Visual Inventory: New-ish Classics

Jun 21, 2013

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Each month EQ3’s Creative Director, Thom Fougere, shares culture recommendations and findings that are currently inspiring him. His monthly musings focus on a theme and how he’s seeing it used across different industries (ie. design, film, music, online and photography, etc.).


This month’s theme is:






“too old to be new, too new to be classic” – DFA Records tagline coined by founder and LCD Soundsystem frontman, James Murphy.


After too many years of consumable, disposable culture, there is a new wave of people creating with the intention of longevity. The result of their creativity – whether it be music, film, fashion, furniture, architecture or poetry – is too young to be considered a classic, but too good not to mention. Welcome to this month’s blog post featuring my favourite future classics.







FILM / Before Midnight

Like a lot of Richard Linklater’s films, the ‘Before’ series – Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and, it’s latest edition, Before Midnight, which released a few weeks ago – are culturally relevant, poignant and simple films that never date themselves. The series honestly illustrates the significance of every moment and the feelings that come from these moments, rather than focus on a strict narrative. These films are an easy, necessary watch.





LITERATURE / Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallaces’ 1996 masterpiece, could already be considered a modern-day classic. Written as a lengthy post-modern fiction spanning many years and characters, and riddled with over 388 end-notes, Infinite Jest is arguably Wallace’s most iconic (and long-winded) book from his short career. If you want to know what it’s about in the fewest words possible, the back cover sums up the book nicely – “A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the pursuit of happiness in America.”





ARCHITECTURE / Peter Zumthor

Above is a picture of Peter Zumthor’s 2011 Serpentine Pavilion. The temporary pavilion featured a Swiss meadow enclosed and cut off from surrounding London, bringing a quiet serenity of light, nature and atmosphere to the visitor. Throughout his career, Zumthor has been focused on finding ways to bring the occupant into his world, cutting out the surrounding noise of the world with a subtle, honest and resolved approach.


In a recent interview, Zumthor disclosed his personal and careful position on his work:


“…I need a genuine interest in the project. So if a rich guy comes to me and says ‘I would like a nice house on a ski resort, and money is not a problem, I’d like a nice place for me and my friends to come to stay, could you think about something?’ even though he might be a nice guy or is a nice guy I say No. For me it would mean four years out of my life and for you it is just another weekend house somewhere, so this doesn’t go together.” via Architects Journal


Well deserving of the 2009 Prizker Prize, Zumthor’s buildings from the past twenty years alone are already considered modern-day classics – from the Brother Klaus Field Chapel (my personal favourite) and the Homes for Senior Citizens in Chur, Switzerland, to his most famous, Therme Vals in Vals, Switzerland.





FURNITURE / Mattiazzi

Mattiazzi, a small Italian, family-run furniture manufacturer has existed under the radar for decades, acting primarily as a sub-contractor for other manufacturers. Roughly five years ago, Mattiazzi burst onto the scene with their Branca chair designed by Sam Hecht & Industrial Facility. Utilizing the high-tech machinery that the Mattiazzi family had to offer, Hecht produced an organically shaped solid wood chair, that could be mass produced. Accomplishing something that previously only hand-made furniture could, the Branca chair put the manufacturing process in the spotlight and was one of the first products to highlight the relationship between craftsmanship and technology. The video below shows the interesting design and manufacturing processes that make these overly complex wood chairs possible:



Mattiazzi has since collaborated with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, and Jasper Morrison, ever pushing the limits of manufacturing and furniture design.


Images Sources: credited as shown above


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