#068 ✰ Objects for the long haul
SoaO: Lane's Eames dining chair • wood cherish • another type of fashion • thick desires
Hey there 👋 I’m Mathilde. We are Objet. We explore the intersection of consumerism, myth, satisfaction, desire, taste, joy, meaning and pride. Not specifically in that order. To brag at your next dinner, Objet is the french word for 'object' and should be pronounced 'OB-JEH'.
If you’re new here, welcome 👋
In today’s Objet journal:
Our mission 👉 Wait, what are they onto again?
Soul of an Objet 👉 Lane’s Eames dining chair
What’s up on the app 👉 Is this app even for me?
Cool reads, cause its always cool to read cool stuff
The relationship we, humans, have with shopping - and our objects as a whole - is broken: we want to bring back joy and pride. Objet is where style shops mindfully.
Soul of an Objet | Lane Samata
Sublime possessions have soul and meaning. Meet Lane’s Eames plywood dining chair.
Lane is an industrial designer from Chicago, now living in NYC. We met her during our recent trip, around a juicy burger at a 20 y/o diner in Brooklyn. She took us through the journey of designing highend pieces of furniture, her own relationship with furniture and fashion. A very thoughtful deep dive, thank you Kristen for connecting us!
Hi Lane! So what's the backstory of this object?
An object I cherish is my Eames plywood dining chair. Here are a few layers to explain why:
I am the daughter of two graphic designers, who instilled the love of art and design in me since I was young. They designed the house I grew up in and filled it with beautiful furniture including the black Eames dining chairs.
Since age 8, I sat on these chairs at our mandatory family dinners 5 nights a week. I stood on them to reach top shelves when my small body wasn’t tall enough. I sat on them while I wrote my college application to Pratt, wanting to become an industrial designer.
When I was 22, my parents downsized and offered me the chairs. I rented a uhaul and drove 14 hours from Chicago to NYC just to bring them home.
At 28, I am hosting dinner parties using the same chairs my parents used when I watched them entertain their friends. I feel like I am bringing a new generation into the fold.
These chairs represent a huge leap in furniture manufacturing and the creation of a new technology. They helped kickstart a new creative era.
The designers, Charles and Ray Eames, pioneered the invention of molding plywood1. They were hired by the US navy during WW2 to design a leg split using their new technology.
After the war, they took their exciting new manufacturing technique and applied it to furniture. They created some of the most iconic and timeless products to date and paved the way to new inventions.
As an industrial designer, physical objects are very meaningful to me. I have designed my own furniture and I understand what goes into making a high quality, product.
A factor for why these chairs are so well known, is because of their high quality materials that hold up for generations. They become an heirloom worth cherishing and restoring.
This (hopefully) challenges the value proposition of an Ikea or Wayfair. By investing in an Eames chair, it guarantees decades of use and collectability instead of short term consumption. In a world focused on the next best thing, it feels nice to have something to hold onto with life long memories attached to it.
Is there any other type of things you truly like to dig into?
My current purchases I want to invest in surround the home. My space is very important to me (plus I work from home), so I want to make some upgrades and invest in my dream furniture/lighting pieces to make the apartment a representation of my style and vibe.
What’s the next purchase you’re currently contemplating?
My next purchase I have been contemplating: The Bond shelves by Fogia. They are Japanese style, modular wooden shelves that can be ceiling mounted. I have been eyeing them for a full year now. I did not want to impulse buy them and wanted to settle into my apartment before going through with the big purchase. I will probably invest in them this summer.
Any 'tip' to take care of an object and/or material?
To take care of wood furniture, you can add coats of wax to help the wood of the chair stay healthier for longer. It also forms a barrier against dust, making cleaning easy. Wax is straightforward to apply, it often comes in liquid form, and you apply just like you would paint.
👀 Did you know? Once you onboard on the app, you can respond to and engage with cool people like Lane in one click.
What’s up in the app
🌸 This week’s version brings along two actions to interact with someone else’s object:
✨ send sparkles (= our own version of a like - better, more subtle)
🔖 bookmark it (to your ‘my mind’ section)… for a future purchase for instance
💬 join our Whatsapp group, right from the app
▤ choose between a grid OR a feed view of your collections
🛠 a few fixes (edit, profile pic, comments)
Wait, is this app for me?
Are you looking to find your best of the best [insert object name]?
👉 rely on a community of people to get out-of-the-box ideas, aligned with who you are
👉 use our safe, noise-free space to save any shopping-related notes
Chance is, your satisfaction will go through the roof, and for years to come. Bingo.
Try us if you haven’t already:
👖 My type of brand
I love this kind of encounters with craft.wo.men (🙏) and I personally look forward to trying these brands!
American Giant 🇺🇸 | hoodies & more
“In a day and a half and within 200 miles you would see cotton coming out of the ground and a sweatshirt getting finished. Every time I do it it’s a damn near emotional experience - an incredible symphony of activity that reminds us there are men and women out there who are vital and knowledgeable and committed to creating great product.”
Blackhorse Atelier 🇬🇧 | denim
“Every single garment we give birth to I want the end user to connect with emotionally. When you create that, you build longevity,”
And the challenges of independent fashion brands for their survival:
As Facebook and Google decimate the market for independent brands (…), allowing only those with the budget to pay for share of voice, Bayard notes that the sort of long form content podcasts and Substack promotes are likely to be his salvation.
The cost of exposure via digital ads has skyrocketed over the last few years — Facebook ads were up 61%, Google Ads +75% last year and continue to rise.
If potential customers can’t find niche brands online how can they possibly survive?
That, my friend, is a freaking big issue we are excited to be working on with Objet.
🛍 Why are we paying for things?
An interesting framework of ways to assign value to the things we buy (🙏)
👣 Desire is imitative encourages us to pause and become hyper clear about our own thick and thin desires:
thick : layers of rock 🪨
shaped through models we admire, related to the core of who we are
thin: layers of leaves 🍂
highly mimetic and ephemeral
Do you know what yours are?
If you got all the way here and have been seeking a better way to experience shopping & enjoy your possessions, alongside enthusiastic, not-so-serious souls, try Objet:
… share Objet journal with a soulmate 👯
… subscribe to Objet journal to receive new posts 🛼
Til next time,
Wikipedia: plywood is a material manufactured from thin layers or "plies" of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another. The word ply derives from the French verb plier,"to fold".