Butterfly Stools. 1956. All rights reserved, Sori Yanagi, 2011, United States. Molded plywood and metal, 15 1/2 x 17 3/8 x 12 1/8″ (39.4 x 44.1 x 30.8 cm). Manufactured by Tendo Co., Ltd., Tokyo. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer, 1958.
Bent plywood is a modern sculptural medium used to create some of the most iconic furniture pieces of the mid-century modern movement. The process provided designers with a freedom of form and expression. The Museum of Modern Art in New York currently has an exhibition displaying some of these modern masterpieces, as well as photography which describes the unique process used to create bent plywood furniture. “Iconic furniture by Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Arne Jacobsen appear alongside organic platters by Tapio Wirkkala (1951), Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool (1956), an architectural model for a prefabricated house by Marcel Breuer (1943), and experimental designs for plywood in the aeronautics industry”. moma.org
Lounge Chair. c. 1944. All rights reserved, Charles Eames and Ray Eames, 2011, United States. Molded plywood and steel rod, 28 3/4 x 30 1/8 x 30″ (73 x 76.5 x 76.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designers, 1973.
Plywood: Material, Process and Form exhibit at MOMA New York, is on view until February 27, 2012.If you are interested in learning more about the process of bent plywood construction, I recommend Bent Ply, by Dung Ngo and Eric Pfeiffer. It delves into the process of this sculptural medium. ”Plywood is a material born of natural wood and formed by vigorous industrial processes that can assume the most organic of shapes through bending, laminating, and molding. Plywood truly fulfills that most modern of dreams: bridging the gap between technology and nature”. bent ply
"Meal machine, experimental laboratory, status symbol, domestic prison, or the creative and spiritual heart of the home"? www.moma.org
This weekend, an exciting exhibition opened at MOMA in NYC, titled . The exhibit runs from September 15, 2010 to March 14, 2011. Organized in conjunction with their newest publication Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art, the exhibit presents a fully assembled Frankfurt Kitchen from the Hohenblick Housing Estate, Ginnheim, Frankfurt, Germany from 1926-1927.
Designed by architect Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky (1897-2000), "The Frankfurt Kitchen was designed like a laboratory or factory and based on contemporary theories about efficiency, hygiene, and workflow". "Over the course of the past century no other room has been the focus of such intensive aesthetic and technological innovation, or as loaded with cultural significance. Kitchen design has been both a central concern of modernism and fundamental to our concept of modern life. Drawn entirely from MoMA’s collection, this exhibition explores the twentieth-century transformation of the kitchen as a barometer of changing technologies, aesthetics, and ideologies".
Grete Schütte-Lihotzky (seated) with colleagues from the Frankfurt Municipal Building Department c. 1928 "Schütte-Lihotzky was the only woman in the team of architects assembled by Ernst May, director of Frankfurt’s Municipal Building Department. The white lab coats worn by the architects emphasize the team’s rational, scientific approach" .
It is a rare and wonderful opportunity to experience modular kitchen design of this era, up close and personal. This kitchen is an excellent example of early prefab design. What I appreciate most about the Frankfurt Kitchen is the timelessness, which is due to purposeful planning, based on function rather than trend. Efficiency and organization is evident in the design of the space. Every element and detail, such as these built in canisters for food storage, were beautiful custom solutions to everyday design problems. I believe this kitchen would function beautifully in a modern day home. I'd love to move in! Enjoy the show!
Get more information about the Counter Space: Design And The Modern Kitchen exhibit.