NORMAN CHERNER & the Cherner chair


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Born in Brooklyn New York in 1920, Norman Cherner’s designs are part of the iconography of mid-20th Century furniture design. He is recognised as one of the most original of a generation of designers that explored post-war technological innovations in architecture and industrial design. He studied and taught at the Columbia University Fine Arts department and was an instructor at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1947-1949. Cherner’s training in the Bauhaus tradition led to a lifelong exploration informed by the belief that all design stems from one discipline. His chairs, tables and case goods have shown an enduring popularity since their introduction nearly fifty years ago. The moulded plywood Cherner Chair, designed for Plycraft in 1958, has become an icon of mid-twentieth century design and can be found in galleries and design collections worldwide, including the Vitra Museum.

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You’ve seen the shapely, classic Cherner chairs, but do you know the designer behind them? Norman Cherner is an unsung hero of mid-century design, an innovator in plywood and in affordable design. And the story of his most famous design is a dramatic tale of innovation, betrayal and, ultimately, of justice.

Norman Cherner was an American architect and designer. He studied and taught at Columbia University, and was an instructor at MoMA in the late 1940s. There, he became steeped in the MoMA-favored Bauhaus approach, where all the aspects and media of design were considered. In 1948, Cherner built modular, low-cost cooperative housing in upstate New York, for which he also designed the affordable furniture and all other decorative details.

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Housing was in enormous demand in the US during the Postwar era, with the GI Bill, the baby boom and the surge of postwar prosperity. Cherner was determined to make affordable design a reality. He created a prototype for prefabricated housing that, although it was not commercially successful, he transported to Connecticut and used as his own home and studio in the late 1950s. He published books on the subject of affordable design throughout the 1950s, including, Make Your Own Modern Furniture (1953), How to Build a House for Less than $6000 (1957), and Fabricating Houses from Component Parts (1958).

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But it was the plywood chair that Cherner is best known for, and the story of its creation is fascinating.

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The Cherner Chair Company, founded by Norman Cherner’s sons Benjamin and Thomas in 1999, is the sole authorized licensor of Cherner’s designs, and they work off of his original drawings and specifications. The company produces Cherner’s original armchair, side chair, barstool and counter stool, as well as his other designs.

This timeless design deserves deepest bow and all honor – Christine Leja

Joseph Dirand`s inspiration – Marble, brass, paneling, velvet & a black touch

INSPIRED BY JOSEPH DIRAND

Specially after an inspiring time in Paris at the Maison & Object and chiefly an impressive stay in the family house of JOSEPH DIRAND, I feel that my head is round to change ideas and my openness to new inspirations allows me, to see “old fashioned” materials in a new perspective. I am inspired, I am fascinated and I am re-planning…

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Joseph Dirand, the son of Jacques Dirand, arguably the most famous interiors photographer of his day, and now himself one of fashion’s most heavily sought-after architects, Dirand has built a career on incorporating a quintessentially French style of design into otherwise minimalist interiors.

JOSEPH DIRAND DESIGNS EATERY MONSIEUR BLEU AT PARIS’S PALAIS DE TOKYO

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He settled on a design that is elegant and a little bit louche. “I don’t care about style anymore, in a way I hate style, I hate design,” he says. “It’s about life, and generosity.”

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Dominated by black and white, this taut architecture likes to contrast scales and eras and reveals a sense for an innate nature to a given setting. Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 15.58.47Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 16.03.07 Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 15.59.47Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 16.06.08 A graduate of the Paris/Belleville school of architecture, he cultivates the stylistic stamp that fits his very personal sense of elegance. Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 16.07.27Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 16.20.46 It is a jarring setting in which to find Dirand, one of the most sought-after architects and interior designers in fashion and the creative mastermind behind the brand-new Givenchy store in Paris, Rick Owens’ Mayfair boutique as well as Alexander Wang’s Beijing outpost. He has also designed luxury hotels in Mexico and the Monsieur Bleu restaurant at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, which mixes the elegance of early Viennese modernism with electrifying jolts of various provenance: a shade of green here, an unexpected lamp there and exquisite Lalique glass wall panels throughout. Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 16.08.43 Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 16.07.16

Dirand’s style is almost instantly recognizable, characterized by strong lines, impeccable proportions, and breathtaking precision. “The way he treats and defines space is very clean,” says Mahdavi. “He’s created a language of his own by reinventing traditional French decorative elements in a contemporary way.” Kalt agrees, saying, “It’s the meeting of classicism and minimalism. There’s both a Cistercian touch and great elegance.” And as Gilles Malafosse, owner of Monsieur Bleu, points out, “One of the main characteristics of his work is the absence of anything superfluous.”

