Greycoats Invasion of Ralph Rapson's Glass Cube

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted September 11, 2014 in Architecture, Cave Chair, Cranbrook, Greenbelt, Loll Designs, Minneapolis, Minnesota Modern Cabins, Photography, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson Cave Chair, Rapson Greenbelt Rocker, Rapson Rocker, Wisconsin Modern Cabins

Perched on the quiet bluffs above Wisconsin's Apple River, the iconic Rapson “Glass Cube” recently played host to a collaborative invasion by the Minneapolis-based band “Greycoats”, videographer Nate Matson, and numerous roadies. The event was part of Nate’s recent project “Spaces”, a series of music videos highlighting popular bands within their creative process; this was a foray out of the studio and into a visual and radical sound box.

 

Not only were the resident eagles soaring close for a curious look, a passing thunderstorm layered in some serious sound effects sure to please. We hope the sound man found its rumbling as opportune as we did, as we thought they added wonderfully to Greycoat’s engaging style that City Pages writer Rob Van Alstyne said shows an “appetite for the unusual”.

 

Ralph Rapson would have been intrigued by the use of what he considered his place of retreat. For over 30 years he welcomed others to share in its beauty and experience the tangible influence the rolling hills and his “cube” within those hills impart on the consciousness.  Adding in a little great music was a wonderful new twist. The fact that Greycoats are effectively the in-house band for high-energy Rapson retailer Forage Modern Workshop made the whole idea of the recorded jam session just too cool to pass up.

 

 

Lead singer Jon Reine appears contemplative and content while “taking five” in the Rapson Cave Chair by Loll Designs.      

 

The Rapson family has a new-found appreciation for the amount of equipment necessary to record, film, light, and create beautiful music. In turn, I hope the crew is appreciative of the clapping (for the great music) and slapping (as a result of the mosquito invasion that took place after hauling in and out said equipment). I fondly remember Ralph harping—“quick, close the screen doors before the local population joins us”. Thanks, Greycoats (Jon, Titus, Mike, and Matt) for an interesting day, and of course, thanks to Ralph for providing a great hang-out.

 

 

 

Nate Matson and the Greycoats setting up.

 

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Rapson Designs Featured at Chicago Modern Art Exhibit

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted August 20, 2013 in Chicago Modern, Cranbrook, Greenbelt, Knoll, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson Greenbelt Line, Rapson Greenbelt Rocker, Rapson Rapid Rocker, Rapson Rocker, Rapson-Inc.

We are so thrilled that two Rapson Greenbelt Chairs were included in this great new exhibit on the New Bauhaus in Chicago.  

 

The exhibit, housed at the Ukrainian Institute for Modern Art, highlights the role of the New Bauhaus designers in Chicago in the late 1930s and 1940s, when Ralph Rapson was practicing in Chicago and teaching at the school.

We at Rapson-Inc. are hoping for a road trip in September to see it for ourselves, but here are a few pics of the exhibit in case you can't make it to Chicago:

 

 

 

 

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George Heinrich

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted May 05, 2013 in Architecture, Minneapolis, Minnesota, modern architecture, Photography, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson Greenbelt Rocker, Rapson Rapid Rocker

George Heinrich is a Minneapolis based photographer whose exceptional work was much admired by Ralph. He has photographed for both the Children's Theater and the Jungle Theater. His photo's have graced the covers of Architecture Magazine and Architecture Minnesota. 


George also has a person connection to the Rapsons, and took a very nice set of portraits of Ralph late in life. Over the years he also photographed projects for Rapson Architects including the Pillsbury House and the U of MN 19th Street Parking Ramp. More recently George took pictures of Ralph's prototypes for Rapson-Inc's current furniture line. The photos below are all Heinrich work.


Ralph Rapson's personal Rapid Rocker with custom bentwood back.

Ralph Rapson's personal Rapson Rapid Rocker (with custom bentwood back).


Rapson-Inc. Greenbelt Rocker in custom black lacquer and hair-on-hide leather

Rapson-Inc. Greenbelt Rocker in custom black lacquer and hair-on-hide leather.


Rapson Architects' 19th Street Ramp

19th Street Parking Ramp, designed by Rapson Architects

Portrait of Ralph Rapson at the Pillsbury house by George Hienrich

Ralph Rapson at the Pillsbury House.

Visit George's webpage for more of his work: http://www.heinrichphotography.com/

George's work will be on display this Friday, May 10th at the Huscha Studio in Downtown Minnepolis. Stop by to support this excellent artist.

