Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Design Within Reach

The Infinity Bench by Paris-based architect Carl Fredrik Svenstedt is fabricated out of flat sheet furniture grade plywood. The rings are concentric hoops, sliced like the layers of an onion.

With the way the development market is going—even Frank Gehry is getting value engineered out of projects —architects may want to turn their creative energies elsewhere. Architects often design their own furniture for site-specific projects and more and more they seem to be creating replicable lines. There is now a new Web site dedicated to furniture designed by architects: Lerival. I met the (slightly bleary-eyed) co-founders, James Coombes and Dominique Gonfard, at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair several hours after the site went live. They told me that they developed the online store because there is a dearth of outlets for furniture coming out of the architecture community. "Often you find out about it by accident," Dominique told me. When you visit an architect's Web site, she said by way of example, you rarely see a portfolio of furniture.

Dominique Gonfard and James Coombes in their booth at ICFF.

The Infinity Bench, pictured at the top of the post, definitely caught my eye. Other pieces for sale on the site include:

Endless Sofa by Incorporated

Plate Shelf by nARCHITECTS composed of solid planks of naturally finished White Oak support moveable, lightly brushed aluminum plates.

A screen system comprised of a series CNC milled panels created by New York's Moorhead & Moorhead