Yes, that time of the year again – cold, wet, and the days are getting shorter. And to top it all, the clocks have gone back. Here are a few ideas to light up your life during the long winter nights.
So it’s summer and you’re hooked on classics? Why not extend your taste to the outside? Here’s a few classic designs suitable for outdoor use. Add some style to your office roof terrace, alfresco dining area, garden, patio, balcony or even your shed!
Italian designer Harry Bertoia patented the Bertoia Collection for Knoll in 1952. The classic design features welded steel rods, for the outdoor version coated in Rilsan durable nylon in black or white. The collection features a side chair (below), the classic “Diamond” armchair (above) and the Asymmetric Chaise. Optional leather seat pads are available for the side chair and “Diamond“. For the more budget conscious there is the Bertoia Plastic Side Chair, a new version of the side chair is now available featuring a plastic shell and the “Diamond” chair has recently been price revised. Both represent excellent value for money.
Designed by Charles & Ray Eames in 1951, Vitra’s classic Eames DKR Wire chair is now available in cream, black or grey powder coated finishes ideally suited for outdoors use. In addition the Bistro Table designed in 2009 by Rowan and Erwan Bouroullec in a solid core laminate version completes the set for the garden environment.
Conceived by Verner Panton in 1960, the Panton chair was developed for serial production in collaboration with Vitra. It was the first chair to be manufactured completely out of plastic in one single piece, advancing through several production phases before finally being produced as originally conceived – out of durable, dyed-through plastic with a lustrous matte finish since 1999.
Designed by Lievore Altherr Molina in 2005, the Leaf chair & table range has quickly become a classic. The design is inspired by nature, the chair’s welded rods reminiscent of branches of a tree or leaf veins and the table invoking a pebble. Leaf is available as a sled side chair, lounge chair and chaise in matte powder-coated steel in white, green or moka. A detachable polyurethane cushion is available for indoor and outdoor use. The range of circular and square tables are available in a water-repellent HPL top in grey.
Designed in 1999 by Ron Arad the elegant plastic shell of Tom Vac offers comfortable seating not only in interior spaces but also in outdoor settings: special additives in the moulded polypropylene shell retard the fading of colours, and the powder-coated finish of the base makes the chair suited for use on the terrace or in the garden. Since the chair can be stacked, it is especially useful in places where large numbers of chairs are required.
With Vegetal, the Boroullec’s goal was to create a chair that aspired to look like natural vegetation while simultaneously incorporating the necessary strength, stability and comfort. The flat, branch-like ribs are asymmetrically intertwined on three levels to form the seat shell, which is shaped as an irregular circle and supported by four legs that appear to sprout from the ground.
Vegetal is available in six colours and is suitable for indoor or outdoor applications and can be stacked up to three chairs high, which permits flexible use in a variety of settings and in large numbers.
With HAL, Jasper Morrison has reinterpreted the multi-functional shell chair and created a versatile family of chairs with a clean contemporary look. The shape of the seat shell provides great freedom of movement in a variety of sitting positions – even sideways or astride the chair. The HAL Tube is suitable for outdoor use and combines a polypropylene shell in a choice of 8 colours and powder-coated base in ivory or basic dark.
The Panto Pop is a stacking lounge chair with a UV-filter for outdoor use available in white or red. Designed by Verner Panton in 1969 the Panto Pop is now exclusively marketed by Verpan. Accompanying Panto Pop is the Illumesa table. Made in white acrylic for outdoor use the table is self-illuminated by a 23W internal light source.
Classics for Children
The tiny tots needn’t miss out on the outdoor fun either as Panto Pop and Illumesa (above) are equally at home with tiny hands and Vitra offer a variety of classics for children. As well as the Panton Junior, there is the Eames Elephant (1945) and Sori Yanagi’s Elephant Stool (1954) which also makes for a handy side table to go with your other classics.
Verner Panton (1926-1998) was one of the true rebels and pioneers of mid-20th century design. Born in Denmark, he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen. After serving his apprenticeship with Arne Jacobsen, Panton set out on a two-year furniture design odyssey across Europe in a VW camper van equipped with a drawing office!
Establishing contacts with many furniture manufacturers Panton’s first production design was the Bachelor chair produced by Fritz Hansen in 1965. Many other innovative and futuristic designs followed including the Cone Chair, Living Tower and the S-chair product line from which developed the famous Vitra Panton Chair.
As well as furniture, Panton created a series of textiles (many still manufactured) and a series of modern lamps. Panton was interested not only in the lighting itself but in how it should interact with and influence its surroundings. His lighting designs often include multiple reflective or metallic surfaces. Fun (1964), is an almost ‘bling’ design featuring small metal or mother of pearl articulated disks that sparkle and throw reflected light wonderfully around the room.
Danish company Verpan has for many years continued the appeal of the works of Verner Panton. Beginning with Panton’s lamps they have now recently introduced a new collection of furniture and rugs from the Verner Panton archives. From the System 1-2-3 to Panto Pop and the Cloverleaf, the often sinuous and fluid designs have a sense of fun, brought to life by Verpan with a degree of opulence. It’s testament to the timelessness of the original designs that there is still great interest in these designs 40 or more years on.