Friday May 10th, 2013
5:00 - 9:30 pm

700 South 3rd St, LL2
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Retailer Spotlight: Markanto

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted February 04, 2013 in Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen, Florence Schust Knoll, German Modernism, Markanto, mid-century, Midcentury Rocking Chairs, Modernism Cologne, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson Greenbelt Rocker, Rapson-Inc.

We here at Rapson-Inc. are very excited to introduce our latest retailer, Markanto. Based in Cologne, Germany, it has established itself as a premier European retailer of unique designer furnishings, both current and vintage, and ships across the EU.

Now featuring Rapson Greenbelt® Line, Ralph Rapson is the latest Cranbrook Academy alumni whose designs are sold at Markanto. (In the 1940s-50s, the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan was known as the hotbed of American modernism. Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Ray and Charles Eames, and Florence Schust Knoll are a few of Rapson's best-known classmates and colleagues from his Cranbrook years.) 

Sven Vorderstrase, the Markanto owner/manager, graciously took time for an interview with us just as Markanto's Rock It Baby exhibition in Cologne was in full swing:



I am always interested as to how people get their start in the business. How did you become interested in modern design?

In the 90s of the last century I was personally already interested in design classics. I loved the Bauhaus design, specially the tubular steel furniture, which was very popular at this time. Getting deeper and deeper in this stories, I recognized many other great designers, their creations or their stories.


I see Markanto opened in 1999. How has your business evolved over the years and where would you like it to go in the future?

At the beginning we had another business model: The idea was to be a platform for vintage design originals for dealers and collectors (like maybe today Deconet or Designaddict). We had over 1.000 vintage products published at this time on our web page. But the time was too early; dealers did not update us with information or response; and for many dealers the web was an enemy! But today we still offer a nice collection of vintage originals for museums and collectors.

So we started one year later as a second step with a web shop of design classics in current production. We were the first online dealer for many important design brands like Knoll, Vitra or Zanotta in the German market. Then we started our own re-editions, too – this include the re-edition of the carpet collection from Knoll International by Sigrid Wylach. She designed in the 70s for almost every furniture group of Knoll a special carpet, and this collection was very popular in Europe. But this collection was not sold in America, that's the reason that the nice collection is not published in the literature about Knoll.



And nearly every year we make now a special version of a design classic with one of our partners, like a limited version of the Ball clock from George Nelson with Vitra, an Art Deco version of the stool 60 with Artek or  a collector version of the seating object Otto by Peter Raacke (one of the first furniture in cardboard from the 60s).


I love the Rock It Baby exhibition you organized for January 2013. What feedback did you get from attendees about the Rapson Greenbelt Rocker?

Thank you for the compliment! In the last years we made already some exhibitions about STOOLS for example or last year about architects chairs in co-operation with the design museum in Cologne. So the idea came to us, to make this year's Markanto exhibition about rocking chairs, where we show designs by Panton, Tapiovaara, Guhl, Eames, Wegner – and Ralph Rapson. Many people liked the idea of this concept and came to see the exhibition. The Ralph Rapson rocking chairs were  a big surprise – because I think, they were shown for the first time in Germany (because they were never part of the Knoll collection in Germany). 



You have chosen to feature the three Rapson chairs from the Greenbelt line in Markanto. What was it about these chairs that attracted you to them?

I think, that there are not many really good rocking chairs, and the Greenbelt rockers are one of the best designs. I like especially the combination of American walnut and the cotton. It is timeless. We are proud to present the Rapson collection in Germany. 


I know this is a terribly hard question to answer, but if you had to choose a favourite piece or designer, what/who would it be?

That is really not an easy question! I love the period of the last mid century. At this time, many great designers made milestones like Eames with the first plastic chairs, George Nelson with the wall clocks, Eero Saarinen with the Tulip Chairs and many more. But I don't have an all time favourite piece, this changes every quarter – at the moment it is a fantastic vintage radio from Braun.



We really love the Rapson Greenbelt rocking chairs. They have a great story, because they belong to one of the first collections from Knoll, and together with the Jens Risom furniture, they look fantastic and are enjoyable to sit in.


[All photos sourced from and property of Markanto.de]

The Markanto showroom is located in the South of the  city, only 15 minutes away from Cologne Central Station. 

