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February 09, 2005

Propaganda Republic and the Cure for Common Stuff

Ergo01_1Propaganda Republic assumes two things: 1. We are all inspired by the stuff around us, and 2. They can surround us with better stuff. If their better stuff includes more products like the ERGO 01, they may be on to something I can really be inspired by. And not just my plain old, old stuff inspiration, but a new, better, more imaginative inspiration fueled by the promise of great design, back support and options for recycling.

The ERGO 01 is a chaise lounge split in two- a body support and separate ottoman. PR says the split accommodated production in two materials-standard Aluminum or high tensile Cromoly Steel. I think it makes the lounge a lot easier to get into in and out of. No more ungainly spread eagle, one leg on either side, hoist yourself with stomach muscles moves--this lounge delivers on relaxation from sitting down to standing up.

(On an expensive lark, "a design exercise to show off what we can do, and an exercise in the use of new technology, design methods and manufacturing techniques within environmental restrictions," PR also produced a lounge in carbon fibre. But manufacturing that option en masse is the only way that the design is economically feasible, says PR's Isla McMillan. "To make it ourselves on a small scale? Economically impossible! Unless there are a few people out there with $70k to spend on a chaise lounge!")

As is, in aluminum with black anodised finish or steel, finished in a durable black epoxy powder coat, the ERGO 01 retails for about £1,500 GBP.

If the ERGO component of the name didn't tip you off, this minimalist masterpiece has been designed with straps of elasticated mesh, the stretchy mebrane-like material like the Pellicle fabric Herman Miller uses for the Aeron chair, and expert attention to back health and support. Gerard Locke, the owner of Propaganda Republic, collaborated on this project with the ergonomics development team of Galen Cranz, Professor of Architecture at  UC Berkeley and Dr. Neelam Misra, Fellow of Pain Management at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York.   

They brought their environmental concerns into the mix too. The ERGO 01 are recycled and recyclable in each of the material options  and, it doesn't need to be taken apart to be recycle ready.

I'm already inspired.

For all things contemporary, visit Pure Contemporary.


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February 08, 2005

American Leather + Weiman + Philips = a Really Great, Great Room!

"Can't buy me love..."

We certainly hope that isn't true.

To get you hooked on the new magazine, PURE CONTEMPORARY, we partnered with the big guns in contemporary furniture and design to offer a $20,000 Great Room Giveway. Entrants are vying for a room re-design that will feature the following elements: a Stanley Jay Friedman “Snugg” sofa by Weiman/Preview, a Rick Lee “Odyssey” recliner by American Leather, a 50” flat screen by Philips Electronics, an entertainment buffet by Design Craft and a custom-colored New Zealand-wool area rug by Carpet Creation.

The contest has been running since October and draws to a close on Tuesday February 15, 2005. So if you are tired of your great room being a catchall for homework, gym equipment and unfolded laundry,  then (quickly) send in your entry telling the editors why you deserve a Great Room makeover, and send us a pic of your current room.

One caveat: we are looking for why you want your Great Room made over -- and while some of you may think that means the kitchen, the bedroom or even the bathroom, it doesn't.

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February 07, 2005

Patricia Urquiola, the Ideal House and Being Lazy

Patricia Urquiola made endless waves with her imm Cologne Ideal House project--the kind that feed an annual design frenzy phenomenon. The thing with creating anything and calling it ideal, is that it's never ideal for everyone.  For designers, who always try to invent and create newer, better ideas quickly, furniture trade shows and their elaborate exhibits create the greatest impetus for imaginative design--perceived competition.

This frenzy of design ideas makes us appreciate Urquiola’s recently unveiled, laid back designs for B&B Italia that much more. The Lazy collection is full of droopy, rounded lines and fat middle-aged middles that support the sitter. Everything about this collection, the chairs in various widths and back heights, the sagging stools, exudes a kind of slow, relaxed comfort. B&B may have added bright, contrasting colors, but even these are choices we’re familiar with and therefore comfortable with—70s green and its counterpart burnt orange, basic black, red and gray.

Together, this is collection that slows down the pace but delivers on clean, modern comfortable design. Lazy_products_2

For all things contemporary, visit Pure Contemporary.

