R.I.P. bent plywood
admittedly, i'm the world's biggest hypocrite because, for the last year and a half, i've been walking around drooling over the same stuff i'm about to demand be banned from the marketplace but i promise this is all for your own good and it won't hurt a bit.
everyone from offi to ikea has picked up on the trend that designers like the eameses started long ago and because of it we're now awash in a sea of bent plywood. the appeal was (and still is) rather obvious: clean lines, organic curves, minimal joinery and above all- minimal cost. the beauty of the movement was the way that a simple, commonplace material like plywood could be turned into spectacular furniture for a relatively inexpensive price. when aalto, the eameses and thonet first set out to explore this medium, i doubt they could have imagined the way it would eventually dominate and control the mass market like it does now. bent plywood seems to have become the default material and style that any designer can use to appeal to the current market (both high and low end).
the origins of the bent plywood movement belie what it has become- an aesthetic juggernaut that allows bent plywood sculptures from the eameses studio to sell for $130,000 at auctions. so, all good things must come to an end so, bent plywood, despite your pleasing minimalist curves and sturdy, simplistic construction, i must say goodbye to you and make way for new trends, new ideas and new creativity.
it's hard to say where exactly this new inspiration will come from or in what direction it will move, but you can always be sure the end of one movement sparks the beginning of another- so this time, i'm hedging my bets on felt. i know, sounds crazy (and so do these people), but the emergence of heavy-duty, high quality felt in the design world makes me smile, for it too is based on the same values the disciples of bent plywood held so dear- inexpensive, familiar materials used in uncomlicated ways to create beautiful designs.
THE FUTURE OF FELT [the felt up chair*blu dot] it may not be comfortable looking, or comfortable at all, but neither was bent plywood. besides, felt is just so cool. but don't get me started on the orange and grey thing....eesh