The Philadelphia Center for Architecture routinely hosts lectures, exhibits and panel discussions of interest to anyone in the fields of design and architecture. This month, the Center kicks off its Building Philadelphia Lecture Series, a 10-part series that will walk attendees through the many faces of Philadelphia since its birth. The series begins on March 11 with Penn's Plan and the Founding of the City.
John Gallery, former executive director of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, will introduce and examine William Penn's plans for this city within his colony of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, given to Penn's father by the King of England to pay off a personal debt, was the younger Penn's ticket to plan a major city, one that would take 200 years to match his vision.
Tickets are required and discounted pricing is offered to those who purchase the entire package. Check out the entire schedule on the Center's website.
Penn's Plan & the Founding of the City
Tuesday, March 11
Philadelphia Center for Architecture
1218 Arch Street
6 - 8 p.m.
This is the second time in two weeks the work of Furniture Maker Greg Klassen has been brought to my attention and, I have to say, I see why it keeps coming up. The designer/maker's creations with live-edged wood and glass are this week's pick for Fab Furn.
These very modern tables and wall sculptures recreate very natural environments, particularly streaming rivers passing through gorgeous, live-edge slabs of wood. For example, in the table shown above a "river" of blue glass divides two quilted western maple slabs to create a coffee table and in the wall sculpture shown below a blue glass river intersects two spalted maple wood specimens with such dramatic coloring and natural detail that it simply needed a clear finish, no stains necessary.
Klassen's nature-inspired pieces are available in custom sizes and woods, so the already completely unique pieces will be even more individual. See his work first-hand later this month at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.
Greg Klassen Furniture
This marks the 13th year Architectural Digest has curated a fascinating group of designers and luxury brands that will share their latest designs for furniture, accessories, lighting, art, kitchen, bath and building products. In all, more than 300 brands will be represented at this month's Architectural Digest Home Design Show, one of my favorite design showcases of the year.
Again this year, the AD Show will be co-located with DIFFA's Dining by Design New York event. Throughout the year, the Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS hosts a series of Dining by Design events in cities across the country. The event calls upon designers, design brands, and sometimes design students to create inventive tablescapes for the charity dinner. More than 40 dining environments will decorate this year's event.
This year's agenda also includes the The New York Times Seminar Series. The series involves a very interesting roster of panels, discussions and presentations, including Kitchens & Baths Transformed, A Talk with Mario Buatta, and Design Dot-Com: The Changing State of the Industry.
Architectural Digest Home Design Show
March 20 - 23
Pier 94 - 55th Street at 12th Avenue
What better place to shop for bargains than a market center where high design lives on a daily basis? The Design Center of the Americas is set to host its semi-annual sample sale March 14 and 15.
If you're in the South Florida area or simply looking for a sunny, stylish escape, head to DCOTA and help its many showrooms make space for new product. The showrooms host furnishings, lighting, textiles, accessories, and more. What better time to browse?
DCOTA Semi-Annual Sample Sale
March 14: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
March 15: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As the snow comes down yet again, I can't help but turn attention to sunnier locales in hopes our Northeastern weather soon will catch up with theirs. The thoughts brought me to Select Furnishings, the Sarasota, Fla.-based makers of rattan indoor and outdoor furniture and this week's pick for Fab Furn.
The piece shown here - the Peach 4-piece Day Bed -- is the item that brought Select Furnishings to my attention. It's a pod-like oasis that could transform any outdoor space into a blissful sanctuary. The company's pieces are commercial grade, constructed from a powder coated aluminum frame and using Sunbrella Premium fabrics to ensure the lovely pod against the elements.
The company's product line includes sofa sets, dining sets, loungers, day beds, Sunbrella outdoor sets and more.
The Bard Graduate Center always is rich with interesting programs and lectures and its upcoming talk on the textiles that colored the world of Marie Antoinette is sure to fascinate. How To Do Things with Textiles: Marie Antoinette at the Courts of Vienna and Versailles is scheduled for February 25.
