With gift-giving season upon us, MA! cofounders Bernard McCoy and Elayne DeLeo have selected the perfect gifts for the modern design enthusiast on your list. MA!—aka Modern Atlanta—is best known for its design exposition and tour of homes, held annually since 2007. However, this internationally respected organization holds events throughout the year. Next spring, “MA! Design is Human Atlanta” extends from May 30 through June 12. They are currently accepting submissions for the 2016 Architecture Tour and MA! International Design Expo; all forms are available at MA!. Take last year’s “tour” with this story from our summer issue.
Vintage Dr. Auzoux Educational Plate ($1,100)
Design: Room & Board
DeLeo: This reminds me of the botanical prints by William Fitch that hung in my maternal grandmother’s kitchen. I appreciate items like instructional signs, maps, and graphics that later become unintentional works of art. This simple illustration is beautiful and modern. Created by French physician Dr. Louis Auzoux, these rare, collectible plates were used as teaching tools in France from 1900 through the 1960s. Made of chalk paper, no two are alike.
No. 209 (£730, approximately $1,089)
Design: Gerbrüder Thonet (or Thonet Brothers), 1900
Manufacturer: Thonet GmbH (Germany), Gerbrüder T 1819 (US brandname)
McCoy: The iconic No. 209 is a legend in the history of industrial mass production design and modernism, and is still in production today. The favorite chair of architects, the lightweight 209 consists of only six parts and is in millions of homes in Europe and both North and South America. Swiss architect Le Corbusier used the 209 in many of his buildings: the Pavillion de l’Esprit Nouveau in Paris, the Villa de la Rocca, and in houses Nos. 13 and 14/15 in the Stuttgart Weissenhof Estate.
Reusable Glass Straws by Simply Straws ($8-11)
DeLeo: More than 500 million disposable plastic straws are used in the United States every day. They would fill more than 127 school buses daily. This is an easy solution to a big problem. These glass straws are non-toxic, BPA-free, and my six-year-old loves them. You can get them with a carrying case and cleaning brush for travel.
OKO by Biomega (€1,599, approximately $1,690)
McCoy: The Biomega OKO is an electric bicycle designed for the highest of performance, while easily accommodating a busy urban lifestyle. The OKO is uniquely lightweight and highly practical for city living, with a head-turning silhouette. The bike bridges the heritage of the Biomega portfolio, merging their well-known visual qualities, while illustrating the evolution of the brand.
Leica T System ($2,700)
Design: Leica in partnership with Audi Design
McCoy: Leica T System lets you focus on the sheer joy of photography, which is clear in the logical design. The Leica T is mirrorless and the first camera with a unibody, machined from a single block of solid aluminum. Each camera was hand crafted, hand assembled, and polished by hand for 45 minutes. (Disclosure: Leica is the camera partner of Design Is Human Atlanta 2016.)
Waterline II Stool for Roche Bobois (from $1,375)
Design: Cedric Ragot
DeLeo: Brilliant, award-winning French designer Cedric Ragot passed too soon. He was a prolific and innovative designer for brands such as Veuve Clicquot, Krups, Paco Rabanne, and Roche Bobois. The Waterline II stool represents what he did best—technically keen, sensual functionality. The Waterline II Stool is made of hand-turned ceramic with double-glazing Ecru/glossy. Twenty-one colors are available.
Brassing Ballpoint Pen ($75)
McCoy: Ystudio, a Taiwan-based design studio, builds minimalistic pens and pencils made of copper and brass. Their Brassing Series ballpoint pen is coated with a black paint that wears with use, eventually revealing an underlying luster in a patina unique to each writer.
Basquiat by TASCHEN Books ($15)
DeLeo: One of my favorite artists. Complicated, curious, and so influential. I’m looking forward the High Museum’s Basquiat “The Lost Notebook” exhibition in February 2016.
Samsung SerifTV (£1,099, approximately $1,638)
Design: Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
McCoy: The colorful frame of the Serif TV was designed to fit better within the home. The television has a capital I-shaped profile, forming a sturdy base, and at the top, a small shelf. The Serif, named after the typography term for the small lines on the ends of letters or symbols, easily fits into a modern home, blending furniture and technology. It is not yet sold in the United States.
ORE by bulbul (€329, approximately $347)
McCoy: The rounded, minimalist Ore watch is the third design in the Bulbul collection. The Ore comes in several colors, but the stone-grey, titanium-coated steel model on grey Italian leather is a stand-out.