Thursday, July 9, 2009

for the love of Ply

Nishimura restaurant interior by Hong Kong based CL3 Architects. The restaurant is located inside the Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing, China
I didn't want to bore you to tears with more stuff on interiors, but this is kinda 'hot':
the world of Ply.

The grindy tech info reads:

"PLYWOOD was invented in the 1850s as a combination of three or more layers of wood. Cheap and easily accessible, it has been an important medium for experimentation by modernist designers from the 1920s onwards. Many important examples of modernist furniture were made in plywood as it's cheaper and more easily accessible than aluminium or steel.

Plywood consists of at least three layers or veneers of wood which have been plied together with the grain running crosswise to add strength and resilience. The earliest examples of plywood furniture date back to the 18th century, but it was not until the 1850s that it was put into commercial production by John Henry Belter, a German emigré to the US."
source: designmuseum

Always those immigrants doing their stuff.... (wink wink)

Well in these days, climate, atmosphere, worldly turbulence, we go back to the basics. I'm sure you've heard this before but today we are onto Ply, the so called P-factor (not to confuse with the amphetamines.)

To be precise: Design loves Depression

"Design tends to thrive in hard times. In the scarcity of the 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames produced furniture and other products of enduring appeal from cheap materials like plastic, resin and plywood, and Italian design flowered in the aftermath of World War II. "
New York Times

Charles and Ray Eames chair 'Lounge chair wood' from 1945

Charles and Ray Eames 'Lounge chair and ottoman' 1956

French kitchen, from loftmagazine
Will today’s designers rise to the occasion?
Here in New Zealand ply is looked upon as a structural good timber, but generally not as the 'showing' material to use but that seems to be changing. Below's art work is by Shane Hansen's; "Buzz" available from the Poi Room in Auckand (where I first spotted it in the flesh - love it), and shows what else we can do with plywood. His work is clean, striking and makes you look again. Iconic kiwi-dom.

Roger Kelly's Speed chair is made of ply and the back of the chair incorporates a small shelf for book storage. Nifty hey. (He's another Clever Bastard.)
David Trubridge is also not afraid to use ply as it's one of the materials he likes to use a lot, in his latest work he's switched to bamboo. His work has shown at Milan and his pieces are available nationwide from his stockists, for example Essenze gallery in Parnell, Auckland and from Whiteroom here in Dunedin.

So for the love of Ply: admire it's simplicity, its' ability to bend and it's colour and lightness. Essentials baby.

1 comment:

  1. hey cool !
    will they show up in your home ?

    x Kees