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…going “Midcentury”

I am excited in converting a 60`house – which is located next to the sea with a wonderful view and in an old settled neighborhood – into a special midcentury house. All on one level, surrounded by a big garden with an olympic pool. Honestly all existing materials are average and the entire distribution was done for the needs of a big family. A lot of little rooms, long hall ways, lost spaces, lousy windows,….- only one possibility: cleaning out everything, leaving the “4 wall around” and start from zero 🙂 Giving this house – in that wonderful location – the touch it deserves. Open spaces with wide windows and the touch of “midcentury”, “Los Angeles style”, “contemporary”, ….with all comfort what we need nowadays.

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Combining fresh colors with unforgettable designs and without any fear of “stepping out” of the usual settings.Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-23 um 18.50.16Bildschirmfoto 2014-03-04 um 19.33.03Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-17 um 11.36.24Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-17 um 11.50.58

Small details, like the big numbers on the facade – which we know mainly from L.A., or an old cinema poster framed, the “fine lined shelve” – all that gives a special character to the property.

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…and if I could wish ….. I would love to add this “toy” 🙂

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Country Estate – planned, designed, built & decorated by Christine Leja architect`s

This place has a long, long story and I followed during 15 years the history of this sleeping paradise. 2 1/2 years ago, we decided to awake this forgotten place and to create a living concept on this incredible plot of land, which is embedded in untouched nature. The planning and designing of the estate, was a wonderful and ongoing creative process and always inspired by the environment, which is surrounded by orange and lemon plantations, wild woods, green land, olive trees and singing birds. We took our time, since this piece of land deserved it!

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…THE REFLECTION ON THE GLASS IS DOUBLING THE NATURE IN A WONDERFUL WAY

IRON WINDOW DOORS GIVE THE CHARACTER OF A FABRIC BUILDING AND THE MAX. OF VIEW, BECAUSE OF THE THIN FRAMES. THE ANTIQUE WOODEN DOORS BREAK THE LINE AND CONVERTS IT INTO A SPECIAL & INDIVIDUAL STYLE. THE GLASS REFLECT ALL THE WONDERFUL NATURE.      

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new finished project & another style

When I saw this little penthouse for the first time, I was somehow surprised, what sometimes people call “renovated”. Honestly – I had difficulties in getting a vision for a new concept, since the distribution was useless, the orientation of the living space in a ridiculous wrong way and the used materials – just speak less. In the same time having a wonderful client with high expectation and a sure trust, that we convert this m2 into a noble and bright space. I am happy, that we made out of a completely destroyed place, a wonderful charming penthouse, which now looks over the Santa Catalina neighborhood and which lighten up the entire house.

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Another transformation….

Santa Catalina and the forgotten and dilapidated flats are still my favorites challenges for transformations and creations of living spaces.

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turning around, feeling the space, changing the ideas, creating new distributions, seeing materials, ……having a vision

….and the vision becomes reality

Thanks to family Cohen, for all their trust. They completely let me work freely, without any restriction, any doubt of the future result and without any shakiness. Thanks to the builders, who always understand what I want and what it is about. And honestly, every and each project has it´s own focus and line and if my team would not get this individual line, my vision would not get reality.

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I wish the new owners a wonderful life in this clear space and I am happy, that it is them, who fulfill this space with their souls.

Christine Leja

A way of life

There are special situations, objects, colors, songs, activities or aromas, which makes you remember to your dream or maybe it is simply a memory of ancestry. But you feel, that your heart opens up and there is a deep connection.

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During my whole life – one of my most important values was & is freedom and freedom as a life concept. Maybe therefor, Gypsies, nomads & wanderer always inspired me.

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colors….

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coziness

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surrounded by nature

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collecting beloved items

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wild mixture of origin

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layouts of a colorful collection

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there is no space for “less is more”

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beauty meets beauty

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all fits

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hand-crafted

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spectacular

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I wish my dream comes through and I will create my own little “roulotte” very soon!!!

first inspiration for a project

Looking at a property and getting the first idea! Maybe it is just a color or an inspiration of an atmosphere or a picture of a future resident – something which comes up in the first moment – that is, what is painting the vision. Walls are falling in my mind, volumes are changing their sizes and light is taking other directions…and suddenly the entire space becomes a new character. Wonderful – this process of creation!

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A first color inspiration

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and than the painting gets shades and color changes

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combinations of materials for the corresponding spaces

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coming back to the first selection

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thinking about special items

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mixing the items with the right materials

and the matching fixtures

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and combining it with homeliness ……

I keep you up-dated……..

Mykonos – Basics converted to beauties

Some impressions from the white beauty

Mykonos and it’s habitants are proud of what they have and they make out of the smallest space, corner, terrace or sunroof a inspiring and cosy living space. With the most basic materials they create modern and stylish atmospheres and you feel that it is done with heart & Soul. I have never seen an island, city, village which paint on their own costs and with their own effort every 2 weeks the joints of the stone streets in white! Mykonist does it! Every house – as i said – every house is freshly white painted and every business is well selected and every private house – if it is small or big is looking beautiful. All my respect – Mykonos i Love you!

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