Summer Sale 2014

The Aram Store Summer Sale will start at 10am on Saturday 14th June and will continue to Saturday 26th July. There will be 15% discount off all new orders – *excluding online orders for products from Moooi and Foscarini.

Lounge Chair and Footstool Offer

We also have a fantastic offer on lounge chairs and matching footstools. Order any new lounge chair (with the 15% discount off RRP) and add the matching footstool at 50% discount off the RRP. ​

Exclusive Toy Van give-away

As usual, we also have substantial discounts on many ex-display items in store. These are available on a first-come-first-served basis in store only. They include:

Ex-display items at up to 40% offEx-display items at up to 40% off

Plus many more!

ARAM STORE

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Li Yuan-chia Cosmagnetic Multiple

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations, we have produced, in association with LYC Foundation, a piece of kinetic art – Cosmagnetic Multiples – created by the late Chinese conceptual artist Li Yuan-chia who worked with Zeev Aram in 1966.

Li Yuan-chia (1929-1994)

Increasingly recognised as one of the outstanding artists of the second half of the 20th century, Li Yuan-chia was a highly sensitive artist/poet and audacious experimenter. He produced a very special syncretic art, convincingly combining Chinese traditions of thought and European abstraction, to propose something individual and new.  He brought together the concrete, open space we associate with Malevich or Mondrian, with a symbolic use of colour. Li habitually used only four colours: black, which stood for origin and end, red for blood and life, gold for nobility and white for purity. But he was not dogmatic. In his late hand-coloured photographic prints he employed the subtlest nuances of colour.

Li’s guiding concept, artistic and philosophical, was the Cosmic Point. Emerging first out of brush-marks on folding scrolls, the Point later became a solid object, round, square or triangular, about 7cm across, with a magnetic base. It could be moved about on any metallic surface and, with typical generosity, Li opened his work to the participation of others: viewers could move the points about to make new networks, hubs and relationships. Li always wanted the spectator to be the creator.

The Cosmic Point stood for the universe, the origin and the end of all creation, and for the individual’s life journey. To begin with the solid Point objects were monochromatic, using the four symbolic colours – as in the Cosmagnetic Multiple. Later, words were added on the Points and small photographic images, fragments of life and experience, sometimes in the form of ‘points within points’.

At once an artist, curator and poet, Li Yuan-chia’s inclusive approach to art and life anticipated the attitude and practice of many of today’s contemporary artists. He wrote: “You can look at my work symbolically. You can think of it conceptually. You can play with it as a toy or game. Or you can appreciate it for its own beauty.”

© Guy Brett, Writer and Curator, Trustee LYC Foundation – March 2013

Li Yuan-chia

LYC Foundation

The artist Li Yuan-chia came to England in 1966. He came with a group of artists for an exhibition at the Signal Gallery – he decided to stay in London. Li worked at Aram Designs and during this period he produced the first of this kinetic art. Later, his work was exhibited and promoted by Lisson Gallery London, who produced the first kinetic art multiple pieces.

In the late 1960s Li Yuan-chia established his LYC Museum + Art Gallery in Banks, Brampton, Cumbria. This became an important art centre for the area, mounting a variety of exhibitions. The centre also held workshops for poetry writing, painting and hand crafts for both children and adults. In the late 1980s Li took part in a large exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London.

Li’s work is in the collection of the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Tate. His archive is held at the John Rylands Library in Manchester. A major retrospective of Li’s work opened in March 2014 at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan.

Aram will donate £10 from every Cosmagnetic Multiple unit sold to Li Yuan-chia’s LYC Foundation.

Cosmagnetic Multiple - Li Yuan-chia

The Cosmagnetic Multiple kinetic art comprises a white lacquered steel panel, 4 x magnetic Points – Black: Origin + End, Red: Life + Blood, Gold: Nobility, White: Purity – and a wall hanging batten with screws and rawlplugs. Priced at £395 – please contact the store to purchase.

Cosmagnetic Multiple - Li Yuan-chia

For further information on Li Yuan-chia, please visit www.lycfoundation.org and www.iniva.org chronology.

ARAM STORE

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In an occasional series of blog posts to mark our 50th Anniversary, we are highlighting some of the iconic masterpieces of 20th Century design that were first introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs.

LC4 Chaise Longue - Le Corbusier Charlotte Perriand Pierre Jeanneret

 

LC Collection

Designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand in 1928

Introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs in 1966

Le Corbusier said “chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois”. He began experimenting with furniture design in 1928 after inviting the architect, Charlotte Perriand, to join his studio. His cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, was already collaborating on many of his designs and after the arrival of Perriand, they began to put the expectations for furniture he outlined in his 1925 book L’Art Décoratif d’Aujourd’hui into practice. The first results of the collaboration were three chrome-plated, tubular steel chairs designed for two of his recent architectural projects – Maison La Roche and a pavilion for modern art collectors of the time, Barbara and Henry Church. This line of furniture was then expanded for Corbusier’s 1929 Salon d’Automne installation, ‘Equipment for the Home’, and included the LC1, LC2, LC3 and LC4 Chaise Longue.