The speaker for this event is Birgitt Borkopp-Restle, from the University of Bern, Switzerland, where she holds the Werner and Margaret Abegg Chair as Professor of the History of Textile Arts at the Institute of Art History. As Antoinette is typically associated with extravagance in fashion, interiors and living in general, the lecture will focus on how woven silks, tapestries, furnishing fabrics, and embroideries contributed to her life and lifestyle.
An RSVP is required either online or to email@example.com.
If you've made furniture and its design a part of your life and career then no doubt you can get rather involved in its history as well. If that's the case, then a new exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art - The History of the Dressing Table -- should find a place on your calendar.
This exhibit takes visitors back to ancient Egyptian times when decorative boxes were used to hold cosmetics and other items to 17th century Europe where the dressing table as we know it today began to take shape and then on to modern designs. Historically, the vanity was a piece of status and pride among society's elite who would commission personalized pieces from artisan furniture makers. The assembled collection looks to review the history of the pieces themselves and reveal how one piece of furniture can be a lesson in history itself, reflecting changing social customs and the popular taste of its moment.
The History of the Dressing Table will be open through April 13. Exhibition Tours are scheduled for March 7 and 29 and a free lecture - At the Vanity: Modern Women and Self-Transformation - is slated for March 21.
When you consider the modern day popularity of the Eames chair and other designs that came from the legendary design minds of Ray and Charles Eames, it's hard to imagine an exhibit that actually celebrates Ray's centennial. The California Museum in Sacramento has been doing just that with Ray Eames: A Century of Modern Design, an exhibition scheduled to close February 23.
The exhibit, co-created in partnership with Eames Office, explores Ray's early life and work and features new findings on her early life in Sacramento and work produced prior to meeting her future husband and business partner, Charles, in 1941. While her name often still finds her mistaken for Charles' brother, this exhibit focuses on a woman who broke barriers and fought to make a difference at a time when women were discouraged from doing so.
More than 100 original works and rare artifacts from Eames Office and the Eames family's collections are on display for just 10 days more to offer a glimpse into Ray's 60-year career and the effect her influence continues to have on design today.
Ray Eames: A Century of Modern Design
The California Museum
Closes February 23, 2014
Designing for kids can sometimes be a challenge, particularly when you're looking for something stylish and substantial. Enter Jaxon Mini, the new line of children's furniture from Los Angeles-based Jaxon Home. The handcrafted line is this week's pick for Fab Furn.
The line was designed by Jaxon Home's Victoria Richter, whose work on the line was born of a desire to make her own children's rooms as stylish and comfortable as the rest of her house.
"We designed our first 'Mini' piece when our son was born, and his older sister had to move into a big-girl bed at 18 months," Richter says. "As a mom, I want to make my kids happy and comfortable and, as a designer, I want them to have furniture that is sophisticated as well as playful."
The line offers a range of furnishings for kids who have outgrown nursery décor. Richter describes the Mini line as "shrunken versions of some of our favorite Jaxon Home pieces." The initial collection includes three upholstered sofas, three upholstered chairs, a bed and two play tables.
Each Jaxon Mini piece is made with a turnaround time of two to three weeks. Materials used for the line include kiln-dried hardwood frames, eco-friendly fillers made from recycled materials and a selection of more than 200 custom fabrics.
The classic modern furniture pieces architect/designer Richard Neutra created for his clients from the 1920s to the 1940s are being re-issued by VS America Inc. as an exclusive edition. Still classic in their styling today, the pieces could be at home in a variety of settings, not simply those filled with contemporary design.
The official launch of The Neutra Collection will take place at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum>Los Angeles on February 20. The launch is in cooperation with architect Dion Neutra, son and architectural partner of Richard Neutra.
The Neutra Furniture Collection
A+D Architecture and Design Museum>Los Angeles
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.