Markanto Depot, Mainzer Strasse 26, 50678 Köln. Germany 
Opening times: every Saturday from  11 am - 4 pm.


Caroline Engel for Rapson-Inc. 
  1. I am always interested as to how people get their start in the business. How did you become interested in modern design?

In the 90ths of the last century I was privatly already interested in design classics. I loved the Bauhaus design, specially the tubular steel furniture, which was very popular at this time. Getting deeper and deeper in this storys I reconised many other great designers, there creations or their storys.


  1. I see Markanto opened in 1999. How has your business evolved over the years and where would you like it to go in the future?

At the beginning we had another business model: The idea was to be a platform for vintage design originals for dealers and collectors (like maybe today Deconet or Designaddict). We had over 1.000 vintage products published at this time on our web page. But the time was to early, dealers did not update us with information or resonse and for many dealers were the web an enemy! But today we still offer a nice collection of vintage originals for museums and collectors.

So we started one year later as a second step with a web shop of design classics from current productions. We were the first online dealer for many important design brands like Knoll, Vitra or Zanotta in the German market. Then we started our own reedition  too – this include the reedition of the carpet collection from Knoll International by Sigrid Wylach. She designed in the 70ths for almost every furniture group of Knoll a special carpet, and this collection was very popular in Europe. But this collection was not sold in America, thats the reason, that the nice collection is not published in the literature about Knoll.

And nearly every year we make now a special version of a design classic with one of our partners, like a limited version of the Ball clock from George Nelson with Vitra, a Art Deco version of the stool 60 with Artek or  a collector version of the seating object Otto by Peter Raacke (one of the first furniture in cardboard from the 60ths).


I love the Rock It Baby exhibition you organized for January 2013. What feedback did you get from attendees about the Rapson Greenbelt Rocker?

Thank you for the compliment! In the last years we made already some exhibitions about STOOLS for exsample or last year about architects chairs in co-operation with the design museum in Cologne. So comes us the idea, to make this year a Markanto exhibition about rocking chairs, where we show designs by Panton, Tapiovaara, Guhl, Eames, Wegner – and Ralph Rapson. Many people like the idea of this concept and come to see the exhibition. The Ralph Rapson rocking chairs were  a big suprise – cause I think, they were shown the first time in Germany (cause they were never part of the Knoll collection in Germany). 

You have chosen to feature the three Rapson chairs from the Greenbelt line in Markanto. What was it about these chairs that attracted you to them?

I think, that there are not many really good rocking chairs, and the Greenbelt rockers are one of the best designs. I like specially the combination of American walnut and the cotton. It is timeless. We are proud, to present the Rapson collection in Germany. 

I know this is a terribly hard question to answer, but if you had to choose a favourite piece or designer, what/who would it be?

Thats really not an easy question! I love more the time of the last mid century. At this time many great designers make milesstones like Eames with  the first plastic chairs, George Nelson with the wall clocks, Eero Saarinen with the Tulip Chairs and many more. But I dont have an allltime favourite piece, this change every quarter – in  the moment it is a fantastic vintage radio from Braun -

http://www.markanto.de/product_info.php?language=en&products_id=1265


Please write anything you would like included in the blog that I may have missed. Also, do you have any photographs from the Rock It Baby exhibition? I would love a photo of yourself as well to feature on the blog - possibly one with a Rapson chair. Whatever you like! Finally, would you give permission for us to use any of the photos featured on your website?

We really love the Rapson Greenbelt rocking chairs. They have a great story, cause they belongs to one of the first collections from Knoll togther with the Jens Risom furniture, they look fantastic and it is enjoyable to sit in.

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Rapson Chairs by Loll Designs on Sale Now!

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted September 01, 2012 in Loll, Loll Designs, Minnesota designs, modern outdoor furniture, outdoor furniture, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson Inc.

The annual Loll sale runs this month and includes all the Rapson chairs for made by Loll Designs in 100% recycled plastic! Stunning classic designs in innovative materials - now at 15% off! 


