Design in unlikely places found across the globe.
Still Life Painting and Photography
THERE’S A RICH TRADITION of still life painting and photography, but Detroit, Michigan photographer Cynthia Greig’s Nature Morte and Representations series of photographs, represented by the March store in San Francisco, completely reinvents the genre. Greig whitewashes fruit in vessels and objects like toasters and teacups in her real-life compositions and then outlines them with charcoal and adds dark shadows on the tabletop surface before photographing each fascinating arrangement. The resulting still life limited-edition photographs look like high-key charcoal drawings on paper. Prices range from $1,150 to $7,000 per print.
AUSTRIAN INTERIOR DESIGNER Claudia Juestel has revived a bit of her past at Adeeni Design Galerie, a new art and design store near San Francisco’s Union Square. It doubles as her business atelier and echoes the 20th-century modernism of architect/ designer Josef Hoffmann, who co-founded the Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna Workshops). Like him, Juestel is a proponent of fine decorative arts and goods for the home, and she has curated vintage furniture, lighting and accessories from Europe; handcrafted jewelry by Michelle Nussbaumer of Ceylon et Cie in Dallas is displayed in ebonized cases. In Juestel’s high-ceilinged black-white-and-chartreuse space are also products designed by her, amid artworks by Bay Area artists. Stop by and score some coffee and Meinl chocolates for a taste of old Vienna.
Elemental Console Table
DUTCH DESIGNER ALDO BAKKER created an elemental console table — two thick tapered tree trunk–like legs and a halved log- like surface — for the Danish firm Karakter that revives classic designs and sponsors exclusive new commissions. Bakker’s first Green Table used Japanese-style urushi lacquer over a wood-and–foam core; it took a year to make; a new 2017 version, the Brown Table, has an MDF and wood-veneer core with a less expensive sprayed-on matte lacquer finish. About $9,000.
TEL AVIV– AND MILAN-BASED led by designer Assaf Israel, introduced Daydream, a multifunctional seat inspired by the symbol for infinity, a new and unexpected chaise to sit, lounge and dream in. Daydream is wide enough for two, looks like a book stand, and has two relatively flat cushioned wood panels that slot together. Upholstered in Kvadrat fabric (available in 10 different colors); the head cushion is removable for cleaning. About $2,800.
DAIKON, a new lighting brand launched by Pennsylvania designer Austin Tremellen, who was a motorbike machinist, is showcased at Jay Jeffers — The Store in San Francisco. Made of powder-coated mild steel, stainless steel or patinated brass square tubing and Edison-style filament bulbs, the pieces resemble art deco/ moderne pendant lights and sconces; one kinetic, many-armed chandelier, with pivot hinges and a ball-bearing mechanism, shape-shifts very easily. The Darko XL Pendant, shown, costs about $2,500.
FRENCH ARCHITECT JOSEPH DIRAND’S retro anodized-aluminum Phénix sconce also has art deco roots. Produced by Paris-based Ozone, it is available for $4,380 at Bright on Presidio in San Francisco.
BARCELONA DESIGNER Eugeni Quitllet, who collaborated with Philippe Starck in Paris before striking out on his own, grew up in sunny Ibiza, Spain. So naturally his new outdoor collection, which includes a polypropylene armchair, tables and a stackable chair, shown, for the Spanish firm Vondom, is called Ibiza. It evokes the bent cane furniture he grew up with. Unveiled at the recent Milan furniture fair, it will be available later this year. It’s worth waiting for.
Chalice Pendant Lamp
DUTCH DESIGNER Edward van Vliet’s Chalice pendant lamp produced by Moooi is a globular design studded with flower-like crystal chalices with a copper finish that acts as reflection for LED lights. Small and large lamps are composed of 24 or 48 chalices.
Perch Light Branch LED Light
BRITISH DESIGNER UMUT YAMAC, who is of Turkish descent, has recently unveiled the Perch Light Branch LED light, a lyrical pendant lamp for Moooi that resembles a bunch of birds perched on a line. Made of steel and aluminum, it costs about $4,000, depending on the number of birds and the length of the suspension rod.
AMSTERDAM-BASED FRANK TJEPKEMA’S Busk lamp for Moooi resembles fragile deep-sea creatures, anemones and corals that glow magically within the darkest depths of the ocean. Its globular form’s latticed structure — composed of multiple hexagonal components that are locked together with a round pin or busk like that of a corset — is also the electrical circuitry that powers 96 LED lights.
THREE EXHIBITIONS at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums explore controversial fashion and gender themes by juxtaposing international contemporary art with old Euro- pean and American standards. The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, through August 20 at the de Young museum, celebrates the 50th anniversary of that 1967 summer and its aesthetic legacy, with rock-and- roll concert posters, photographs, light shows and hippie fashions. Sarah Lucas: Good Muse, from July 15 to September 17, is part of an initiative by the museums’ new director Max Hollein to highlight international contemporary art, within the Legion of Honor’s neoclassical galleries, that challenges stereotypes, just as Lucas’s edgy, sexually ambiguous conceptual works, set against Rodin’s distinctly male gaze, blur the line between male and female identities and power. Also at the Legion, Gods in Color: Polychromy in the Ancient World, from October 28 through January 7, reminds us that classical Grecian and Roman marble statuary was actually always brilliantly colored and gilded to represent garments that, when you think of it, were not unlike the extravagant costumes of 1960s hippies.
