Improved Mid-Century Modern rocking chair

chair-openerMy book Maker Dad has instructions for making this Mid-Century Modern rocking chair. The design is based on a chair that was built around 1950 by Alexey Brodovitch, a designer who was the art director at Harper's Bazaar from 1934 to 1958. I built Brodovitch's chair and discovered that it was not very sturdy. I changed the design to have better support, and a few iterations later came up with a chair that felt more robust.

Last week Edward Reading sent me photos of the chair he built with his son. He improved on my design: "I counter-sunk the dowels about half the thickness of the plywood, and glued them for additional support. I also notched the sides to receive the 8" brace, and glued that in as well." Good job, Ed!

Here are photos of his chair:

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Ed's son is holding the peg trick, which you can see in the above video.

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Furniture from old Apple G5 towers

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Klaus Geiger's concept design for minimalist furniture fashioned from the chassis of old Apple PowerMac G5 tower computers

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Airplane parts recycled into furniture

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MotoArt, an outfit I've blogged before that transforms airplane parts into furniture, built this glorious conference table based on an engine scavenged from a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet. (via Laughing Squid)

DIY pipe-and-wood shelves

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I've seen variations on pipe-and-wood bookshelves but this set (and howto) by Reddit user's bobatsfight is a terrific accomplishment!

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Jews and midcentury modern design

The Atlantic's Steven Heller's feature about the Jewish designers at the forefront of mid-century modernism, from George Nelson to Saul Bass to Alvin Lustig is pegged on a new exhibition titled Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism at San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum.

CATable desk designed for humans and cats

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The CATable integrates crawl spaces to keep your kitty happy. (Laughing Squid)

Marvelous 18th century secretary cabinet

Please enjoy this video of my new writing desk with its hidden compartments, clockwork mechanisms, chimes, inkwell, and sand sifter. It was built in the workshop of Abraham and David Roentgen during the 18th century and previously owned by King Frederick William II. OK, fine, it's not mine. But it will be. Someday. SOMEDAY! (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, thanks Bob Pescovitz!)

Space age design loft bed/desk for kids (1975)

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While searching for a good loft bed/desk system for my son, I found this photo of a fantastic bed/desk/closet module designed in 1975 by Luigi Colani. The closet door is a chalkboard! I like how space age it feels. The DIY Mission Control desktop I posted about previously would be a perfect addition. (Handmade Charlotte)

Tea Cup chair

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"This Tea Cup Chair is perfect sound isolator, suitable for peaceful relaxing, reading or meditation." Or having a nice cuppa, I'd imagine. (Thanks, Michael-Anne!)

Verner Panton's incredibly psychedelic fantasy furniture (1970)

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In 1970, famed Danish designer Verner Panton transformed a Bayer-sponsored exhibition boat at the Cologne furniture fair into the "Visona 2 Fantasy Landscape." Below, a video tour of the scene. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.

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Heinlein's bed up for auction

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Want to sleep in Robert A Heinlein's bed? The Heinlein Society was unable to find a museum to take this artifact from his home so they are now selling it on eBay. Apparently designed and built by the writer himself, the bed platform has drawers underneath and two side tables, each with "a drawer, a pull out writing surface, and shelf space, as well as a compartment suitable for a box of tissues, and a trash compartment with a removable container." Robert A Heinlein's Bed (Thanks, Dave Gill!)

A proper Victorian poop table

This table is not for pooping. It's for tea. But it is made of poop — specifically fossilized hunks of fish poop, encased in a crunchy shell of clay and rock. The fossilized poops — called coprolites, which is basically just fancy Latin for "fossilized poop" — are the spiny-looking bits in the center of each circular inlay on the table top. (Technically, the name translates as "dung stone".)

The table belonged, appropriately, to the Rev. William Buckland, the man who gave coprolites their fancy name and proved that they were, in fact, fossilized poops.

The table resides at England's Lyme Regis Museum. You can read more about Buckland's work and the details of the craftsmanship and restoration behind the table at their website. Earth Magazine also has a lovely article on coprolites, including important information that will help you distinguish between fossilized poop and stuff that just looks like fossilized poop.

Via The Earth Story. Thanks to my Dad for forwarding this to me!

Canvas print of a couch doubles as a couch

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Japanese design firm YOY created this print of a sofa that can be used as a sofa. The image is printed on a very elastic fabric on a wood and aluminum frame. When it's leaned against a wall, you can sit in it. They also made a stool and armchair. CANVAS (via Laughing Squid)

Carpets now in Minecraft

You may now get carpet in Minecraft and get Minecraft carpet. Sort of.

Warhol's Brillo Boxes made out of foam and sold as furniture


At $425 each, this set of 3 will run you 3 X $425.

(I suspect Warhol wouldn't have created his boxes had he been exposed to this design travesty instead of James Harvey's masterpiece.)