Joe D'Urso Swivel Lounge for Knoll 2008
Granny Smith apple form covered-appropriately enough-in Granny Smith apple green fabric. Large polished aluminum pedestal base. Seat rotates and lifts with pneumatic lever (see pic).
This chair marks a kind of a return to industrial design at Knoll for a legendary interior designer working now for three decades. Joe D'Urso designed the successful Racetrack line of tables for Knoll in the eighties. More whimsical and friendly than famous examples of his industrial sensibility, the new line for Knoll, nevertheless, embodies his preference for minimal forms and openness to industrial materials.
A graduate of Pratt’s department of interior design and architecture, Joseph Paul D’Urso went on to become a Fellow of the Manchester College of art and Design and the Royal College of arts in London. D’Urso made his name during the heady days of Seventies hi-tech . He is generously cited in the bible of same, "High-Tech The Industrial Style ad Source Book for the Home," by Kron and Slesin published in the late 70's. But despite his famous use of hard edge industrial materials, D'Urso carved out a niche as a minimalist. D’Urso explains, "I want to create spaces that are serene and easy to live in." The "less and more functional" might well be what Corbusier likewise imagined when he referred to the house as a machine.
D’urso cemented his reputation in the mid-1970s designing “high-tech” private residences and showrooms as well as furniture including the famous safety glass and enameled steel coffee table which calls to mind the sculpture of Donald Judd and like minded architect/designer Gae Aulenti, a D’Urso contemporary.
D'Urso designs reflect, his choosing, “objects that look more engineered than styled." Form and function-an all too often cited dictum-informs a distinct career in D'Urso's case. His functionalism and minimalism are demonstrated in his preference for bare walls and gray contract carpeting. As D’Urso put it, some 30 years ago, "I use commercial carpeting in dark gray because it's easy to clean, nice to sit on, doesn't show dirt, is a unifying element, and is the most logical material to cover floors in New York apartments."