This month's Fast Company pays homage to great design and designers, with Marcel Wanders on the cover and colorful stories on Rhode Island School of Design's John Maeda, the eccentric Li Edelkoort and typeface provocateurs House Industries.
Here's someone they forgot:
Over in Brookline, Vermont, this offbeat artist creates the type of eye-popping, innovative American furniture not seen since the early days of Charles and Ray Eames. The pictures here speak way louder than words (the actual furniture raises the decibel level even further; I had the pleasure of laying on the Coin Couch and sitting on the remarkably comfortable Baby Jar Chair in a gallery in Santa Fe), but Swing's truly unique talent is best summarized by writer Michael Persson who said:
"Finding new shapes is like finding new riffs in rock ‘n’ roll. And yet, sitting in a piece of furniture created by Johnny Swing you realize that the song doesn’t always remain the same. Instead, what you are struck with is that new shapes feel as good as they look.
"The self-proclaimed 'junk rat' uses glass jars, coinage and car windshields to make chairs, couches, lounges and things that you can’t quite name. In design, or in Swing’s world of design, this simulation is known as repurposing: taking something that was and making it into something different that is. Such visual cannibalism is a philosophy extrapolated from the artist Marcel Duchamp and the topsy-turvy rationale of pop-aesthete Andy Warhol. For Swing, it’s a balancing act of function versus non-function. The trick is to make opposites attract."
It's a trick he performs brilliantly. This blog doesn't have the clout of Fast Company (well, not yet), but as much as I admire Marcel Wenders, Johnny Swing is Pow!'s cover boy. Check his stuff out: