Deconstructionism, How is it emerging?

What is Deconstructionism?

Deconstructionism is movement in design that emerged in the late 1980’s.  The idea is to show how something is constructed, but still be functional as a form of art or architecture. One of the unique things about this movement is that it forces the viewer to ponder about how things are put together. It’s philosophy states that “architecture is a language capable of communicating meaning and of receiving treatments by methods of linguistic philosophy”.  Some of the leading architects such as: Frank Gehry, Im Pei, and many other architectural firms have created designs in this style.  Check out some examples below:

Frank Gehry on Deconstructionism

Although we usually think of this architect as being more commercial when talking about his architectural designs, he has also designed residential spaces.  The image below is an example of deconstructionism in a residential space.  This is the house that Frank Gehry designed for himself, and legend states that the neighbors were not thrilled to have this in their neighborhood.

Deconstructed Exterior of Gehry House by Frank Gehry

Deconstructed Interior Space of Gehry House by Frank Gehry

Im Pei on Deconstructionism

One of the most recognized forms of architecture is the entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris.  Although there is much criticism on how modern the look is in comparison to the traditional form of architecture around it, it still is a great example of deconstructionism architecture.

Im Pei design of the Entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris. 1989.

SITE Architects on Deconstructionism

In the mid 1980’s a architecture firm by the name of SITE architects, started to produce designs for a company called BEST Products.  The interesting thing about their designs was the emphasis that the firm put into how they would push the limits of creativity in the deconstruction movement.  These are some of the best examples of what a creative team can produce, while keeping the structure functional.

SITE Architects, BEST Products Deconstructed Store. 1984.

This building was constructed to show that the building would literally open and close every day for business.

SITE Architects, BEST Products Deconstructed Store. 1975. Deconstructed entrance to the Notch Showroom store.

SITE Architects, BEST Products Deconstructed Store. 1984. Building shows how the bricks are literally falling off the buildings facade.

SITE Architects. BEST Products. Tilt Showroom 1976. Shows the entrance to the showroom being tilted as if it is being deconstructed from the facade of the building.

Dallas on Deconstructionism

Dallas is known for it emerging architecture by leading renowned international architects.  In 2012, the construction of Perot Museum of Nature and Science by the architecture firm Morphosis Architects has been introduced to the famous skyline of the city.  This new building shows that Deconstructionism is still emerging as a form of design, and may be the new look for contemporary architectural structures.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science by Morphosis Architects. Dallas, Texas.2012.

Deconstructionism in Furniture Design

As we learn more about architecture design, we notice that a lot of the movements that happen in the architectural world tend to spill into the interior design world.  Both worlds are very similar when you talk about the process of design.  In the past year, we have seen that this movement has made its mark in the furniture world of interior design.  The general public is beginning to look for the “new” innovative design in the furniture industry and they may have found it!

Although Deconstructionism is not new as a movement, it is new in furniture design.  Since the piece appears to look like a raw frame and completely unfinished, the look of deconstructionism in the furniture world is controversial.  Check out the images below to form a opinion on what you think about this movement.

Deconstructed Furniture in Room Setting

Deconstructed Wing Chair

Deconstructed Wing Chair-Back View

Straight Lined Post-Modernism Tuxedo Styled Chair

My personal, professional opinion is that as a movement in furniture, it will probably be short lived.  This look doesn’t appear to be as shocking when done on periodic pieces of furniture, like the the first image above.   When the piece of furniture becomes more straight lined and contemporary the look seems to have a  unfinished, undesirable quality to it as a style.  Many older pieces of furniture that date back 50+ years would have been constructed with burlap sacks, horse hair, and tacked upholstery.  The last example featuring the tuxedo styled chair is the ideal look of what you would find when deconstructing a chair around that time period.  As far as comfort,  I feel that over time it would eventually give you splinters because of the raw wood .  Also it may start to poke and scratch you from the tacking or filling inside the cushions.  If you are looking to make a statement in the room for non-functional purposes, then feel free to implement this design style.  If you are someone that is looking for functionality in their furniture,  this look is probably not for you.

The Deconstruction Movement in any form of design that has been seen as controversal.  It has a amount of shock value that many have a hard time grasping because of its  extreme contemporary design, even when using a traditional frame.

At Fabrics and Frames we have not yet been requested to design a piece of furniture in this Deconstruction style, but think that is would be both interesting and challenging to tackle for that very sophisticated, trendy client. Since we custom build our furniture from the ground up one piece at a time our intimate knowledge of the skeleton frame will give us an advantage when constructing this type of furniture. For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

A Lesson in Anthropomorphism and Design….

