After so many decades, we are still fascinated with the iconic modern furniture designs and their creators. Instantly recognizable, works like the Eames lounge chair, Saarinen’s Tulip chair and table, the Barcelona chair from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and so many others are perhaps even more sought after today than ever before. Who will follow in the footsteps of these iconic designers? Will their designs someday stand along side these beloved pieces and become icons in their own right?

Consider the approximately 60 works from designers working in Washington, Oregon and California that are featured in the New West Coast Design 2 (NWCD2) exhibition at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco. According to the museum, inclusion in NWCD2 was based on the “significant contribution they make to the world of design by expanding on the idea of function, exploiting materials, innovative techniques, or pioneering applications of new technology.”

While featuring many chairs, tables and stools, the exhibit also includes a wide range of designs from bicycles to skateboards, toy houses, light fixtures and much more. The designers are as diverse as their designs and include some with backgrounds in architecture, studio art, interior design and digital technologies—all contributing to the many facets of contemporary design.

Designers selected to be a part of NWCD2 include these four:


B randen Adams

Designer Branden Adams has a background in architecture, but seems to thrive in a world of reclaimed wood, steel and powder coat. Three of his pieces were chosen for the NWCD2 exhibit—the Shaker Stool, PALLETdrum and Snick Coffee Table.


Joshua Aidlin 

Also from the world of architecture is Aidlin Darling Design partner Joshua Aidlin who has two designs included in NWCD2, the Kaplan Table and the Pronto Kiosk. With a shapely elongated form, the Kaplan Table is created from Honduran mahogany and gun blued steel. The food kiosk is meant to take healthy food via a pop-up café to urban folks where they congregate in outdoor spaces.


Alex Purcell Rodrigues 

Alex Purcell Rodrigues created a sparse aircraft grade aluminum chair called the “Cartesian Chair” that is available in a subtly painted ombre fade of navy blue to black among many other finishes. That “art form meets function” design is also a part of the NWCD2 exhibit. The name is as intriguing as the chair itself. The designer says it’s named after “Descartes’ Cartesian coordinate system, the foundation on which CAD software is built.”


Po Shun Leong 

Inspired by the shape of a fortune cookie, designer Po Shun Leong created a stunningly simple stool from laminated plywood. The beginnings of this sculptural design are rooted in folding paper to form the original design. The visual illustration of the Fortune Cookie Stool’s concept seen above says it all.

In years to come, lovers of all things modern design will surely be following those whose work is featured in the New West Coast Design 2 at San Francisco’s Museum of Craft & Design. The exhibit itself runs through January 5, 2014.


Images: SFGate,com;;;;

20th-century-modernismCommercial seatingModern furniture designers

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published