Palissade Outdoor Furniture
FRENCH BROTHERS Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s new Palissade outdoor furniture includes a high-backed lounge chair of powder-coated galvanized steel tubes and slats, produced by Danish company Hay. It comes with an all-weather removable Teflon-coated quilted cushion, available in three colors, including olive. About $390.
Triiio Wood-and-Glass Coffee Table
KONCEPT 22, a new San Francisco design goods business focusing on Nordic design, founded by Junko Nagai and Kellye Denton, handpicked favorites at the Stockholm Furniture Fair that lean toward midcentury modern profiles with a new twist: for instance, the Triiio wood-and-glass coffee table designed in 1958 by Hans Bølling when he was just 27, for the 19th-century Danish firm Brdr. Krüger. The company has finally produced it in collaboration with the designer, using oak, beech and walnut bases. About $1,640, as shown.
DESIGN SPOT SHOWN RECENTLY IN MILAN, Viennese designer Thomas Feichtner’s brand new Balance light for Italian manufacturer Karboxx does just that: the powder-coated tubular steel lamp, fitted with a single LED bulb at one end, can be easily tilted in two perfectly balanced positions, for a focused beam or ambient light. About $150.
UMC-023 Supernaturale Motorbike
BRITISH INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER Hugo Eccles of IDEO and Conran fame, a co-founder of Untitled Motorcycles (based in London and San Francisco), and a regular at the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show, recently won a prestigious 2017 Quail Design & Style Award for his UMC-023 Supernaturale motorbike. He has been turning heads since 2014 with his reconfigured motorbikes that start off as assembly-line or vintage favorites, then get stripped down and souped up by him into one-of-a-kind creations such as the slightly older lightweight UMC-038 HyperScrambler, shown; based on the heavier Ducati Scrambler 800, it was created for Marin Speed Shop. These brightly colored wonders, which attract celebrities like Jay Leno, vary wildly in price depending on the design’s complexity. “I have eclectic tastes,” Eccles says, but whether classic or modern-looking, his bikes have state-of-the art technology that makes them extremely ride-worthy.
TWO BOOKS that contain examples of forgotten architectural splendors are also insider’s guides.
JOHN YEON: ARCHITECTURE (John Yeon: Landscape is a companion volume), contains essays, including some by editor Randy Gragg, who is also the director of the John Yeon Center. They present Yeon as the father of Northwest Regional Modernism in Portland; his timber buildings were once paired with work by Wright, Aalto and Mies at MoMa. The 1937 Watzek House, Yeon’s first and best-known structure, which Gragg manages and knows intimately, comes to life. Andrea Monfried Editions, 240 pages, $60.
CUBA: 101 BEAUTIFUL & NOSTALGIC PLACES TO VISIT, a new book by longtime Cuba observer Michael Connors with sumptuous photographs by Jorge Laserna, will be both a lure to get you there and a portrait of a Cuba that may soon vanish with its re- awakening. Rizzoli, 304 pages, $50.
Twist or Tarana Sculpture
NEW YORK ARCHITECT and designer Tarik Currimbhoy has a new distraction: sculpture. His abstract pieces include small, two-foot-high polished cast-brass kinetic works that have a balanced pendulum movement; larger steel versions, often two stories high, fashioned out of mild steel, primed and then painted, don’t move like their smaller cousins, but seem to, as they twist and turn against the sky. An 18-foot-high $150,000 Twist or Tarana (shown) is installed in India; smaller, 20-inch- high limited-edition cast or tooled brass works cost $10,000–$15,000 at the Long Sharp Gallery in New York.
The Stay Daybed
THE STAY DAYBED by Nika Zupanc for British firm Sé, with a gold powder-coated metal frame upholstered in a rose-colored velvet, recently unveiled at the Milan furniture fair, is perhaps the most seductive in a line that includes dining chairs, armchairs, barstools, benches, a sofa and daybed. The daybed costs about $4,500.
Riviera Dining Table
SAN FRANCISCO INTERIOR DESIGNER Suzanne Tucker’s Riviera dining table, designed for Michael Taylor Designs, is a nod to her mentor Michael Taylor’s penchant for mixing 18-century European furniture with California craft objects. The latticed, “open-weave” octagonal teak tabletop and cast concrete/resin base have a classic profile designed to be used outdoors; sold separately or, as shown, combined; about $10,500.
Editor-in-chief Zahid Sardar brings an extensive range of design interests and keen knowledge of Bay Area design culture to SPACES magazine. He is a San Francisco editor, curator and author specializing in global architecture, interiors, landscape and industrial design. His work has appeared in numerous design publications as well as the San Francisco Chronicle for which he served as an influential design editor for 22 years. Sardar serves on the San Francisco Decorator Showcase design advisory board.