16084 Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:39pm
By Barbara Thau
MoMA Design Store has rolled out a new spring/summer collection that takes a cue from nature, strikes a nostalgic chord and speaks to the need to economize in these recessionary times, according to Bonnie Mackay, director of merchandising, creative and marketing.
Among the museum merchant’s 125 new offerings are pieces from boldface-named designers Tord Boontje and Sandy Chilewich, as well as a number of exclusive items.
Noting the economic crisis, Mackay said, “Whenever you are in a situation where it is uncomfortable, people go back to what they know and are familiar with. They are looking to not spend a lot of money, so they might choose [their purchases] more thoughtfully. I feel very strongly that people are going to buy more multipurpose product and will be doing a lot more entertaining at home.”
To that end, MoMA has sprinkled things like the Variation Vase into the mix. Designed by Willem Noyons, the $150 vase offers three display options. The wide end of the funnel-shaped crystal can be used to hold larger bouquets; the narrow end can be used for smaller bouquets or single stems; and a separate bottom piece holds short bouquets.
MoMA has also added what Mackay calls “bring backs” to the mix, things that are “a nod to the past.” These include the Akari Geometric Table Lamp from 1971. Designed by Isamu Noguchi, the lamp’s design features traditional Japanese handicraft with a modernist twist.
“There is a rediscovery of things that we have known before,” Mackay said. Today, “Noguchi looks very fresh and contemporary.” What’s more, “There’s a lot of interest” in natural materials and motifs.
Nature-inspired product in the new MoMA collection include Spring Tumblers designed by Maria Paolina Alamanni and Robert Massi with insect designs; the Future Flora Lamp designed by Boontje that draws inspiration from several floral shapes; and the square stone bowl made from marble pebbles.