13 Bonaparte

Week of December 3, 2018

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, we're tracking the interior design scene developing in Moscow, seeing ourselves in a new Cold Picnic rug, and celebrating the return of a lost archetype: the CD rack (this one's by Odd Matter!)
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Vitsoe’s Tumblr

If you have a particularly sprawling design-book library, or if you religiously follow things like Mondo Blogo or Herman Miller editorial director Sam Grawe's Instagram feed, you may be relatively familiar with the heaps of amazingly designed archival ephemera that original modern furniture brands tend to generate over the decades. But the rest of us still get giddy when we come upon a gem like Vitsoe's brand-new Tumblr, which the 53-year-old German stalwart launched last month to show off rarely seen bits and bobs pulled from its company files. Every couple of days, staffers dig up old invitations, promo items, photographs, and catalogs and post them alongside a snippet of information about their origins; with Dieter Rams as Vitsoe's lead designer and Wolfgang Schmidt behind its graphic identity, there's been no shortage of eye candy on the site so far. A few of our favorite examples are shown here, but we advise you to bookmark the site and visit it often — we have a feeling the Vitsoe folks are just getting started, and there's no telling what they might turn up once they really dig in.
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Jonas Damon’s iPad Case and Fruit Bowl

The way Jonas Damon sees it, designers these days fall into two camps: those who hold fast to the principles of legendary German industrial designer Dieter Rams and those who are partial to the camp and kitsch of pop artist Jeff Koons. It’s a theory Damon, creative director at New York's Frog Design office, picked up from his friend and fellow New York designer Ross Menuez — both of whom often produce work for Areaware, a design company that moves expertly back and forth along the Rams-Koons continuum. Damon is decidedly a Rams guy, which is perhaps why he feels so conflicted about the retro wooden enclosure he made for his iPad, one of the many things he’s built in his spare time for use around his apartment.
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"At the end of the 1950s, both Marlene Schnelle and Ingeborg Kracht, who later became Dieter Rams wife, worked as photographers at Braun. Photography played a significant part in corporate communications."

Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

The products featured in Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams will be familiar to any Rams disciple, but what struck us most about the book was a section devoted to Braun’s beautifully understated communication design and to that department’s fearless leader, Wolfgang Schmittel. He ran a tight ship — an in-house manual went out to each member of the design team with instructions on how to appropriately and inappropriately market the Braun product line — but as a result, the Braun image “differed greatly from the existing design forms of other manufacturers at the time, due to its clarity."
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