Many individuals contributed to the first edition of this book. To those who took time to discuss and comment on the manuscript drafts, contribute drawings or photographs, provide information, resources, ideas, and encouragement, I am sincerely grateful.
For the past 25 years, I have taught in the School of Architecture and Interior Design within the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. DAAP is composed of many design disciplines and has a long history of cooperative practice providing students with professional internships in firms across the country and around the world. DAAP provides a design-centered, collaborative environment. To those students who have participated in my furniture design seminar at the university and in taking the course, have documented and analyzed, or designed and fabricated working prototypes of furniture, you have been a continued source of inspiration, knowledge, and joy for me as an educator.
The numerous visits to galleries and museums that have furniture among their collections, here in the States and abroad, have been a significant resource for research. I am grateful to the Mingei International Museum in San Diego; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA in New York; the Cincinnati Art Museum; the Pompidou Center, Musee d’Arts Decoratifs, Musee du Louvre, and Musee D’Orsay in Paris; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen. The collective experiences viewing and studying furniture in a museum setting have contributed to a broader, research-based perspective about furniture and design.
Furniture showrooms, design centers, and international furniture fairs continue to be important venues where one can see, touch, sit, meet with the owner or manager of a furniture company, and discuss what sells and learn why. Among the hundreds of showrooms visited over the past 20 years, Paustian in Copenhagen, M2L in NYC, the San Francisco Design Center, the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Voltage in Cincinnati, Cassina’s showroom in Milan, and Kartell’s showroom in Helsinki are among the best. Furniture fairs including, Highpoint, NC, ICFF in New York, the Salone del Mobile di Milano, and NEOCON in Chicago are all important events to see and visit for anyone interested in furniture design. They continue to be an invaluable resource of contemporary furniture design, and the peripheral design-centered receptions, parties, and openings are excellent opportunities for those in the industry, designers, and clients to interact.
Designing and making furniture over the past 30 years has yielded for me an inner sense of assurance on the subject. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to design over 400 individual furniture pieces for architectural and interior commissions.
Meeting and getting to know those who design furniture is invaluable. I am grateful to have known many furniture designers, including Erling Christoffersen, professor at DIS; Boris Berlin, co-owner of KOMPLOT Design, and Troels Grum-Schwensen in Copenhagen;
Yoshiharu Hatano in Castelleto Ticino (Italy); Mario Bellini, Achille Castiglioni, and Ettore Sottsass, all of whom have had offices in Milan; and Emiliano Godoy of GODOYLAB in Mexico City.
To those who have written about furniture design, I am particularly indebted, especially to Mark Hinchman, Anne Massey, John Pile, David Pye, and Edward Lucie Smith.
To those companies that make furniture, including, B & B Italia, Cassina, Vitra, Giogetti, Fritz Hansen, Rud Rasmussen, and to those individuals who craft furniture, including Pierluigi Ghianda, Mario Terraneo, Soren Holst Pedersen of PP Mobler Design, and the late George Nakashima, you and your work have been sources of inspiration.
To the readers of Furniture Design, it is a special satisfaction for me to introduce this second edition. I hope this book complements those books in the classroom and on your shelves and continues to inspire students and designers in their quest to better understand the comprehensive and extensive nature of designing and making furniture.
I thank Paul Drougas, acquisitions editor at John Wiley & Sons, for the opportunity and encouragement to write a second edition of this book. This edition has provided an opportunity to make changes both substantial and marginal in response to suggestions from students, teachers, and designers who use the book.
Shortly after John Pile agreed to write the foreword for the first edition of this book, he passed away. His books on the subjects of modern furniture and interior design are marked by their balance of technical information and thoughtful insight about design, supported by great images. John had a remarkable career as a teacher, author, and practitioner— always with focus on design. He contributed significantly to the study of furniture design and interior design and was influential in the development of this book. He was a source of inspiration, a mentor, and a supporter for the book. I wish to dedicate this edition in his honor.