Leonardo Da Vinci, a man of many skills including painter, sculptor, and architect, opened up a new concept toward design that reflected a theory of proportions and how it relates to humans.  He demonstrated this concept in a world renowned drawing called, The Vitruvian Man, which was based on the work of the architect  Vitruvius.  In this  document he demonstrated how the human body is sectioned off into simple geometric proportions such as a circle and a square, which can be used to understand other proportion theories such as The Golden Section and Gestalt Theory.  These theories led new aged designers to a world where there were no limits to design.  By using these theories and logic, designers in our modern world are able to create boundary breaking designs and make them functional.  Anthropomorphism is a genre of design that studies these traditional theories and juxtaposes them with modern Avant Garde logics.

What is anthropomorphism?

Anthropomorphism is any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to other animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities.  When you start to look at this concept and how it relates to design, we find out that many famous artists and designers around the world and throughout the generations have been learning from this concept and how it relates to design.

Contemporary examples of what anthropomorphism in architecture:

Contemporary examples of what this may look like in furniture design is shown below:

This style of furniture design represents the Avant Garde movement, because it pushes the boundaries of design to ergonomical and aesthetic characteristics, while introducing “shock value”.  Louis Sullivan, world-renowned architect whose apprentice was Frank Lloyd Wright, emphasized that “Form follows function”. When designing a piece of furniture with artistic characteristics, you must keep in mind that the piece must also be functional.  This opens up the designer’s eye to antyhropometry, which is the study of the branch of the human sciences that deals with body measurements: particularly with measurements of body size, shape, strength and working capacity.

Here at Fabrics and Frames Furniture, we are constantly thinking about how the client is going to be using our product, and how we can improve the functionality of the product for the client.  Throughout the 34 years that Fabrics and Frames has been in business we have assisted clients with their special needs by finding ergonomical solutions to make their custom piece of furniture more functional for their specific use, while keeping aesthetics in mind.  Some major factors that we consider when designing a piece of furniture are seating height, arm height, back height and lumbar support.  We also give our customers choices in cushion firmness to make the piece the most functional for them. Although stucture is a key issue for us, we also want to make sure that the piece of furniture that we design for our clients will meet their everyday needs. Each one of our clients comes in with their own specific needs and we try to meet all of them. Each piece that we create is unique in that it reflects each individual customer’s style and purpose.

Ergonomic standards will vary depending on who the client is.  We understand  that different ages, nationalities, and genetic makeup will affect the ergonomics of a piece of furniture.  In past Fabrics and Frames blogs, we have discussed how our furniture is made up of hardwoods and how they have a spring system  in the furniture piece that will give it structural support.  These key elements are important because if you don’t understand the limits that your piece can support,  you run the risk of it malfunctioning in the future.

Designers, engineers, and architects are great examples of people who understand the ergonomics of any product. In order to design a product that has anthropomorphic characteristics, you must understand on how it will be used.  Remembering that…Aesthetics are nothing without function!…leads the “designer” to create something that will not only make a statement but give a presence of heirarchy in any setting.  Regardless if you are traditional or contemporary in design choice, you must remember your basics!

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

Buying New??? Think Twice…

Buying New??? Think Twice…

“Out with the old, in with the new”  In today’s disposable society this seems to be the motto when looking for new furniture. That is not the case at Fabrics and Frames Furniture! Fabrics and Frames is celebrating its 34th year of service in the furniture industry.   With so much experience behind us, we have learned a couple of do’s and don’ts from the industry, and reasons why we suggest you carefully reconsider before throwing out your old furniture or buy new.

With the way most furniture is constructed these days, it no longer holds the label of “furniture built to last a lifetime”.  Most of us assume that our pieces of furniture are constructed with the finest materials both inside and out, especially if you have invested thousands of dollars in the piece, but this is not the case in most situations.  Fabrics and Frames Furniture is a manufacturer in the furniture industry, and because of this we specialize in furniture construction and repairs.  Over the 30+ years that we have been in buisness, we have deconstructed and reconstructed  many pieces of furniture to find particle board and cardboard holding the insides of the furniture together. There are many ways to construct a piece of furniture, but by paying attention to the small details you can distinguish a well-made piece of furniture from a low end piece of furniture. Price does not necessarily determine the quality!

When you take apart a piece of furniture that was built in the early 1900’s, you will notice many unique characteristics of the style of upholstery and construction.  A older piece will show that the person or company that originally created the piece designed it with functionality meant to last for many decades.  Generally older furniture will be constructed with hardwoods, joint details that give strength to the piece, and structure details that screams out “Form Follows Function.”.

The majority of today’s furniture is constructed to last maybe 5-10 years before it starts to breakdown. One of the first areas to go are the cushions followed by the frame.  Older peices would normally have some sort of spring system built into the structure of the piece.  Today many furniture frames are constructed with a webbing systems inside of them.  (Note: there are some companies out there still offering spring systems to support their furniture, but the average furniture won’t have it incorporated into the design.)  Having a webbing system incorporated into your design instead of a spring system will ultimately end up with you eventually falling through your sofa.  Webbing is a rubber product that has elasticity…over time (5-10years) the webbing will start to stretch and wear out.  As time goes on, you may eventually start to sink into your sofa.  When this begins to happen, many people think that it is just the foam in the cushions breaking down, and that is why they are starting to have trouble getting out of thier furniture, but in reality it is often their webbing system is stretching and breaking down.

