Here’s a lesson in how not to do a knock-off. I can understand the attraction to Zanuso’s lovely Lady chair. It is simultaneously cute and smart and relies on its contours and form. Anthropologie decided to hide the form under a boxy pattern and fill the voids under the arms.

Here’s a lesson in how not to do a knock-off. I can understand the attraction to Zanuso’s lovely Lady chair. It is simultaneously cute and smart and relies on its contours and form. Anthropologie decided to hide the form under a boxy pattern and fill the voids under the arms.

Do your own work, West Elm! Honestly, it’s not the bigger names of mid-century modern that get knocked off as much as Paul McCobb lately. The originals of this particular chair are not even that hard or expensive to acquire. To be fair, even McCobb’s design is like a budget version of Nakashima’s work for Knoll.

Do your own work, West Elm! Honestly, it’s not the bigger names of mid-century modern that get knocked off as much as Paul McCobb lately. The originals of this particular chair are not even that hard or expensive to acquire. To be fair, even McCobb’s design is like a budget version of Nakashima’s work for Knoll.

I have laughed ‘til I cried! IKEA might want to rethink the placement of the tv with the fireplace video. It looks like the tree is on fire!

I have laughed ‘til I cried! IKEA might want to rethink the placement of the tv with the fireplace video. It looks like the tree is on fire!

Tags: IKEA

Remind me again why this Ross Lovegrove table that looks like something from IKEA costs more than a Richard Schultz icon? The price of the Petal table hurts my wallet, but at least there are some high end manufacturing processes in its construction. It will get more beautiful as the teak ages - an heirloom. The Tri-Oval’s rounded, asymmetrical triangle of glass? Oh, we’ve never seen that except for Noguchi and his imitators for over 60 years.

Remind me again why this Ross Lovegrove table that looks like something from IKEA costs more than a Richard Schultz icon? The price of the Petal table hurts my wallet, but at least there are some high end manufacturing processes in its construction. It will get more beautiful as the teak ages - an heirloom. The Tri-Oval’s rounded, asymmetrical triangle of glass? Oh, we’ve never seen that except for Noguchi and his imitators for over 60 years.

Aren’t they pretty? Perhaps, but each one is a terrible design by a renowned designer. The first is Michael Graves’ woeful garlic press for Target. It’s cast metal - too brittle for the pressure exerted on the thin neck of the handles. I broke one myself.
Next is Ross Lovegrove’s pot for Hackman - a cookware company that should know better. The melamine framing the glass lid can’t take the expansion and contraction from heating. It cracks pretty quickly. The handles are also the perfect shape to funnel steam right onto your hands. Lovegrove’s design failures deserve an entry of their own.
Stemware should be designed to preserve the bouquet of its contents, but it would be nice not to need to tilt it so high to drink from. Are Karim Rashid’s pieces for Mikasa some kind of joke? His “Kimono” flatware (not pictured) was also an unbalanced oddity with handles folded like ribbon and doubling the weight.
The problem with these designers is that they’re really just stylists (even with their respective educations). This is no disrespect to stylists. The best know how to collaborate with engineers so that little things like product safety aren’t ignored.
This is a rewritten entry from a retired blog of mine. It seems so relevant now that I decided to re-post it.

Aren’t they pretty? Perhaps, but each one is a terrible design by a renowned designer. The first is Michael Graves’ woeful garlic press for Target. It’s cast metal - too brittle for the pressure exerted on the thin neck of the handles. I broke one myself.

Next is Ross Lovegrove’s pot for Hackman - a cookware company that should know better. The melamine framing the glass lid can’t take the expansion and contraction from heating. It cracks pretty quickly. The handles are also the perfect shape to funnel steam right onto your hands. Lovegrove’s design failures deserve an entry of their own.

Stemware should be designed to preserve the bouquet of its contents, but it would be nice not to need to tilt it so high to drink from. Are Karim Rashid’s pieces for Mikasa some kind of joke? His “Kimono” flatware (not pictured) was also an unbalanced oddity with handles folded like ribbon and doubling the weight.

The problem with these designers is that they’re really just stylists (even with their respective educations). This is no disrespect to stylists. The best know how to collaborate with engineers so that little things like product safety aren’t ignored.

This is a rewritten entry from a retired blog of mine. It seems so relevant now that I decided to re-post it.

Jonathan Adler producing Happy Chic for J. C. Penney? More like Happy Cheat! Adler at times produces inspired ceramics (when he’s not ripping off Bjørn Wiinblad), but the Bleaker chair from his new JCP collection is nothing more than a copy of a classic Jens Risom chair. You know, the Jens Risom who is still alive, who has licensed the design to Ralph Pucci and who probably would like to be paid for his work. It’s no surprise, though. The rest of Adler’s furniture consists primarily of Dunbar knock-offs.

