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Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

(Re)Introducing the Spanner Lounge Chair With Arms

Becky

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We are so pleased to announce that we are carrying The Spanner Lounge Chair with Arms at Design Public. Originally created in 1950 by Russell Spanner (1916-1974), the award-winning designer’s chair has been out of production for more than 50 years. Gus*Design Group worked in collaboration with the Spanner family to revive this iconic chair, meticulously matching the materials, construction and details to the original chair.

The frame is constructed of  solid birch and curved birch plywood and the seat is 100% cotton woven strapping. During the design collaboration with the Spanner family, Gus*Design Group worked hard to match the finishes (both light and dark birch) and strapping colors (choice of green, red or black strapping):

Vintage Ad for Russell Spanner's Furniture

Today we’re talking with Joran Van Lange, the designer at Gus* Design Group who acted as design and production lead for the Spanner Lounge Chair reissue, to learn more about this exciting re-release.

How did you discover the work of Russell Spanner?
I first saw his work in a design lecture while I was in school.  His original designs show up occasionally here in Toronto at vintage and mid-century antique shops, so before we even knew Russell’s background story, we were familiar with the Russell Spanner “look”, which is very recognizable.

What drew you to the Spanner Chair in particular?
There’s something really positive and energetic about the lines and angles of the chair.  It’s bold without being too serious.

Which leads me to, what about its mid-century design still works so well today?

The design is relevant today for the same reasons it was relevant in the 1950s. At that time, North American cities were seeing an explosion of compact, post-war homes, which needed furniture that was smaller scale.  The movement toward condo and small space living in the last decade has meant that consumers are again looking for smaller, lighter furniture pieces.

Aesthetically, the chair embodies the mid-century tradition of leaving components and hardware in plain view.  Nothing is hidden by panels or upholstery.  There’s a transparency in that which people appreciate.

What is the history of the chair?

The Lounge Chair was designed by Russell while he was working as foreman at his family’s woodworking factory.  It’s believed that he used some of the jigs and parts of other industrial products to form the basic components for the Lounge Chair.  As an example, the frame for the seat shares the same proportions and joinery as the industrial battery boxes which the factory produced at the time.

Where are the reproductions produced?

We felt that because this chair was originally designed and produced in Toronto, it was important to carry on that legacy and produce the re-issue here as well.

Did you learn anything new about design and production from the process of putting the Spanner Chair back into production?


We realized once we began to dissect the original chair that there are some very sophisticated joinery details going on.  Everything must be manufactured perfectly in order for the design to work.

It works beautifully.

Purchase a Spanner Lounge Chair with Arms at Design Public

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Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Gus*Modern Sale (There’s a Feel-Good Catch…)

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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We’re having a sale, with a catch: Support your local food bank with at least 3 non-perishable items or donate at foodbankscanada.ca and receive 15% off items from Gus*Modern.

So it’s easy, while you’re taking care of that cleaning out the pantry New Year’s drudgery, put a few things aside for others; after all, if you haven’t eaten it by now, you’re not going to, and it’s going to waste. Stop by a local food bank (find one in this directory) and drop off whatever you can. Remember, once the holidays are over donations tend to take a big dive, so people need your help more than ever, especially during this polar arctic blast of freezing temperatures.

Or if you don’t feel like leaving the sofa, just donate over at foodbankscanada.ca and then hope on over to all the Gus*Modern goodies and shop with a 15% discount.

Ossington Coffee Table from Gus*Modern

The Ossington Coffee Table is a mix of dark metal and walnut wood. Best of all, it has a clever open shelf for coffee table books, tabloids and the remotes. It also comes in stainless.

The Truss Chair by Gus*Modern

The Truss Chair has Scandinavian modern simplicity, but plays a little with geometry, giving it a contemporary look as well. It strikes me as the kind of chair the best student in furniture design class presents for his/her final review and gets a dream job from one of the jurors.

Carmichael Loft Sofa by Gus*Modern

Finally, a sale is a great time to invest in a sofa that will last for many years to come. Whether you like the unique Carmichael Loft Sofa or are in need of a low, mid-century modern style sectional sofa, Gus*Modern has an option for you.

Shop all Gus*Modern

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