Next week I think I’ll get myself down to The Midcentury Show taking place at Lords in London. It wil be my first time but I’m looking forward to seeing some nice furniture and other goods up-close, preferably the classics that have aged well and have stayed modern over the years. To me it’s always more interesting to see the older models rather than newer models, although manufacturing has changed over time I’m always curious by the methods they used back in the day and if they also stood the test of time.
A recent exhibition at the Design Museum really kicked this thought in to gear as I was admiring the talented design work of Marcel Breuer, his old models are spectacular when seen in person! I did view quite a few of his chairs at a Bauhaus event last year but it was hard to get within reaching distance as most things were roped off, which is a bugbear of mine at these sort of shows. Luckily at the Design Museum you can get pretty close and see the construction, I was pleased to see not much has changed in terms of how the chair is put together compared to the newer models. It’s interesting to think that this would technically mean that machinery and other equipment wouldn’t need to be re-designed, so in the end saving some environmental issues and costs, maybe keeping the wastage down also.
One designer that I’ve always admired throughout is Hans J. Wegner, his furniture is well structured and looks both contemporary and traditional, no matter what the year. I was watching these videos last night by film company BlackBird for Carl Hansen & Son and the production methods are extremely simple in comparison to others and haven’t changed much over the years, so it just shows the design used was solid from the get-go. The CH24 (Wishbone) chair is obviously a favourite amongst design aficionados, but Wegner designed all sorts of pieces over his career and I’d definitely recommend researching more if you want to be inspired. I’m personally an advocate of a ‘hands-on’ approach when it comes to learning, especially in this day and age where most designers step on to the computer and don’t actually consider the little intricacies in person. No surprise then that Hans J. Wegner was a trained carpenter from a young age and went on to be an architect in his later life, you can see all of these experiences and learnt skills in his finished works. Enjoy the videos below and hop over to the Carl Hansen & Son website to see more.