Archive for the ‘question’ Category

DWELLING

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

This is a thing that happened.

Months ago Jaime Gillin contacted me about an article she was researching for Dwell concerning designer knockoffs after hearing that I lived with both authentic and knockoff versions of various mid century pieces. During our chat I spewed out some vague ramblings and then promptly forgot about our conversation until a bunch of emails popped up alerting me to my new super elite design insider status on the Dwell Blog. Obviously, ‘design insider’ pretty much sums me up, particularly when wandering around the super elite thrift stores of Hemet (aka the CUTTING EDGE of design).

But hey, it’s true. The owning knockoffs part.

Yes, I somehow live harmoniously with both authentic and knockoff pieces. I mean, I even paired these authentic Eames wire chairs with knockoff dowel bases from Modern Conscience like some sort of design heathen. So anyways, I wasn’t surprised when the articles quoted actual design insiders like Antoine Roset – Ligne Roset, Lindsay Adelman, Benjamin Cherner – Cherner Chair Company, Eames Demetrios – Eames Office director and John Edelman, CEO, DWR who all heavily championed the side of knockoffs = evil! Authentic licensed design = good!

*For clarity’s sake, I might mention that the ‘knockoffs vs. authentic’ debate feels a bit tiredly didactic and generally hits me square in the boring bone.

**Also worth mentioning, surprise surprise, I’m not a cultural or economic critic with a vast expertise or objectivity, but I agree there are merits and failings on both sides of this debate. My experience reflects being a pretty standard consumer and not a museum collection or company that sells designer furniture to the retail public…so…ya.

OK.

Anyone notice the one HUGE thing these design insiders have in common? You know, the thing were they all have HUGE financial or personal stakes invested in selling ‘authentic licensed’ design to consumers. So, no one is truly shocked that they’re all against knockoffs (aka those horrible devils of poorly constructed evil which ruin lives and hate puppies or something). It’s almost like asking oil companies if going electric is good. No one actually expects to hear a balanced point of view, right?

Just a few quick thoughts:

+ It’s hard for me to seriously listen to someone in a vastly different tax bracket¬†with obvious conflicts of interest tell everyone ‘to just save up’ and buy a licensed $7,000 Knoll credenza or accept not owning any design pieces they like. At all.

+ I always prefer and recommend buying vintage instead of new production ‘licensed’ designs. Vintage is usually cheaper and built better with better materials.

+ New production ‘licensed’ pieces can tend to be poorly constructed with crappy materials just like many knockoffs. For example, many times I’ve seen licensed Saarinen tulip dining tables with wood tops smashed to reveal their inner Ikea-style cardboard construction at the DWR outlet. Plus, any Eames chair made of molded plastic is bullshit.

+ Mass produced iconic designs originally made to be affordable functional pieces for mid-range consumers now being sold at exorbitant fetish style prices after their designers are long deceased seems disingenuous.

+ New designers being ripped off, I feel you. That is unforgivable. You can’t compete. But BDDW and others of that ilk must get that almost nobody can afford a $50,000 coffee table, plus I’m pretty sure their specific high end buyer niche isn’t destroyed by knockoffs like designers with more moderate pricing.

I’m just as biased and self serving as the rest, but it felt a bit exclusionary and classist to promote the idea that anyone who can’t afford the ‘real licensed thing’ from a few select companies should just give up and only buy furniture from designated stores, you know, for the poor folks. It’s hard to believe that anyone buying knockoffs fools themselves into thinking it will be super valuable in the future or last forever or even cares about those things, but hey, my own knockoffs have held up very well and are just as functional and great to live with as my vintage pieces. Seriously, the few knockoff pieces around the house – like my Womb chair – are much easier to live with than the fancier (aka technically more valuable) vintage pieces. There’s exactly zero anxiety about potential damage or day to day wear screwing those things up, but get some kids or a couple drunks around the few really rare and valuable vintage things I own and the stress becomes truly unbearable. It’s no fun living in a museum.

Can’t anyone at any income level appreciate and aspire to live with designs they enjoy – even if that means supplementing their homes with a few affordable knockoffs? We all need a place to sit, but what do you think about living with or buying knockoffs?

 

SIDE YARD

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Knocked down all the knee-high weeds but everything is still a horrid mess.

Being full on freaky for furniture, I wanted to check out how the table looked in the side yard (and at least free up some storage space). I kind of feel like it might be too nice to leave out here…but maybe that’s all the ghetto looking surroundings working their magical guilt.

The ground is super uneven and it’ll definitely be a long time before that final “look” is achieved. We still have a bunch of stuff to do to get this area looking and functioning like that fancy virtually landscaped yard.

Wait? But what things?!

Things like this:

SIDE YARD TO DO

+ Rototill soil
+ Level/grade dirt
+ Drip irrigation
+ Plumb/filter pool
+ Run electrical
+ Weed barrier
+ Weld metal edging
+ Decomposed granite
+ Concrete paver walkway
+ Stain/seal fence
+ Plants
+ Tree
+ Lighting

Look at that beat up table top. This thing was ridden hard and put away wet. The teak will do well outdoors though.

I’ve got a ghetto tarp covering up the table to protect it from the harsh sun for now, but it still needs a nice weather resistant cover to keep it from getting too abused. At least I know rain won’t be an issue. Thank you wicked dry desert climate!

+++++

In other unrelated thoughts and boring stuff:

I’ve been working on the show with Laure again, as well as tirelessly on the shop and other sneaky ventures. Summer time means that it’s 8,000 degrees in the desert and working on the house is a physically torturous and sweaty nightmare. Admittedly, I’ve been phoning shit in around this old blog as of late, but in all honesty, I just got nothing. No great ideas, no fun content, no big projects I can share. I’m exhausted and totally uninspired and the house is a disaster pit that I just awkwardly walk around while trying to ignore random piles of laundry.

Otherwise, it seems that I’ve been straying away from blogs and spending more time on twitter and instagram and other micro-blogging (I hate myself for even typing that) formats which are easily accessed on my phone. As I’m traveling more and spending less and less time at a computer, these little venues feel like an immediately accessible option and are seemingly where more and faster interaction is taking place.

So, to you – you fine summer loving and attractive folks – here are a few things I’ve been asking around about:

How do you deal with crappy uninspired creative lulls?

Have you noticed a shift in the way peeps are interacting with blogs and the blogging community (please punch me for writing blogging community)?

Anyone feeling slightly burnt out? Please say it’s not just me feeling completely cray-cray crazy lately.

ONLINE SALE

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Here is a sneak peak at the pieces going up tonight for sale at 8PM (hopefully). As a newbie to the whole eBay listing process, I have to admit being a little intimidated and overwhelmed. There is a lot of detailed crap to figure out (Pictures? Condition? Shipping? Terms? Freight? Insurance? Pricing?) and every single template listing thing for eBay is incredibly ugly and impossible to navigate. I’m hoping all goes well and the items post when they are “supposed” to – nerve-wracking stuff for sure. These puppies are also “supposed” to end this Sunday night in order for shipping and delivery to be arranged before the big sale.

I set up a sad little eBay store HERE. I’ll update with some direct links to the listings when they go live.

But because Summer is more adept and organized than me, you can check out her MODERNHAUS listings right HERE. There’s burl…just saying…

*Also, SO very sorry for all this annoying sale stuff. I’m trying to step it up and learn from the last big sale we did – which was kind of a mess. Now I’m ultra panicky about doing it better and being more organized and awesome at it. Anyone ever sold on eBay before? Any tips? Horror stories? I’d love a little more anxiety please…