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February 04, 2005

Buy Priceless Art, Support Versace's Heirs

Bluenude_1If you have an extra several hundred thousand or few million dollars, like Versace and love fine art, check out Sotheby's this April and May.

The high-end auction house will be offering priceless art works from Gianni Versace's collection, divided by genre--19th century work, April 20, Impressionist and Modern, May 3-4 and contemporary, May 10-11. 

The pieces, from the murdered designer's sophisticated Upper East Side, NYC townhouse, are part of the estate inherited by his sister Donatella, brother Santo, and niece Allegra.  (Versace's siblings also inherited half ownership of his Versace design house, with Allegra, who turned 18 last year, owning the other half.)

The trio hopes to earn as much as $17 million from the sale.

In addition to Roy Lichtenstein's Blue Nude are lots by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and Raoul Dufy.

For all things contemporary, visit Pure Contemporary.

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Plan for New York City Theater for a New Audience Unveiled

TheaterforanewaudienceArchitects Hugh Hardy and Frank Gehry are taking Shakespeare to Brooklyn in the form of a $38 million stainless steel and glass home for the Theater for a New Audience.

Hardy, best known for designing NYC theaters such as Chelsea's Joyce Theater, and Gehry teamed up to create the state-of-the-art structure as part of the $650 million BAM Cultural District initiative, where run-down, empty buildings will be revived as cultural and arts destinations.

The theater, a 299-seat auditorium with three spectator galleries and an adjustable floor that can be reconfigured to accommodate a variety of stage formations, will be built across from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, at the intersection of Flatbush and Lafayette Avenues.

The design will also feature a roof top garden, cafe and original graphic portraits of Shakespeare by creator of the iconic "I Love New York" logo, Milton Glaser.

The Theater for a New Audience is highly respected in NYC where about 3,000 city students see their Shakespearian performances each year, and this building will be their first permanent home.

Beginning Feb. 4, an exhibition on the new theatre with models and renderings will be on display to the public at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place in Manhattan.

For all things contemporary, visit Pure Contemporary.


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February 03, 2005

Sweden 2005 Year of Design

Mun_1 Since 2002, the Swedes have been gearing up for 2005, which they've billed as the Swedish Year of Design. Geared toward making Swedes, in the words of Leif Pagrotsky, the Minister for Industry and Trade, the "best design users in the world," 2005 Year of Design will promote design awareness and appreciation through projects, exhibitions, workshops and seminars.

They hope the focus on design will continue long past the end of 2005 and eventually give Sweden a grip on the design world equal to the Danes'. Unfortunately, as Swedish English language newspaper The Local reports, there is no funding available for individual projects.

So Swedes take heart, your efforts in design are supported through lip service and at least one website, It's just that the government can't help by investing in individual projects. A problem for the up and coming (read: penniless) designers and entrepreneurs but some of Sweden's biggest names in design, the likes of  Bang & Olufsen, Capellini, and Jasper Morrison, can run without government funding.  They've teamed up with internationally known design companies to fill a luxury 19th century Stockholm apartment with their unique, innovative designs.

The show is scheduled for February 12-13 in an apartment on Mäster Samuelsgatan 1.

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Toronto Hosts Interior Design Show

Torontonians are getting a glimpse of the latest design trends for this year at the Interior Design Show at the city's National Trade Center. More than 250 exhibitors will show their wares at the show where kitchens, baths and outdoor living spaces will be highlights. "What's Your Design Dilemma?" and "Ask a Designer" areas give visitors a chance to talk about their specific home design conundrums with professional designers. 

The Interior Design Show runs from Friday, Feb. 11 to Sunday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $16.

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February 02, 2005

Ekornes Stressless in USA vs Europe

The sleek-style of Ekornes' Mayfair chair may be all the rage in Europe -- but like our bodies, we Americans apparently gravitate to a little more padding. The UK and France like the Norwegian chairmaker's slim Stressless, while Americans prefer the more bulky, and more transitional-styled, Vegas.


Ironically, or not so, Americans prefer the more slimming black, red and sand leathers, while the Euros like the white, cream and safflower (a pale yellow). Stressless chairs comprise 69% of sales in the US.

For all things contemporary, visit Pure Contemporary.

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