Mid Century Modern

Modern Technology With Mid-Century Styling from Klipsch

To celebrate their 75th anniversary, Klipsch has dropped three very mid-century modern looking speaker systems. The Capitol One, Capitol Three, and the Capitol Heresy III. All of these are quite stylish and would look good in anyone’s home, especially mine but alas I’m not in the market for any new stereo gear. Klipsch has teemed up with iconic recording company Capitol Records for the introductory promotion on these, and that means you get a free vinyl redemption code so you can pick up an album from Capitol. Frankly based on the price of these units Capitol should be offering up a rather large box set of your favorite artist’s complete recordings.

The units are fairly feature rich for considering their size, and the Capitol Three is set up for multi-room streaming using the Klipsch Stream Wireless Multi-Room System. An all-encompassing solution for distributing your music throughout your home. The Capitol Three Special Edition features a 2.1 stereo system with two 2.25” full range drivers, a 5.25” long-throw woofer, and 2 x 5.25” dual opposed passive radiators that deliver high-quality acoustic performance and solid bass.

I’m drawn to the classic looks and styling of the units. Klipsch nailed the mid-century look and it seems quite fitting for a 75th-anniversary product.  The speakers are constructed from real wood veneer and tactile spun copper switches and knobs. Each unit also comes with a limited, special edition badge, a 3.5mm analog audio input and the Capitol One has an 8-Hour rechargeable battery so you can move it to different rooms throughout your home. All of these are available in both ebony or blonde wood options. Personally, I like the look of the blonde over the ebony. It shows off the wood grain, and the contrast with the grill is simply classic.

 

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A 1955 Classic Reissued by Carl Hansen & Son.

Having spent the last 3 and a half hours working standing up, looking at a well-designed desk that you sit at is a refreshing break. Don’t get me wrong, I choose to work standing up, my desk can raise and lower, and I really do try to work standing for at least 4 to 5 hours a day. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a piece of quality design, and a desk you sit at.

Starting this October you will be able to pick up one of Poul Kjærholm’s tables originally designed for the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in 1955. Poul Kjærholm was a master at blending steel and wood together to create a minimalist yet functional form. His design aesthetic  is expressed perfectly in these two tables. Both are characterized by clear forms and light grace, the tables made a significant contribution to the designer’s reputation as a pioneer of Danish functionalism.

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Produced by Carl Hansen & Son, the tables will be available with tops made of Oregon pine or oak veneer, and with oiled, varnished or black-lacquered surfaces. The steel frame comes lacquered in black or grey. Each table can be fitted with a drawer of either oiled, varnished or black lacquered oak. The Professor Desk (PK52) is 28 inches high, by 72.4 inches long and 33.4 inches deep; the Student Desk (PK52A) is 28 inches high, 55.7 inches long and 33.4 inches deep. Both tables will be available for purchase in October.

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The USC Architectural Teaching Slide Collection, A Mid Century Modern Time Capsule.

Tremaine residence, Montecito, Calif., 1949. Richard Neutra, architect

Tremaine residence, Montecito, Calif., 1949. Richard Neutra, architect

Yesterday I was looking for some reference images of mid century modern architecture for an illustration I am working on when I stumbled across the USC Architectural Teaching Slide Collection. This website contains about 1400 images taken between the late 1930’s and late 1960’s. it features the work of American masters like Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, Fritz Block and many more. The site is broken into 4 sections, Pierre Koenig (302 items), Fritz Block: Modern architecture II (The new concept of space) (459 items), Fritz Block: Modern architecture I (248 items). There is also a link to a prototype website that was built back in the late 1990’s with additional information.

If you open an image, there is a large selection of information about each slide. Location of the structure, the year taken, who the photographer is, the architect, publisher etc. The images are scans of slides taken in many cases by the architect, or Block. They are not color corrected, and these are not professional architectural photographs. They do however show what was going on in terms of modern architecture at the time, and in some cases show shots of the buildings being built. There are images of blueprints, and correspondence as well as site drawings, and planning layouts for entire subdivisions.  All the images are available for download, print or sharing.

Life in the Burbs at 1150 Canyon Road.

Art&Graft Studio Film® has released the third in a series of animated short films 1150 Canyon Road is a story about plans gone wrong featuring some wonderfully stylized animation that blends 3D and 2D looks. The short is an exercise in storytelling and visual style with minimal graphics and solid voice over work anchoring it. I love how this is a single shot with the camera tracking back from a tightly cropped shot to a wide shot of the unfolding scene. Great stuff.

There is more information and style frames over at the Art&Graft website.

Created & Produced by Art&Graft

Music & Sound Design: Brains & Hunch

Voice Over Artists: Ed Gaughan & Gemma Saunders

Oh So Soglio.

A new house means new rooms, and new rooms means some new furniture. One of the things I have been looking for is a new coffee table. Something with a mid-century modern feel but updated. Today while trolling the internet I came across this stunning piece of design from Fioroni Design. Soglio is a sculptural work of art that seems to hover above the floor. This low slung solid wood beauty is simply wonderful. The illusion of lightness is enhanced by the thin line of the top and the fact that the base is hidden below the sight lines from the edge. The frame is a solid steel rod available in 3 colors to help hide or enhance it’s presence. The 61 by 51 inch top is available in solid walnut or ash. I love it, now I just have to figure out how I can afford it.

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Havana Lamps.

Jonathan Adler has a knack for creating designs that feel fresh, yet are heavily rooted in classic mid-century modern aesthetics. The Havana lamp is no exception to the rule. When I first saw this I thought about the pendant lamps, and table top lamps that my parents had in our house growing up in the 60’s. Our lamps were 1960’s avocado green with white interiors, but the basic shape and stands were very similar. Adler has taken that classic mid century design and updated it with modern materials, and a laser cut pattern to give these lamps a fresh yet familiar look for manufacturer Robert Abbey. One of the things that is so appealing to me about this series of lamps is the feeling of familiarity, combined with materials that give it a fresh new look.

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3 Dot’s Pot.Purri.

Currently on display at Milan Design Week is a new collection from 3 Dots Collective. “Pot.Purri” is a collection of small modular containers that can be mixed and matched to create variations on lamps and tableware. The series is made up of a few basic metal and concrete parts that when combined can create more than 50 unique objects.

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Inspired by the ambition of cutting the distance between design and materials, plus the concept of fluctuating shapes, 3 Dot’s concept is rooted in modularity and customization. This approach allows the owner s a flexible solution that offers the ability to upgrade and change the function and design as needed.

The series features a wonderful mid-century modern aesthetic, blending minimalist concrete shapes, with intricate woven metal textures, and a sublime color pallet.

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The For Us project allows the owner to mix and match shapes, materials and colors as needed. 3 Dot shaped the concept based on modular elements, with different dimensions and diameters that can be mutually paired and combined consequently, providing unlimited possibilities.

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