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Furniture Design

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Furniture designs for a table.

Furniture Design

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Furniture designs for a table.

Furniture Designs

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Page with furniture designs. At bottom, two chairs and a couch. Above, a bed and dresser. At top, two chairs, two tables and a couch.

Ammar Kalo: Stratum Furniture Design and Production Process

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
The Ammar Kalo Stratum chair is made of two interlocking parts. The chair is on view as part of 'Making | Breaking New Arrivals,' on view at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum May–October, 2017. To learn more, visit https://www.cooperhewitt.org/channel/making-breaking/

George Nakashima annotated sketches of furniture designs

Archives of American Art
1 sketch : graphite ; 28 x 22 cm. George Nakashima annotated sketches of furniture designs for Marshall Reisman.
Contains notes about wood type, pricing, and pieces. Also contains Reisman's name and address and Nakashima's signature.

Furniture Design: Elevation of a Pedestal or Case

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
The left half of the elevation of a pedestal or of a case. At center, on a bracket, a girl kneels.

Design for Furniture

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Design for a piece of furniture, inside a graphite border.

Living room with furniture designed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Archives of American Art
1 photographic print : b&w ; 25 x 21 cm.

Identification on attachment (typewritten): Residence in Connecticut; all furniture in walnut, specially designed and made to order by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.

Your Turn, My Turn, International Contract Furniture Design Symposium, Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Poster for symposium for International Contract Furniture Design Symposium. Images and text integrated throughout. Upper center text, Your Turn / My Turn / 1983 in blue and red; set on a rising diagonal. In upper left corner are letters PDC2 in separate colored squares. Additional text describing event (i.e. sponsors, featured designers) found in lower left and lower right. Sideway "P" shpae against black triangle slanting toward lower right corner. Imprinted inside section shaped like "P" in blue The International/ Contract Furniture/ Design Symposium/ during WestWeek (in pink)/ Your Turn/ My Turn '83/ A PDC 2 Invitional Event/ Friday, March 18 and / Saturady, March 19/ Pacific Design Center/ Los Angeles (in pink). Images of globes (upper and center left), celestial bodies (lower left and center), and abstract shapes (lower right) layered with text.

Victor Hugo: Acclaimed Author, Unknown Furniture Designer

Smithsonian Magazine

During a recent trip to Paris, I visited the former apartment of Victor Hugo, poet, novelist, playwright, and, as it turns out, furniture designer. But more on that last part in a minute. The apartment, located on the Place Des Vosges, was Hugo’s home from 1832 to 1848 and is now a museum dedicated to the author of Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris. During the 165 years that have passed since Hugo moved out of the building into exile, the apartment has been renovated countless times and is today a strange amalgam of his various homes in France that has been partially reconstructed based on the recollections of his floor polisher. That's right, his floor polisher. Who better to recall the layout of an apartment than the man whose job it was to walk through it?

It’s an interesting place that reflects Hugo’s entire life - not just his time in Paris. Take “Le Salon Rouge,” for example:

(original image)

Relatively sparsely appointed, the red room is furnished to evoke the atmosphere of the apartment when Hugo lived there. However, the original space was actually two rooms: a dining room and an entry foyer. Hugo’s bedroom at the Place des Vosges apartment is in its right location, the bedroom itself is a faithful reconstruction of the bedroom from a different Hugo residence at 130 Avenue d'Eylau, where he died in 1885.

(original image)

Throughout the house there are Hugo’s drawings, letters, first editions of his books, and his custom made furniture on display. Hugo would find various pieces of furniture he liked and would work with carpenters to combine them into single pieces. The results were stylistically eclectic and, as evidenced by his stand-up writers desk, which seems to be made from a standard desk and a coffee table, seemed to be uniquely suited to accommodate his own habits and eccentricities.

(original image)

Hugo’s Paris apartment--a real place that is, at the same time, not real--reminds me of the London flat shared by Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. 221B Baker St. is, as I previously described, a fictional flat in a real city made real at a fictional address in the real city near the real address of the fictional flat.

Like Holmes’s flat, Hugo’s apartment is a fiction-made-reality that favors an abstract representation of its famous tenant over a historically accurate reproduction of a space. Of course, unlike Holmes, Victor Hugo was a real person. So there are more accurate first-hand accounts to draw from and an entire life's worth of work and changing personal taste that can serve as inspiration. That just makes it more fascinating. And more challenging. A museum like the Maison de Victor Hugo, taken as a whole, represents not a single, frozen point in time, but an idea of what life was like for the occupant. It’s an almost impressionistic form of preservation.

Furniture, Decorative Arts and Design

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Design for armchair.

Furniture, Decorative Arts and Design

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Design for armchair, plans, elevations, and perspectives, including scales.

Furniture, Decorative Arts and Design

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
This paper shows a list of names of several twentieth-century artists in black and blue ink and graphite. On the lower right, there are drawings in colored pencil of cupcake pans.

Design for Furniture in Robot Form

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
At lower right of sheet, robot-like form stands on two wire legs with pod-like feet and two cones between feet. Upper section comprises a series of vertical and horizontal rectanges with an extending, circular arm or mirror at right; on top a bell-like form, a square, and an arrow pointing up.

Designs for Furniture

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Various designs for chairs, tables, and a desk, at differing angles, scattered around the page. Near several of the designs are titles and/or notes, inscribed in handwritten graphite.

Furniture, Decorative Arts and Design

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
A scale drawing of the head of a woman for a clock. Below, plan of details for the clock. Text in graphite throughout.

Design for Mechanical Furniture: Desk

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Upper left, front elevation of a desk. Upper section with center having flap opening to a compartmented interior with drawers and pigeon-holes, flanked by two lower sections with short drawers; center with flap opening to another series of compartments, and fitted for writing; below, two long drawers on legs. Upper right, details of construction, sections at two levels, shown from above. Scale at left.

Design for Mechanical Furniture: Tables

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
A half-round table fitted with hinged top, under which are fittings for a writing table; plans, elevations and isometric. An almanac on desk dated 1805.

Design for Bedroom Furniture

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Design for an Empire style bedroom. At center, a couch with one scrolling arm stands on a platform. At right, a classical stand with an ewer. At left, a column inscribed “la bonne desse” (the good goddess). Atop this, an enthroned woman. Behind, are three panels of drapery separated by standards with lion masks. Above this, a horizontal panel with a lyre within a laurel wreath.

Design for Mechanical Furniture: Secretary Desk

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Design for a secretary desk with a fall-front on hinges, and cabinets above and below. Elevation at left with desk open, revealing the inner compartments. At lower left, detail of construction, section through top. At right, side elevation, showing construction details.

Design for Mechanical Furniture: Secretary Desk

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
A secretary with double fall-front, one above the other, showing alternative treatment of kneehold base; elevation, two sections, and isometric.

Design for Mechanical Furniture: Canopy Bed

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
A canopy tent bed surmounted by an urn. Underneath, a drawer for chamber pots, exposed. Bed decorated with batwing fan and bow, arrow and quiver motifs. Scale below.

Design for Mechanical Furniture: Half-Round Writing Table

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
A half-round table, elevation and two plans showing fitting for writing implements.

Design for Furniture in Robot Form with Two Details

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Robot-like vertical structure, composed of tall, triangulalr forms, stands on two pod-like feet in front and two cone forms behind. Figure appears to hold flag and wears two pyramid forms on top. To the right, two details of structure viewed from the side.
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