Does design inform film or does film shape the world of design? There have certainly been films that have had a huge impact on the way the real world looks – 2001: A Space Odyssey, for instance, gave birth to stark sci-fi interiors at the end of the 1960s. The details were everything: the cutlery Arne Jacobsen created for Georg Jensen,which appeared in scenes in the film, was immediately elevated to the status of design classic. The range (about £245 for 24 pieces) is one of the products on sale via Film and Furniture, a website combining editorial with access to online sales of objects that have been captured in cinema classics.
The site started as a blog and was relaunched recently with a focus on retail by Paula Benson, the co-founder and creative director of Form (the London-based design and branding studio responsible for revamping Abbey Road Studios and Virgin V Festival). “When I was growing up, I used to spend hours sketching my imaginary dream home,” says Benson. “My mind was totally lost in that world I was creating – the look, the sensations – it was like a filmset. Whenever I watch a movie I find myself losing the plot while studying the contents of the set.” Benson is a regular on the design circuit, and recently gave a talk in Manchester with the Anthony Burgess Foundation about the look of A Clockwork Orange. The Ettore Sottsass Olivetti Valentine typewriter (£283) and the Saarinen Executive armchair (£1,242) were both featured in the film and are available via the site.
Rather than holding stock itself, Film and Furniture is essentially an online magazine and database of objects seen on screen. Current features include a study on the significance of the Carlo Bugatti chair (about £18,750) in this year’s Alien: Covenant, and a design profile of the vintage Grenadier record player that featured in the Ian Curtis biopic Control. As well as allowing for product searches via a particular movie, Film and Furniture is also designed for easy browsing – flick through the A to Z in the “Furniture & Homeware” category and it serves as an ever-growing IMDb for objects and their starring roles. Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair for Knoll (about £5,000) has, according to the site, appeared in Tron: Legacy, American Psycho and Casino Royale, while Warren Platner’s 1966 armchair (about £2,480) appeared in Quantum of Solace.