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compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion

I cannot but draw the comparison between

the demise of ZAADZ and that of HABITAT

As Lydia Slater has reported in today's Mail Online article -

"To celebrate Habitat's 40th anniversary in 2004, he persuaded a gang of modern

'achievers' to come up with their own designs.

Actor Ewan McGregor created a comfy director's chair, model Helena Christensen

designed a flower table lamp, shoe designer Manolo Blahnik made a shoehorn in the

shape of a stiletto heel, and novelist Louis de Bernieres produced a bookcase. 

While the Habitat store remained a reflection of Conran's own unerring taste,

it left its rivals trailing. But Conran wanted to expand his empire. So he bought up

Mothercare, Heal's and British Home Stores, and took his eye off his first-born."

Founded in New York City in 1938 by Hans Knoll

and later run by his wife, Florencethe Knoll brand 

has come to be known as one of the world's foremost 

suppliers of contemporary and classic 20th century

designer furniture. Bertoia began his collaboration

with Knoll soon after the war, after an impressive

career in the arts and sciences. He began in his small

workshop in Bally, Pennsylvania. At first he produced a

number of variations on his earlier sculpture but soon

the sculpture began to suggest new forms for chairs

and new methods of manufacture. His world famous

wire chairs were the result and The Bertoia Collection

was introduced by Knoll in 1952. I remember well the

Harry Bertoia collection from the Exhibition in Paris

during 1972 and was suitably impressed that the

diamond chair was Douglas Harding's favourite.


Since its own beginnings over two

decades ago, The Conran Shop has

been proud to stock the most iconic

as well as some of the more quirky and 

original pieces such as this side chair 

designed by Bertoia - the very same

chair referenced in the Mail Online article

but nevertheless still available at much

greater cost - unless, of course, you opt

for one of the examples of the quality

reproductions which have become

available since the patent on the original 

design presumably lapsed - an option

that Harry Bertoia would no no doubt

have been happy to support. 

Bertoia said of his work:

"In the sculpture I am concerned primarily with space, form and the characteristics of

metal. In the chairs many functional problems have to be established first ... but when 

you get down to it, the chairs are studies in space, form and metal too. Everybody is a 

specialist now. I am trying to take in as much of the world as I can ... I try to find out as 

much as possible about anything I do ... and sometimes the thing I think has no purpose

at all, like my sculpture, turns out to be very useful.

My approach to design is to make the environment more pleasant & varied by merging the efforts of technology and the creative arts."

First posted by Michael Grove on June 27, 2011 at 20:30


Views: 85

Comment by Michael Grove on June 16, 2014 at 17:40

Pope Francis has called for a “culture of solidarity” to replace the

selfishness and individualism” prevailing in modern society today.

He went on to say ...

no one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world

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