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A Futuristic 'New Town' on the Cuff of the Twin Cities Still Retains its Charms

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted June 05, 2012 in 1960s urban planning, Futuristic Modern Communities, Jonathan Minnesota, Minnesota, modern architecture, New Towns, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson-Inc., Satellite Cities, The Red Cedar House


MinnPost recently posted an interesting article about a modernist suburban town, Jonathan, Minnesota, which now acts as a neighborhood within the Chaska city limits. Jonathan was planned as a 'New Town' in the 1960s, based on an idea that originated in Sweden and took a strong hold in Scotland, England and the United States. Jonathan was the first of its kind in the US, putting into play many of the urban planning principles of its Swedish predecessors. I can't say if the creators of Jonathan looked specifically to Sweden as a guide, but I do know that one contributing architect, Ralph Rapson, spent much of the early 1950s in Scandinavian countries, designing US Embassies for Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, and The Hague. In the process of designing the Stockholm US Embassy, Rapson worked alongside the preeminent Stockholm urban planner, Sven Markelius, the man behind Stockholm's infamous 'Satellite Cities' or 'New Towns'.



Ralph Rapson designed only one home for the Jonathan community in 1966, The Red Cedar House - aka the Weyerhaeuser Demonstration House D-1317. Ralph was commissioned by the Weyerhaeuser Company to design "a house for everyman", using Weyerhaeuser products. The home was featured in Better Homes & Gardens and the plans were made available to anyone for reproduction. It was intended for the self-supporting community to be linked to the Twin Cities via some sort of high speed rail system, much like the Satellite Cities of Stockholm, but the Jonathan Development Corporation folded in 1979 before that stage of the project was realized. 


Much of the futuristic town remains intact, including The Red Cedar House. See the MinnPost article for more on the history and quirky characteristics of Minnesota's own 'New Town'. 


[photo credits: Triangle Modernist Houses]

Caroline Engel for Rapson-Inc. 

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Loll to Unveil Outdoor Versions of Rapson Designs at ICFF

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted May 18, 2012 in ICFF, Loll, Loll Designs, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson-Inc., Two Jakes

We at Rapson-Inc. have had a great time working with Loll Designs on fully licensed outdoor versions of the Rapson Greenbelt Line.  Prototypes of the Rapson Rocker and Rapson Lounge for Loll will be unveiled at ICFF and at our show at Two Jakes in Brooklyn on Monday, May 21.



Here's the short story on this fun collaboration:

As well as being the CEO at Loll, Greg Benson designs products for Loll Designs and is always on the lookout for fun, new areas for them to enter. When Greg came to an AIA (American Institute of Architects) convention in late 2011 to show new Loll pieces and take the pulse of architects, he met Toby Rapson, AIA.  They agreed quickly that collaborating on a Rapson Line by Loll Designs would be a fun project.  

As a designer, Greg was already interested in pushing Loll's expertise in working with recycled plastic into new outdoor forms.  In particular, the daring lines and softer curves of mid-century modern furniture appealed to him.  Toby suggested that his father's designs for the Greenbelt Line would be an interesting possibility, and he was excited to have the designs executed in recycled plastic.  After Toby completed the initial renderings of the Greenbelt Line in Loll's signature material, Greg and Jeff Taly at Loll built a more detailed design using both Toby's renderings and the dimensions of Ralph Rapson's Greenbelt Line (originally the Rapson Line for H.G. Knoll).  The result was not just a new line of chairs, but also a completely new system of stainless steel fasteners that help keep the swooping profile of the Greenbelt seat in both lowback and highback forms while using only sheet goods.  


Even after these first strong prototypes were ready, more work was needed to meet the high standards of both companies.  After some rigorous Minnesota load-testing (that is, watching a weekend of hockey while sitting in a prototype), Greg and the team at Loll worked very hard to ensure the seat had enough support in key areas and matched the feel of the original indoor versions.  In the end, both companies are ecstatic with the results of the collaboration. 

Toby Rapson, in particular, thinks that both the designs themselves and the strong, iterative design collaboration with Loll do credit to his father's legacy. Good design is not just a result but a process, and he thinks that his dad would agree that the iterative collaboration with Loll is a great example of how it can be done.

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Greycoats Invasion of Ralph Rapson's Glass Cube

Perched on the quiet bluffs above Wisconsin's Apple River, the iconic Rapson “Glass Cube” recently played host to a collaborative invasion by the Minneapolis-based band “Greycoats”, videographer Nate Matson, and numerous roadies. The event was part of Nate’s recent project “Spaces”, a series...

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The Rapson Line at Loll Designs is on sale through January 16.  Shop now:   And here's the NYT article highlighting the sale.

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We are so thrilled that two Rapson Greenbelt Chairs were included in this great new exhibit on the New Bauhaus in Chicago.     The exhibit, housed at the Ukrainian Institute for Modern Art, highlights the role of the New...

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