May 25 – September 5, 2010
Blu Dot is a Minneapolis-based furniture design company founded by three artists — John Christakos, Charles Lazor and Maurice Blanks. As Christakos explains, “The three of us were college friends and shared a passion for art, architecture, and design. After we left college and began to furnish our first homes, we didn’t like the stuff we could afford and we couldn’t afford the stuff we liked. We figured we were not alone and were naïve enough to try and do something about it.
Blu Dot was born in 1997.
“What makes our furniture different – and affordable – is that we approach design from the inside out, with production, packaging, and shipping in mind. Efficiency is built-in to our planning from the very beginning. Not only do we anticipate the kinds of machinery necessary for manufacture, we know exactly how the equipment will lay out on a piece of plywood. It’s pretty cool to design a great coffee table, but it’s pretty hard to conceive a great coffee table that can be built for $188, and shipped flat by UPS. When you introduce those kinds of constraints things become a lot more interesting.”
The Blu Dot designers explain that their goal is to deliver good design to as many people as possible by creating useful products that are affordable, and desirable. This starts with an imaginative show-and-tell with concepts, but depends as well upon an integration with the process of manufacture that goes from pencil and paper, to materials and machines, to packaging and assembly. Blu Dot’s fundamental design idea is to think of form as the inevitable by-product of the process. According to John Christakos, “Our job is simply to help it emerge as beautifully and as efficiently as possible.”
When we opened our SoHo store in 2008, we became surrounded by the resourceful culture of “curb-mining”: the act of finding furniture and art on the street. Now that a year has passed, our friends at mono approached us with a way to conduct a curb-mining experiment of our own: What would happen if we left a bunch of Real Good Chairs all over New York, free for the take? Who will grab them? Where will they go? How will they get there? What will their new homes look like? Thus, the REAL GOOD experiment was born. To Learn more about this experiment and to watch the short film, click here.