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Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Designer Interview: Damian Velasquez of Half 13

Becky

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Today we’re sitting down with Damian Velasquez of Half 13 to learn more about his vibrant and sculptural line of outdoor furniture.


How did you wind up designing furniture?

I started my path of design and fabrication at 11 – I used to hang out with my father while he made silver jewelry. The time we spent together at the bench was when I started learning about the joinery of metals. I continued to make jewelry throughout high school and college, but it wasn’t until I returned from backpacking through Europe in 1989 that memories of Italian furniture design would unknowingly shape my future forever.

I embarked on a journey of self education from that moment on – I taught myself to weld, to work with wood, acrylic, glass and concrete. I continue to build on that base of knowledge 23 years later.

Half13 O Table

What is your studio like? How do your surroundings influence your designs?

My studio is 7500 square feet of machinery and tools. All aspects of fabrication including CNC plasma cutting, woodworking and powder-coating is done in-house.

I haven’t ever been able to attribute a direct influence from my surroundings to my work. I started back in the day when “Southwestern Style” was at its peak. Modern furniture was not very strong in New Mexico back then. I think what does influence me is the fact that I do live in a unique part of the country and that fosters my desire to be unique in my endeavors as well as my designs.

Where did the name Half 13 come from?

Half 13 is the term for the size of the diamond and guage of the expanded metal that is used in the construction of my outdoor furniture line.

Are there any furniture precedents or designers who inspire your work?

The Half 13 line came about from my love of the chair “How High the Moon” by Shiro Kuramata. Because I was not formally educated in furniture design I never really had any exposure to the history of designers before me to latch onto. I have always loved Shiro’s chair and never though of it as an influence until one day I decided to try my hand at using expanded metal as a medium for furniture. I soon appreciated the challenge posed by this material and the difficulty manipulating it. After much persistence, the current line was born, and adheres to my core values of function blended with aesthetics.

Did you see a hole in the outdoor furniture market? If so, how are you filling it?

I actually envisioned the Half 13 line as a way into sculpture, but soon realized after much feedback from clients that there was a lot lacking in the outdoor furniture market. I quickly addressed the issues posed such as comfort, durability and ease of maintenance; that is why these pieces are now fabricated from stainless steel.

Thank you so much to Damian for letting us get to know him better today.

Shop all Half 13

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Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Stellar Designers: Patricia Urquiola

Becky

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Lately it seems every light fixture or chair that catches my eye was designed by the fabulous Patricial Urquiola. Urquiola is a Spanish designer of many talents; she’s an architect, she designs exhibitions, she speaks at conferences and her furniture and lighting designs are well on their way to icon status. She’s collaborated with the most pre-eminent furniture manufacturers in the world, creating artistic, thoughtful and most importantly, highly functional products, from rugs to sofas, and side tables to outdoor furniture. Her use of the latest technologies and materials provides the function, while her imagination informs the form.

Urquiola working on new designs and showing off her fabulous ring

Her artful approach and dedication to function makes her designs stand out; one of the first ones I fell for is the wonderfully loopy Re-Trouvé chair. Available in a wide range of bright powder coated colors, the designs combine Urquiola’s contemporary sensibilities with some whimsical nostalgia.

Re-Trouvé High Back Chair

“Inspiration came from the marvelous icon chairs of the ’50’s, so full of curls and doodles. I wanted to create new models which would bring together a re-interpretation of this old fashioned design with a more humorous twist, produced with numerical control technology,” she says.

Re-Trouvé Pouf

The line, produced by Italian manufacturer Emu and distributed by Coalesse, also includes this eclectic stool/ottoman.

Last Minute Stool

Coalesse is also distributing Urquiola’s Last Minute Stool, a streamlined and ergonomic piece that comes in counter and bar height. The seat is made of flexible steel and covered in leather; the legs are sleek chrome.

I am so happy that Design Public is carrying these stellar pieces from a superstar like Urquiola. We also carry a few items she designed in partnership for Kartell, including the flirty and strong Frilly Chair:

Kartell Frilly Chair

as well as the clever Matelasse Vase:

Kartell Matelasse Vases (these are 11.8″ high; I know it’s hard to tell the scale from this photo)

I look forward to seeing what she come up with next, and I’ll keep you posted when I find out!

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Monday, March 7th, 2011

Inspiration Monday: Spring’s Bold Colors

Becky

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This spring, hues have livened up! Not neon (yuck!), not pale pastels (yawn!), but juuuuuust right. Fuchsia, bright yellow, teal and aqua, green a bit lighter than kelly, and of course, old reliable – orange. I clipped a piece of this kate spade ad out of a magazine because I loved the colors of the windows so much, so I decided to pair it with some favorite bright finds from around the site.



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Friday, June 5th, 2009

Flickr Faves on Fridays: Bold Blues

Becky

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Here are some of my favorite blue rooms:

This one comes from flickr member peachheights:

new computer desk

This relaxing bedroom comes from supershoppertoo’s photostream:

100_3271

I love how purplepleasuredesigns has transformed this IKEA dresser with blue:

My new old Ikea Dresser

If you are scared of bright colors, experiment in a closet or a laundryroom like peacock-feather did here:

Laundry room decor

Love the shade that .YOKOO picked for this workspace:

Quiet Afternoon

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