features
#047 / 2003-2015

first of a four-part series

Top ten pdfs on design

Though nothing in life is free, reports, newsletters, dissertations and guides in PDF on the Web, available at no charge, come close. And as most "free" things are made available for a reason, you should be cautious. Having said that, for the cost of toner and paper the following 10 PDFs are an information bargain.

These selected PDFs focus on the design process (history, theory and education). PDFs about production, sustainability and marketing will be added at a later date.

To download any item click the cover image. As links on this page become obsolete, furniturelink will add new content.

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Herman Miller: Modern Classics

Author: Herman Miller (USA)

Format: 16 pages, (824KB)

Produced by Herman Miller in 2003, this PDF details the company's history and products by its world-famous designers George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi as illustrated by magazine ads about the company from 1945 to 1963.

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Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture

Author: Vitra Design (Germany)

Format: 18 pages, (1370KB)

Produced by the Vitra Design Museum to accompany its travelling exhibition this document includes examples of Marcel Breuer's steel furniture many designed while he was head the furniture workshop at the Bauhaus from 1925 to 1928.

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Everybody Deserves a Good Chair

Author: Herman Miller (USA)

Format: 11 pages, (129KB)

This Herman Miller report states good ergonomic chair design should first fit the user, then fit the task, and then allow for posture change and a variety of activities.

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Biomimicry in Furniture Design

Author: Filiz Tavsan, Elif Sonmez (Turkey)

Format: 8 pages, (1939KB)

This academic paper investigates the macro/micro sized forms and materials available in nature that have inspired aesthetic and practical furniture designs. Images show a range of professional and student furniture designs incorporating biomimicry concepts.

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Czech Furniture Industry

Author: Business/Trade (Czech Republic)

Format: 22 pages, (737KB)

This 2007 magazine reprint provides an overview of the Czech Republic furniture industry, including statistical data and articles by manufacturers, academics and other industry specialists.

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Alvar Aalto

Author: Barbican Centre (UK)

Format: 15 pages, (2910KB)

In 2007 the Barbican Art Gallery in London published this high-school-level "teachers resource" to accompany a major retrospective of Aalto's work. Curated by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the exhibit includes examples of Alto's housing, furniture and glassware.

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Fact Sheet Demmark

Author: Min. Foreign Affairs (Denmark)

Format: 12 pages, (620KB)

This brochure from the Danish government provides background information on the country's furniture and industrial designers. Danish furniture designers listed include Mathias Bengtsson, Nanna Ditzel, Arne Jacobsen, Niels Jørgen Haugesen, Verner Panton and Hans J. Wegner.

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Compasso d’Oro and Changes in the Italian Domestic Landscape

Author: Kathryn W. Wulfing (USA)

Format: 95 pages, (2775KB)

This Virginia Polytechnic Institute 2003 Masters of Science thesis explores the relationship between selected items from the Italian industrial design award Compasso d’Oro and how they reflect the changes in technology, design, and society over five decades from 1950 to 2000.

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New Tools and Methods in Furniture Design

Author: P. Eriksson et. al. (Sweden)

Format: 56 pages (648KB)

Written by the Material and Design Studio at Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, this report details two studies of "collaborative design" projects (involving many specialists working together) on chair design projects.

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Supporting Free-form Design Using a Component Based Representation:

Author: Machwe/Parmee (UK)

Format: 4 pages, (539KB)

This short "academic" paper explains the interactive evolutionary design system (IEDS) that allows the use of flexible representation with different rule sets in the conceptual design phase to generate design solutions.

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