Friday, January 8, 2010

Replica designer furniture is everywhere the question is this a good or bad thing?

There was an article in The Sydney Morning Herald by Lisa Pryor on the 26th December which started me thinking.

My husband gets worried when I make statements starting with I was just thinking. He thinks this could cost us some money. But most times there is no need to worry.I just like to follow a thought or an idea through, ponder. Now back to the article

In the article Lisa talks about replica designs being everywhere. She quotes the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2007 paper on the subject of the economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy. They state:

‘With respect to luxury items, counterfeiters are producing a broader range of products, some of which are marketed as high-quality 'replicas'.’

In Australia there are few laws to protect furniture designers. Some think as most of the designs are copies of overseas designers the Government isn't really interested in protecting designers.

I find myself in a dilemma. I have always had the philosophy; good design should be within the reach of everyone. It should not be available to only those who can afford it.

My husband and I have always loved classic modern design. In the early 80’s the wonderful designs of Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Eileen Gray and Charles Rennie MacIntosh to name a few were simply beyond our reach. We settled for simple Scandinavian style furniture.

It does make me laugh when some young people who know nothing of the history of design think many of the replicas are contemporary designs. They are so surprised when I tell them the year a piece was originally created.

It could be argued as Lisa does the designers of these pieces were themselves advocates of mass production. However it does seem a shame people like Charles Rennie MacIntosh died in poverty. His furniture is now worth thousands and his designs have been copied as well as been a source of inspiration. I do wonder what others think. I would welcome your comments.

‘Space and light and order those are the things men need just as much as they need bread and a place to sleep’ Le Corbusier

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