LC3/2 Sofa Le Corbusier Charlotte Perriand Pierre Jeanneret

Sofa LC3/2

LC3 Chairs Le Corbusier Charlotte Perriand Pierre Jeanneret

Chairs LC3

The LC Collection is now produced under licence by Cassina in Italy, along with other designs by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. There is a wide choice of leather colours for the upholstery and several enamel frame colours, as well as classic chrome.

ARAM STORE

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In an occasional series of blog posts to mark our 50th Anniversary, we are highlighting some of the iconic masterpieces of 20th Century design that were first introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs.

Toio Lamp

 

Toio Lamp

Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962

Introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs in 1965

The Toio Lamp’s shape and aesthetic was born from assembling ready-made, industrial materials but then modifying their functions and giving them new applications.  The curved steel structure that rises up from the base functions as a handle and also holds the height-adjustable, hexagonal chromed steel stem equipped with fishing rod loops which channel the electrical leads up to the light source. The universal transformer is kept in plain view at the base but this also serves as a counterweight for stability.

Two curved steel rods hold the light source; a special 300 watt car headlamp which, in the 60’s, was originally imported from the United States.

Toio Lamp

Manufactured since its inception by Flos in Italy, Toio is a sculptural object of industrial robustness. The frame is available in red, black or white.

ARAM STORE

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Aram 50 - since 1964

Today is the very day it all started 50 years ago back in 1964.  Zeev Aram opened his first showroom on the Kings Road, Chelsea on 9th April of that year.

Aram Designs 57 Kings Road

He took a lease on the property at number 57, a former greasy spoon café called the Cosy Dining Room (three-course lunch for 3s 6d in those days…), and transformed it into a modernist sanctuary for all those design mavens yearning to bring a little chromed steel and glass furniture into their homes.

With its stark and minimalist interior, his showroom certainly cut a swathe through all the ‘swinging’ that was going on in London at that time and quizzical passers-by who would stop and press their noses up against the window were mostly left confused by what they saw inside. Zeev Aram would, discreetly, stand outside the showroom listening to the dissenters as they drifted by but still have a wry smile on his face as, for him, it was much more important for there to be a reaction (good or bad) rather than indifference.

What these cynical voyeurs didn’t realise was that they were actually peering into the birth of a bold attempt to inject an appreciation of modern taste into the furniture buying populace. The ‘rubbish’ and ‘uncomfortable’ furniture, as they referred to it, was actually designed by Bauhaus icon, Marcel Breuer, the Italian maverick, Achille Castiglioni and, over the next couple of years, the works of Le Corbusier would be displayed in the window (the famous LC4 chaise longue took pride of place, above) and become available to the UK market for the first time, all thanks to the tenacity and uncompromising vision of Mr. Zeev Aram.

Aram Store 110 Drury Lane Covent Garden

What’s fascinating is that this same scenario still plays out today at the Aram Store here on Drury Lane whereby people will curiously leer in through the vast shop front windows and wonder what lies within…  a scenario, I imagine, that will still be playing out in another 50 years time.

MYLES BROWN

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Salone del Mobile

The Milan Furniture Fair – or ‘Salone’ for short – is the largest trade fair of its kind in the world, showcasing the latest trends and designs from over 2,500 companies across 230,000 square metres of the Fiera Milano showground. Milan itself becomes and extended exhibition space for the week as flagship showrooms and areas such as Zona Tortona host events and installations for the many global visitors.

The 'Salone' at the Fiera Milano showground

Many manufacturers present prototypes of new concepts to gauge reaction that then informs the full production version of a design later in the year. New stuff is usually seen in Milan first!

This year we will be tweeting and posting live from the fair throughout the week (8th to 13th April), so follow us on twitter and facebook to see our pick of the most interesting stuff on show.

Home is at the heart of the Salone – watch an introductory video from iSaloni.

ARAM STORE

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Hans Wegner's 100th Birthday

Wednesday 2nd April 2014 would have been Danish designer Hans J Wegner’s 100th birthday. To celebrate this centenary, manufacturer Carl Hansen & Søn are offering a very special edition of Wegner’s most well-known design – the CH24 ‘Wishbone’ chair. Order your Wishbone chair in the OILED OAK and NATURAL PAPERCORD finish and it will be specially engraved with Wegner’s signature. The engraving is done by laser on the side stretcher of the chair and includes the date 2/4/2014.

Designer Hans J Wegner

Order your oiled oak Wishbone chair now as these special ‘signed’ versions are sure to become highly sought-after collectors’ pieces.

ARAM STORE

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In an occasional series of blog posts to mark our 50th Anniversary, we are highlighting some of the iconic masterpieces of 20th Century design that were first introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs.