Jonathan Adler producing Happy Chic for J. C. Penney? More like Happy Cheat! Adler at times produces inspired ceramics (when he’s not ripping off Bjørn Wiinblad), but the Bleaker chair from his new JCP collection is nothing more than a copy of a classic Jens Risom chair. You know, the Jens Risom who is still alive, who has licensed the design to Ralph Pucci and who probably would like to be paid for his work. It’s no surprise, though. The rest of Adler’s furniture consists primarily of Dunbar knock-offs.

West Elm is really trolling to be sued by Richard Schultz. You can’t beat the durable originals, but they are expensive. Still, it’s pretty brazen to so transparently steal a design.

West Elm is really trolling to be sued by Richard Schultz. You can’t beat the durable originals, but they are expensive. Still, it’s pretty brazen to so transparently steal a design.

Oh, West Elm. Can you ever produce anything original? Even the John Vogel stuff is just an exercise in that designer’s admiration of Hans Wegner.
The latest outdoor seating “borrows” a frame and stringing technique from two acclaimed chairs yet fails to be as elegant or playful as either. Worse still, they have the nerve to charge $699 for it! Isn’t the point of knock-offs to be cheaper? IKEA gets this with their sub $100 options.
The classic,  anonymous Acapulco chair has all of these beat. Buy it instead and keep it forever!

Oh, West Elm. Can you ever produce anything original? Even the John Vogel stuff is just an exercise in that designer’s admiration of Hans Wegner.

The latest outdoor seating “borrows” a frame and stringing technique from two acclaimed chairs yet fails to be as elegant or playful as either. Worse still, they have the nerve to charge $699 for it! Isn’t the point of knock-offs to be cheaper? IKEA gets this with their sub $100 options.

The classic,  anonymous Acapulco chair has all of these beat. Buy it instead and keep it forever!

J.C. Penney is trying to reinvent itself by emulating Target’s designer program of the late 1990s - not a bad thing considering that the housewares of the time resembled their less accessible counterparts from Alessi and Driade to name a couple. Jonathan Adler, Martha Stewart and Bodum are all represented in mini boutiques, but the most interesting choice is Michael Graves.There is much to love in the new line, but it’s hardly new. Graves primarily repeats with only modest evolution from the most familiar designs. I won’t bother showing the tea kettle because you’ve seen it. The same is true for the clocks with the exception of the Bookshelf Clock, which owes much to Gilbert Rohde. Other designs such as the toast-shaped toaster and playful decanter with a bird in the center are a welcome whimsy, but does anybody actually decant wine anymore?Probably a poor decision by JCP rather than the designer is the inclusion of 5 taper candle holders! Candles are not as popular for lighting or fragrance now, but tapers? At least one design for pillar candles might’ve been better. There are also dowdy coasters, a pointless waffle iron and serving pieces that look only vaguely different than what Nambé and Dansk already produce.

J.C. Penney is trying to reinvent itself by emulating Target’s designer program of the late 1990s - not a bad thing considering that the housewares of the time resembled their less accessible counterparts from Alessi and Driade to name a couple. Jonathan Adler, Martha Stewart and Bodum are all represented in mini boutiques, but the most interesting choice is Michael Graves.

There is much to love in the new line, but it’s hardly new. Graves primarily repeats with only modest evolution from the most familiar designs. I won’t bother showing the tea kettle because you’ve seen it. The same is true for the clocks with the exception of the Bookshelf Clock, which owes much to Gilbert Rohde. Other designs such as the toast-shaped toaster and playful decanter with a bird in the center are a welcome whimsy, but does anybody actually decant wine anymore?

Probably a poor decision by JCP rather than the designer is the inclusion of 5 taper candle holders! Candles are not as popular for lighting or fragrance now, but tapers? At least one design for pillar candles might’ve been better. There are also dowdy coasters, a pointless waffle iron and serving pieces that look only vaguely different than what Nambé and Dansk already produce.

Uh oh! It seems Crate & Barrel’s The Land of Nod have a copy (left) of architects J.M. Cava’s and Mark Allen’s modern dollhouse (right). I’d say it was incidental or simply down to the tropes of modernism if it weren’t for the identical fireplace. On the other hand, the original architects did little to make these at a retail scale probably because they were too busy building actual modern houses.

Uh oh! It seems Crate & Barrel’s The Land of Nod have a copy (left) of architects J.M. Cava’s and Mark Allen’s modern dollhouse (right). I’d say it was incidental or simply down to the tropes of modernism if it weren’t for the identical fireplace. On the other hand, the original architects did little to make these at a retail scale probably because they were too busy building actual modern houses.