As Pamono editors, we have the lucky lot of spending all day everyday exploring vintage and contemporary design. We’re constantly on the hunt—scouting, researching, and profiling amazing pieces and the inspiring people and stories behind them, whether they’re around the corner or around the globe. And believe us when we say: There’s nothing that could make us happier!
Though, to be fair, that’s not the whole truth. There is one other pursuit that makes our design-loving-hearts skip a beat, and that’s SHARING our greatest finds with other design lovers. So we decided to introduce a new, regular column called Field Notes, where we can spotlight our most fabulous recent finds.
Our first Field Notes column is dedicated to Space Age-inspired designs created from the 1950s to today—pieces that call to mind the swelling, undulating, curvaceous aesthetic that emerged during the dawn of space travel and widespread advancements in plastics. Like the set designs in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, these shapes and silhouettes spark mind-tripping flights of fancy, bidding you to dream of the infinite—from the comfort of your very own living room.
Happy hunting, design lovers!
Speaking of Kubrick’s 2001, the Djinn Chairs (1964) by French designer Olivier Mourgue for Airborne famously appeared in the film’s space station lobby scene—and they’ve been considered a classic of the Space Age-style ever since. This fully refurbished pair, offered by Visavu Design in the Netherlands, has been re-upholstered in durable, hand-stitched mustard-yellow wool. Aren’t they super chic after their makeover?
Whether you call it mustard, goldenrod, or maize, this yellow also looks smashing on the iconic Togo Lounge (1973) by Michel Ducaroy for Ligne Roset. Belgian dealer Funky Vintage specializes in refurbishing vintage pieces from major brands like Ligne Roset (which can be particularly tricky with the Togo, given its complex stitching). This one is as good as new and takes chilling out to unparalleled heights of refinement.
If you’ll permit us one more golden-hued Space Age find, then check out this groovy set of molded fiberglass chairs offered by Italian dealer Domus Nova. We’re not sure who designed them, but they sure are reminiscent of the work of plastic-master Luigi Colani. The color; the biomorphic, sculptural form—this is Space Age design at its retro-fun finest.
Toni Zuccheri designed for Venini throughout the postwar era, and many of his pieces are rather traditional, especially his tabletop glass bird figurines. But his lighting designs in the ’70s are a different story. Layers of transparent and opaque glass, often featuring amorphous stalactite-like structures suspended inside globes, give them a delicious otherworldly quality. This one from Ebelmonte Gallery in Italy has been rewired and is ready to bring some Space Age fabulousness to some lucky collector’s home.
It’s widely agreed that the Castiglioni brothers were geniuses; totally head of their time. Like almost all of their designs, their Snoopy Lamp (1967) for Flos holds a firm place in the canon of design. In fact, it’s so beloved that Flos put this classic back into production in 2008. But Flos only makes them in black these days. The pop-tastic green version is only available on the vintage market. This one from Eratomium in Switzerland shows a little sign of wear, but vintage lovers like us know this is only adds to the unique character.
German designer Christian Werner developed his midcentury-inspired Pop Lounge for Ligne Roset in 2002. Sadly, it wasn’t in production for very long, so this beauty is only available on the vintage market now. This one comes to us through Dutch vintage dealer BarbMama and features to-die-for fuchsia upholstery. Though the silhouette harkens back to the Space Age, Pop’s curvaceously minimalist silhouette is rather timeless, don’t you think?
Contemporary French design studio Woodlabo creates lighting inspired by “the conquest of space.” Their Moon Pendant (2016) was developed as a part of their larger Eagle series and echoes the form of the Eagle Lunar Module that first took humans to the moon in 1969. As it floats above, light spills through the birch panels, accentuating its vessel-like shape. Every one is made by hand in France using only wood from sustainable European forests.
The Dramatic Pantheon/Pantheoff
Named after the famous temple in Rome, the celestial Pantheon/Pantheoff (2015) from London’s Analogia Project recreates in miniature its namesake’s divine form—a perfect hemisphere pierced by an oculus at its center. The hanging structure up top calls to mind a spacecraft’s orbit. This piece is made by hand under the curatorial watch of super-hip Camp Design Gallery in Italy. Depending on your perspective, Pantheon/Pantheoff may appear alternately brooding or lux—but it’s always 100% pure, fabulous drama.
Anna CarnickAnna is Pamono’s Managing Editor. Her writing has appeared in several arts and culture publications, and she's edited over 20 books. Anna loves celebrating great artists, and seriously enjoys a good picnic.
Wava CarpenterAfter studying Design History, Wava has worn many hats in support of design culture: teaching design studies, curating exhibitions, overseeing commissions, organizing talks, writing articles—all of which informs her work now as Pamono’s Editor-in-Chief.