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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Designer Interview: Evan Stoller of Stoller Works

Becky

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Today I had the pleasure of getting to know more about Evan Stoller of Stoller Works. I sent him a list of questions and he answered me with a the fascinating story of his career path and all of these beautiful photographs. Take it away Evan!

Stoller with his Rail Table

My mother was a painter and my father photographed modern architecture. Modernism was kind of a religion in our home. Living with the works of family friends such as the Eameses, George Nakashima and Alexander Calder was an education in design.

After studying architecture at Pratt Institute I began doing sculpture in NYC. My friends and I rented an abandoned cheese factory in what was to become Tribeca. For five years I had a fabulous skylit studio and produced a series of animal sculptures that culminated in a 9’ x 9’ frog that was designed to jump in the rain. To me, The Frog was my first real-world study in architecture. Organic systems were interpreted, organized and overlaid within an aluminum and spring steel skeletal system. The concept of a moving animal developed along an architectonic path of questions and creative solutions.

Stoller’s Frog Sculpture
My wife Phyllis and I moved out of the city to an abandoned airport, and then to a disused gas station. I began making larger sculptures that were influenced by the lattice construction of cranes and the structural purity of bridges. I completed works that appeared more functional – things that looked like organic lifting devices and sculptures such as ‘Ramp’:
Ramp
‘Ramp’ is a 30’ long incline topped with asphalt. I called them ‘standing structures’ and they developed from, and as an expression of, the environment in which they were displayed. Some stood on long skids for optimal ground support or had pod-like feet to resist sinking into the turf. My sculptures were becoming supporting structures, close relatives of the tables I’m doing now. I completed a huge environmental sculpture in NYC that brought me back into the world of architecture. ‘Maya Station’ was an array of 40’ tension trusses spanning six 20’ tall towers and 10’ tall gates. My inspiration were the forms and spaces of a Mayan city. The sculpture defined an environment on an architectural scale, and after it’s completion I became an architect.

Maya Station

Architectural commissions are a real ‘through the looking glass’ experience. The thrill and complexity of architecture is always a voyage through the unexplored, an arduous but incredible experience. We built our own home  and I began designing a series of houses, studios and more recently a medical clinic and a theater.

Stoller’s Home

A painting studio by Stoller

My most recent sculpture seems like both an architectural model and a huge piece of exterior furniture. ‘Hudson Ecliptic’ is a modular 40′ diameter circular form that floats over rough terrain. It’s constructed from 120 cellular units that each display a tiny painting. Seeming like a chain of galleries, the sculpture becomes a miniature museum.

Hudson Ecliptic

Stoller Works furniture started as custom pieces for architectural clients. I strive to express structural clarity and demonstrate an efficiency of of materials and fabrication. Working with big beams I invented a system to reinforce thin beam slices with tension rods and bolt them into extremely strong and rigid trestle assemblies. With remainders of deep rolled structural sections I make standing desks and podium tables.

Stoller Works Yellow Frame Standing Desk

My tables combine high-tech trestle structures with the warm surface of wood tabletops. We use walnut and ash from known sources and avoid the use of pollutants in manufacturing our products. All our plywood is FSC certified and coated with UV-cured finishes.

Stoller Works Station Table

Stoller Works Foundation Beam Coffee Table

Stoller Works City Desk

Stoller Works Podium Table

Thanks so much to Evan Stoller for taking the time to share his work with us today. Shop all Stoller Works tables and desks here.

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Monday, December 5th, 2011

David Weeks Cubebot: In Action

Becky

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Allow me to introduce the David Weeks Cubebot.

Doesn’t he look friendly? He’s a bit of a transformer for architects, though. When you first meet Cubebot, he looks like this:

If you grew up creating all sorts of fun scenarios for G.I. Joe, or if you’re the type of person who gets a laugh from seeing pictures of sock monkeys doing crazy things, you’ll have a lot of fun with Cubebot and all of the crazy hijinks he gets himself into. I’m loving the pictures taken by Ben —– that someone kindly forwarded me last week. Here’s Cubebot living large:

He can build a heck of a blazing fire:

Here Cubebot toasts some marshmallows for ‘Smores:

Ever polite, Cubebot always brings a nice holiday gift for the hostess:

Always conscious of hygiene, Cubebot makes sure to set a good example for the kids and wash his hands before every meal:

Cubebot also likes to take good care of his body, so that you can fit him back into his original cube form:

Someday he’s going to enter the Mr. Universe bodybuilding contest and win; right now he’s working on his pose:

There are several Cubebots to choose from, including small Cubebot, medium Cubebot, and extra large Cubebot, as well as his cousins Julien Cubebot and Guthrie Cubebot. David Weeks makes all kinds of cool wooden toys that are great for tots and grown-ups alike. We love toys that are NOT made out of plastic. He also makes hilarious gorilla shaped ashtrays. Check out all of designer David Weeks’ products here.

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Friday, April 8th, 2011

Flickr Faves on Fridays: Thomas Wold’s Mystery House Piece

Becky

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I think I have a new favorite Thomas Wold Project. The exuberant light and color this assemblage is emitting adds a whole new level of fun to his work.

Thomas Wold Mystery House

I love seeing the pieces before Thomas puts them together and have this mental image of how his mental images work, with pieces of tables and cabinets and door and legs swirling around, landing in different compositions, then moving again. Check out this post on his blog and you’ll recognize an element or two.

Thanks to Thomas for posting this in our Fresh New Spaces Group!

More pieces by Thomas Wold

Image by markham johnson photography

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Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Most Awesomely Bad Sculpture Ever

Becky

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O.M.G. I received this special People magazine extra thing in the mail the other day called “Stars at Home.” I flipped through it and was pretty bored, until I came to the last page. There I spied the most magnificently horrendous home accessory I’ve ever seen. I wish they sold this at Cost Plus World Market or something, because I think I would give it as a wedding gift at every wedding where someone has made me wear a bridesmaid’s dress. It’s the Michael Bolton (long flowing locks version) bust. I can see this in a dining room next to busts of Beethoven, Bach, and Weird Al Yankovic.  Can you imagine two massive versions of these flanking a front door? I mean, he has the same mane as a lion. Forget Foo Dogs – every time I look at this I think about the Michael Bolton in Office Space and what he called other Michael Bolton, which is not fit to print.

Seriously, let’s get a closer look at that puppy:

  • picture from People
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