Most furniture sold these days comes from China, regardless of whose brand name is attached to it.  When shopping for a new piece that you expect to last for years, ask these questions:

1. Is it made in the U.S.A.?

Furniture that is constructed in the U.S. mainly comes from North Carolina.  Many name-brand companies are buying overseas and getting pre-upholstered furniture shipped into the U.S.  This is problem for many reasons because (A) it takes away American jobs and (B) you lose the quality aspect that comes from experienced upholsterers. You can end up with mis-shaped furniture, and poorly matched pattern repeats. I have seen fabrics put on upside down because people are not taking the time to pay attention to simple detail. (C) Non-Consistant Furniture Product.  What you see at the store is not what you always get in your home.  Dye-lot colors and patterns on the fabric being off in tone and texture are common problems.  After waiting for 12 weeks or more for a custom-ordered piece and not getting what you ordered at the store is not a fun experience. Often you get stuck with something you don’t really like because once you sign on delivery you are unable to return it.  With these many problems with mass produced furniture today it should  make you question: “Is it worth buying cheaper?”

Striped Pattern Matched Sofa

Stripes are not pattern matched.

2. What type of wood is the furniture frame constructed out of?

The only acceptable type of wood for furniture frames is hardwoods. Softer woods and particle board is a big no-no because they don’t have the strength necessary to support the frame.

3.What type of seating system does it have?

Webbed or Spring? Spring systems are superior in all areas no matter what a salesperson tries to tell you.

4.Am I looking for a piece to keep for a long time, or do I want a disposable piece of furniture?

Many of today’s younger generation like the option of cheaper furniture because it allows them to change every couple of years.  The disadvantage to this way of thinking is that economically you are spending more money overtime.  Instead of buying a better quality sofa  which will allow you to abuse your furniture and it structurally be able to withstand the impact over the next 20years, the younger consumer will buy inexpensive sofas every 3-5 years that will break down and may even structurally fall apart.  When purchasing an inexpensive piece of furniture, you are risking buying a piece that is constructed out of particle board and cardboard.  What is wrong with this style of construction is that particle board is compressed thin layers of wood, allowing it to be weaker that hardwoods, and eventually snapping and breaking in half.  Some common places where breakage occurs is in the middle of the frame, the arm falling off, and legs breaking off.  If you are looking for a piece of furniture to fill a spot in your home and it will never be used, then go with a cheap piece of furniture.  But if you are looking for a piece of furniture to really use such as in your living room or den spend a little more and buy quality.  Another benefit of buying quality is that you will not have to bother with the headache of the upkeep on an inexpensive piece that will need extra TLC.

Broken Arm Sofa

Broken Base SofaBroken Arm Sofa

When thinking about new furniture, think about the functionality of the piece, and how are you going use this particular furniture piece and how often?  Times are hard economically for most of us right now…shouldn’t we analyze our expenses so that we get the most out of our purchase? If you are now discouraged from buying new…Then think Reupholstery!  Reupholstering is not always the most inexpensive way to go, but if you have a unique quality frame, or one of sentimental value, then it may be structurally better than the pieces coming out of China and most certainly will cost a little less than buying a comparable new piece.

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

Designing with Solids…

Have you ever walked into a room, and said “There’s way too much stuff going on in this room”?  I’m sure you have. We all have seen this somewhere.  An easy way to avoid someone saying this about your room is by designing with solids.  As home decor has become more contemporary, designers stay more simplistic in the designs and patterns they choose for the rooms in which we live in.   One basic  tip to keep your room simplistic is to start with a solid, neutral sofa color.  Trends are changing and neutral colors can be anywhere from tones of whites and beiges to golds and grays! Here are some examples…

Regardless of the color that you choose for your sofa, you can add pop with colorful and patterned pillows to complete the look.  When using patterns on the sofa, be sure that you use the same colorcast in both the sofa and the patterned pillows.  Some examples of this look may be seen below….

By adding the same color tones as the primary sofa color, it suggests to the viewer that the pillows belong to the sofa.  If you are an individual that doesn’t like things too “matchy”, then I would suggest color blocking the sofa with your favorite colors!  It could look like this…

This is a simple way to incorporate many colors together within a room.  As a designer, I usually suggest this technique when someone comes in with two difficult colors they would like to arrange together but are having a difficult time finding a pattern with the two colors incorporated within one fabric. Also, when you add color with something small like a pillow or an accessory, it will be  easier to dispose of in the future if you choose to change your color scheme. This approach to design is a great one if you are an individual that gets bored with a room easily.  This simple technique is also great for people who enjoy changing out the decor of their room as the seasons change.  For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

www.fabricsandframes.com

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Written By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

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