Sanluca by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Sanluca Armchair

Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1961

Introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs in 1965

Sanluca Armchair

The Sanluca represents a very interesting study into the possibilities of providing a comfortable armchair comprised of a very rigid structure.  The design process was developed using models made of clay, plaster and wood along with meticulous ergonomic research, resulting in a certain autonomy that suggests an idea of elasticity rather than a disciplined form.

Sketches for Sanluca by the Castiglioni brothers

The armchair is composed of three separate points (seat, backrest and headrest) of support with a pressed steel frame padded with polyurethane foam in varying degrees of thickness and then upholstered in leather.  Separately manufactured and finished, the three elements are then bolted together before the lathe-turned, solid wood legs are inserted into the structure of the lateral armrests

Sanluca - made by Poltrona Frau

Made in Italy by world-renowned manufacturer Poltrona Frau, Sanluca is available in leather upholstery in a wide range of colours.

ARAM STORE

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Outdoor Furniture Offer for Spring

It’s officially Spring! The days are now longer than the nights and, after such a wet winter, we’re hoping for a fabulous Summer to make up for it. So thoughts turn to enjoying our outdoor spaces – dining and relaxing under sunny or starry skies – and we are offering a 15% discount off all of our outdoor furniture range this week.

Cane-Line Outdoor Furniture

Cane-Line is a Danish company and has been producing specialist, weather proof furniture, worldwide, for 25 years. Their use of the phrase ‘life made comfortable’ encapsulates the philosophy behind a mission to add value to the environments where you unwind and relax by putting aesthetics and functionality hand in hand.

Cane-Line Outdoor Furniture

The range consists of sofas, lounge chairs, dining chairs and tables and a selection of side and coffee tables… even rugs; all finished in weather-proof and virtually maintenance-free materials such as polyethylene and coated polyesters that are UV resistant, colourfast and resistant to water or frost damage.

Outdoor sofas and chairs

Sofa and chair cushions are upholstered in Cane-line Tex® (a coated polyester fabric) and filled with QuickDryFoam® providing maximum drainage and air circulation which allows the cushions to dry faster – within 20 mins – after exposure to rain, dew or splashes from your pool! The QuickDryFoam® also has antibacterial protection which prevents any risk of fungus or mould growth within the cushion. We should also add that the Cane-Line range of furniture is available on a very short order lead time from stock in Denmark and can be delivered into our London warehouse within two weeks from the point of order.

The Schultz Collection

Knoll International has recently brought the Schultz Collection to the European market. Commissioned in the 1960s by Florence Knoll, she specifically requested a range of outdoor furniture that would withstand the corrosive salt air of her Florida ocean-front home. The result was the 1966 Collection, made from cast and extruded aluminium and weather resistant polyester powder coating and comprising dining tables, dining chairs and loungers.

Knoll Outdoor Furniture

Magis Design is an Italian company that specialises in the design opportunities afforded by moulded plastics. Utilising the skills of well-known designers such as Konstantin Grcic, Javier Mariscal, el Ultimo Grito, Jasper Morrison, Tom Heatherwick, Ron Arad and Jaime Hayon, many of their designs have become instant modern classics. Plastics such as polypropylene and polyethylene are well suited to use outdoors and the bright colours that can be employed add a touch of playfulness and joy to any space, whether it’s an urban balcony or patio or an English country garden.

Magis Design

This offer is available for one week only – Friday 21 March to Sunday 30 March – and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

ARAM STORE

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Martino Gamper – whose designs have been exhibited in The Aram Gallery, including the prototype of his ‘Sit Together’ bench – has curated a new exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery: ‘Design is a State of Mind’. The exhibition draws together collections of found items belonging to Gamper’s own friends, who are also designers and artists, and the shelves on which to display these objects.

USM Haller modular storage

USM Haller modular storage (right) with Jason Evans’ wooden spoons

The shelving units represent some of the 20th century’s definitive designs, by Alvar Aalto, Dieter Rams, Charlotte Perriand and Franco Albini et al, including the USM Haller modular storage system and Vico Magistretti’s Nuvola Rossa bookcase made by Cassina.

Nuvola Rossa Vico Magistretti

Nuvola Rossa bookcase by Vico Magistretti

The collections themselves are a mixture of the mundane and the curious, found objects that throw light on the things that inspire us and which suggest that design does not exist in a bubble but in the context of a broad spectrum of cultural and personal references. The USM units for example, display photographer Jason Evans’ collection of wooden spoons, picked up on his travels and displayed like archeological artefacts. Alvar Aalto’s 112B shelves hold designer Fabien Cappello’s unintentional collection of bowls.

Aalto 112B Shelf Fabien Cappello

Alvar Aalto’s 112B shelves (centre) with Fabien Cappello’s bowls

As Gamper says: “There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally. Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual. This exhibition will showcase a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale.”

The exhibition runs until 21 April 2014.

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