Old is new again with Russel Wright and Mel Smilow as we add another R to our list: Reissue
TreeHugger visits New York during Design Week, visiting the International Contemporary Furniture Fair,(ICFF) Wanted Design, and various other exhibits and activities.
TreeHugger has noted before that the traditional 3Rs, reduce, reuse and recycle are not nearly enough; we counted at least 7 before. Now we add a new one: Reissue, The bringing back of great designs that have stood the test of time, and that can be treasured for generations. There were two worth noting at ICCF.
American designer Russel Wright said "I believe with religious intensity that good design is for everyone." He was happy to work with plastics like melamine, with the intent of making good design more affordable and long-lasting. Now his Melmac designs are being reissued by Bob's Your Uncle.
Melamine tableware is not without its issues (see TreeHugger Christine in Parentables here) but is safe if used properly.
Mel Smilow for Regeneration/ Photo by Margaret Badore/CC BY 2.0
According to the reGENERATION website,
Mel Smilow (1922–2002) was an American furniture designer, manufacturer and retailer whose seating, case goods and lighting are widely regarded as among the very best of the mid 20th century. The works were entirely crafted by hand (in America) of solid walnut, birch and oak, rather than the more common teak of the time. Known for clean lines and impeccable proportions, they were sold under the name Smilow-Thielle and offered through namesake retail stores, from the late 1940s through the 1970s.