of that mind.
 

brokencycle

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The top part is only a structural housing and reflector.
No light comes from within that part.
The bulb sits within the bottom half, and
1) shines upward against the curved reflector above, providing reflected diffused light
2) shines downward through the opening in the bottom portion, providing direct downlight.
I understand that. Perhaps my question was unclear: roughly how much diffuse light is there? Is it noticeable or more just an accent of the shape?
 

venessian

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I understand that. Perhaps my question was unclear: roughly how much diffuse light is there? Is it noticeable or more just an accent of the shape?
OK, sorry, now I understand your question better.

"How much diffuse light is there?" is impossible to quantify, though; it depends on so many factors.

"Is the diffuse light noticeable"? I am not sure exactly what you mean by "noticeable", but it is most definitely noticeable, as in present and visible, as that is the entire point of the design.

But: is the diffused light harsh, strong, overwhelming, can one read by it, does it illuminate the ceiling, etc? Then, no; in that sense I would say the diffuse light is more what you define an "accent". The photos in general do give a good depiction of the effect.
 

Van Veen

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Exactly, again.
Also, those designs were produced in a mechanized, production-oriented culture already, which they celebrated.

In many cases the re-issues are very valid for a number of reasons besides simply budget. Does anyone really want to buy and use a Wassily, Rietveld, etc., chair built to exact original materials and hardware/details/specs? I doubt it. Or a Vico Magistretti "Maui" chair built of the original spec polymer? No, unless one really loves cracks, etc. Not all progress is heinous or insulting to the "original spirit", etc. The original designers certainly were not of that mind.
This, to me, is one of the great ironies of modern design. A lot of this stuff was designed to be affordable, but it's become a status symbol. There is absolutely no reason a twin Case Study bed should be $1,300. The whole point of the Case Study project was to build inexpensive homes and furniture. I'd argue that in many cases, what Rove and other "replica" brands are doing is closer to the designers' intentions than the "authentic" pieces.

(I am not talking about pieces that were designed to be high-end/handmade from the start, like the Wegner/PPM stuff. I am talking about pieces that were designed to be mass produced.)

Most of us can't write a blank check for furniture, so we have to pick and choose where we spend our money. Paying 5-10x the price for "authentic" mass-produced pieces is not smart when there's a high quality replica available. The problem is identifying the high quality replicas vs. the cheap stuff without being able to see it in person.
 

brokeassp

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Thinking of getting an AJ floor lamp. Stuck on the color choices. Black vs Light gray vs Dark gray. Leaning towards dark grey.
 
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Gibonius

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This, to me, is one of the great ironies of modern design. A lot of this stuff was designed to be affordable, but it's become a status symbol. There is absolutely no reason a twin Case Study bed should be $1,300. The whole point of the Case Study project was to build inexpensive homes and furniture. I'd argue that in many cases, what Rove and other "replica" brands are doing is closer to the designers' intentions than the "authentic" pieces.
One of the worst in my mind are the Eames DSW. It's injection molded plastic with wooden dowel legs, and they're charging $575 at DWR these days. You used to see those kind of chairs in elementary schools and fast food joints, now it's "design."

I have absolutely no problem getting a knockoff of something like that, which was designed to be massed produced and isn't using fine materials or construction.
 

Principle

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I’ll chime in to the buying authentic conversation and say that if value retention is of any concern, and I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be to an adult with a real budget, I would strongly recommend buying used and authentic. It offers the best quality-to-price ratio and can be re-sold in most metropolitan markets with ease. There are some generalizations here, obviously, but assuming the piece has some universal appeal, wasn’t beat to shit when you purchased it, and you took care of the item while using it, there’s plenty of room for resale. People move, tastes change, etc.
 

TheFoo

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Exactly, again.
Also, those designs were produced in a mechanized, production-oriented culture already, which they celebrated.

In many cases the re-issues are very valid for a number of reasons besides simply budget. Does anyone really want to buy and use a Wassily, Rietveld, etc., chair built to exact original materials and hardware/details/specs? I doubt it. Or a Vico Magistretti "Maui" chair built of the original spec polymer? No, unless one really loves cracks, etc. Not all progress is heinous or insulting to the "original spirit", etc. The original designers certainly were not of that mind.
You are confusing all mid-century modern furniture for falling under the same "mechanized, production-oriented" umbrella. Common mistake. Things like the fiberglass Eames chair were supposed to be cheap and mass-produced, yes--but not the Flag Halyard chair or many of the higher end Danish furniture designs.

