Renowned architect Frank Gehry recently unveiled his latest project – a deconstructivist chess set produced in collaboration with luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. Gehry is no stranger to working on a small scale, and the tradition of architects working in the field of industrial and product design has a long tradition. Modernist masters like Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright designed everything in their buildings down to the chairs and tableware.
Gehry’s objects, such as the legless, cardboard Wiggle Side Chair, have met with varying degrees of success. However, when concept and execution mesh, the end product can become an iconic structure, gracing floors, ceilings, and feet around the world. Philippe Starck, Zaha Hadid, and Daniel Libeskind in particular have created innovative objects that align with their architectural ethos.
Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost Chair, designed for Kartell in 2002, fuses ornate, regal design with postmodern minimalism. The iconic chair, modeled on the seat of King Louis XV, features a similar shape but does away with the plush padding of the original. Made of plastic in a variety of hues, it has become a regular in restaurants and homes.
British designer Zaha Hadid created a futuristic pair of shoes for Lacoste in 2008 that, like her buildings, look galactic and postmodern. Made of leather with ergonomic benefits, they were intended to hug the feet comfortably and add a touch of starchitecture to a common object.
A hulking glass chandelier, produced in association with Austrian company Zumbotel is one of the recent innovations from One World Trade Center architect Daniel Liebskind. The el Masterpiece chandelier, revealed in 2011, requires 1,680 LED units to function and can light up in seven different hues. Each LED unit can be controlled individually—the cutting edge of chandelier technology.