Matter Observed is brimming with excitement to have guest blogger and foreign correspondent, Marissa Wasseluk, share her almost two week-long adventure to Morocco to learn more about the constitution reform post-Arab Spring. She got pooped on, interviewed an anarchist, met the mayor of Casablanca, and drank copious amounts of tea – and that was just the first 48 hours. Look for this story, told in both words and photography, on Matter Observed in the coming weeks!
Chicago Home + Garden‘s second annual Chairs for Charity was an overwhelming success, with thousands of dollars raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Last year, Matter & Order participated with our submission, The Happiest Man – a vintage valet chair from the 1950′s. This year, we covered the event for Inhabitat and had just as much fun. Click here to read all about the event, and see the amazingly creative and inventive chairs from some of Chicago’s top designers.
Last year, Matter & Order was invited to participate in Chicago Home + Garden‘s first ever Chairs for Charity event, where 15 Chicago-area designers including Larry Vodak of Scout, Julia Buckingham Edelmann of Buckingham Interiors, Kara Mann of Kara Mann Design, and Monica Pedersen of HGTV, among others, were asked to take a vintage chair, give it a new life, and donate it to be auctioned off with all of the proceeds benefiting Designs 4 Dignity.
For our entry, we took a flea market found valet chair from the 1950′s – the exact same chair in Don Drapers old bedroom on AMC’s Mad Men – nickle plated it (courtesy of Precision Finishing, Inc.), built a plush new seat (courtesy of Covers Unlimited), wrapped it in Indian silk fabric (courtesy of Gregg Fishman of Fishman Fabrics), and topped it off with a Jason Lewis-made base and walnut tray for keys, cufflinks, cigar cutters, etc., completely transforming a chair in despair into a smart, functional, and classic manly throne entitled, The Happiest Man.
Then, to give this new chair the attention it deserved, we put together a little photo shoot with some friends, including gifted photographer, Lindsay Gallup, fashion designer Anastasia Chatzka and her stunningly beautiful clothing lines, her then business manager and stylist, Sean Moran, vintage hair and makeup specialist Angelica Rivera of Tigerlilie Salon, and (first-time) model, the lovely Agnieszka Haligowska. We all had a blast creating Mad Men inspired imagery to represent the underlying theme of the event: the transformation of the old into new. And among a packed house at the Tile Gallery on November 3rd, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres being served from some of Chicago’s finest restaurants, the auction raised over $10,000 for an incredible organization and an amazing cause.
Outtakes of “The Happiest Man” photo shoot:
Postcards we printed and distributed around the city to promote the event:
Coverage of the event in Chicago Home + Garden:
This year’s event, benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, promises to be just as exciting and fruitful with chair designs from Karen Kalmek of Green Home Chicago, Morlen Sinoway of Morlen Sinoway Atelier, Cody Hudson of Struggle Inc., and HGTV Host & Author, Frank Fontana, just to name a few. So get your tickets to the second annual Chairs for Charityhere, and don’t miss out on your chance to bid on and own a one-of-a-kind chair and work of art, all the while helping support yet another great cause! November 2, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Chicago Art Source, 1871 N. Clybourn Ave.
Traveling to Italy to experience design is like visiting the bluegrass region of Kentucky to experience Thoroughbred horses (a future Matter Observed post). Sure, there are many places in the United States and around the world that breed and race Thoroughbreds, but it’s impossible to fully understand and appreciate the history and tradition of the sport until you visit the likes of Calumet and Claiborne farms, attend a yearling auction at Keeneland, or sit in the grandstands at the Vatican of horse racing, Churchill Downs. The history and tradition of design in Italy runs just as deep, and much like how the upcoming Kentucky Derby showcases the most elite Thoroughbreds on the planet, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the world’s largest and most important design trade show held every year in Milan, showcases the best new designs from Italy and around the globe – only the field is not 20 but some 2,000+ companies in a fast and frenetic five-day long race for the spotlight and a piece of market share. An exciting time, indeed!
I was fortunate (and lucky) enough to experience the granddaddy of design expos as a writer for the well-respected and eco-friendly design blog, Inhabitat, covering the newest green and sustainably made products out there – but I also took time to observe some of the contemporary furniture exhibits, where iconic companies like Vitra, Magis, and Kartell, and also some of the more unfamiliar brands like Pinton, Imperfetto, and YDF revealed to the world their latest and greatest designs. Among the many highlights include Konstantin Grcic’s aeronautical-looking Table B for Barceloa Design; Campeggi’s prototype of an oscillating public/private conversation and sleeping unit; and Kartell’s over-the-top, Moulin Rouge inspired set design. As overwhelming as it may seem with the number of the images below, this truly is just a millimeter sampling of an endless arena of new and innovative design that happens every April at the Salone del Mobile.
Because Matter & Order is a fan of blogging and music, we’re going to combine the two and include a song that you can listen to while you read Matter Observed. The music will accompany certain posts, like our interview series and other topic related posts that we feel can be enriched with song. Taking cue from NPR’s This American Life (one of our favorite radio shows), we think that music helps set a tone in which words and pictures alone cannot, adding yet another dimension to your Matter Observed experience.
The Audio Player will be located just above the blog post image. It has a volume control feature and can be paused at any time (in case your boss walks by!). If you like what you hear but don’t recognize it, let us know in the comment box, we’ll tell you. Or, if you have a comment on what you just read, please don’t be shy! We always love getting feedback from our readers.
We hope you enjoy the new Matter Observed audio feature as much as we think you’re going to. Happy reading and listening!