Wegner, the FG's designer, worked with all sorts of makers. Some of his designs were meant for mass production, but others were expensive handcrafted pieces that required skilled Danish cabinetmakers. The Wishbone chair is sort of mid-level. It is not particularly complex in construction, but it it nonetheless entirely glued and jointed together, without any screws or nails. It is not modular and does not disassemble. Also, it used high quality wood (most often oak) and was traditionally soap-finished. Some level of hand-finishing is necessary. Such a chair could never be made that cheaply. Hence, a high-quality repro, made similarly well, may not save you that much money to begin with.
 

Van Veen

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I’ll chime in to the buying authentic conversation and say that if value retention is of any concern, and I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be to an adult with a real budget, I would strongly recommend buying used and authentic. It offers the best quality-to-price ratio and can be re-sold in most metropolitan markets with ease. There are some generalizations here, obviously, but assuming the piece has some universal appeal, wasn’t beat to shit when you purchased it, and you took care of the item while using it, there’s plenty of room for resale. People move, tastes change, etc.
I mostly agree with this, but MCM might not be in style forever. Someday it might be as worthless as a lot of other antiques are now. Furniture is not an investment.

I'm in a smaller market, and there have been multiple Knoll credenzas sitting on Craiglist or Facebook for months for less than $1000 without selling. "Goes for $4000-5500 on 1stDibs!" (Of course, they need restoration, but the fact that flippers aren't buying them is a red flag.)
 

TheFoo

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I mostly agree with this, but MCM might not be in style forever. Someday it might be as worthless as a lot of other antiques are now. Furniture is not an investment.

I'm in a smaller market, and there have been multiple Knoll credenzas sitting on Craiglist or Facebook for months for less than $1000 without selling. "Goes for $4000-5500 on 1stDibs!" (Of course, they need restoration, but the fact that flippers aren't buying them is a red flag.)
True, resale is a bitch. We tried selling Eames LCW chairs a few years ago and took a bath on them. It's much, much worse for non-icon, more contemporary pieces.
 

Lionel Hutz

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I don’t own any pieces, but have heard Rove is a step above your typical knock off producer. Not perfect, but a good compromise for those on a budget and not bothered by the ethics of it.
I believe Poly & Bark fits in the same category
 

imatlas

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Fortunately I sold all of my MCM furniture and plowed the proceeds into Bitcoin. I'm going FIRE any day now.
 

Van Veen

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True, resale is a bitch. We tried selling Eames LCW chairs a few years ago and took a bath on them. It's much, much worse for non-icon, more contemporary pieces.
Ironically, the replica market probably drives resale down. People who have the money to buy new will buy new; people looking to save will go with cheaper replicas over more expensive authentic used. (1stDibs and such give sellers unrealistic ideas, too.) It's also easier to buy new replicas than wait around for the right used pieces to show up.

I prefer used if I can get exactly what I want for a good price, but I'm not willing to settle. (I've debated buying the Knoll credenza I mentioned since it's so cheap, but I don't love it enough to restore it or get it restored.) And I don't want to buy cheap versions of the high end pieces you're talking about because they're never the same.
 

TheFoo

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Ironically, the replica market probably drives resale down. People who have the money to buy new will buy new; people looking to save will go with cheaper replicas over more expensive authentic used. (1stDibs and such give sellers unrealistic ideas, too.) It's also easier to buy new replicas than wait around for the right used pieces to show up.

I prefer used if I can get exactly what I want for a good price, but I'm not willing to settle. (I've debated buying the Knoll credenza I mentioned since it's so cheap, but I don't love it enough to restore it or get it restored.) And I don't want to buy cheap versions of the high end pieces you're talking about because they're never the same.
The only repros I've ever bought were Modernica's fiberglass versions of the Eames dining chair. At the time, the licensed versions were only made in plastic, not fiberglass. However, fit and finish of the Modernicas were clearly not at the same level. The metal bases were made to looser tolerances, so you had to struggle to fit some of them into the seat slots. The fiberglass shells had moldings for where different bases would attach, had the chair been ordered in a different configuration.These were not issues with the Herman Miller versions.
 

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