Blu Dot designs and manufactures modern furniture and furnishings. Its founding partners, John Christakos, Maurice Blanks, and Charlie Lazor—whose backgrounds range from architecture and art to marketing—created the company in Minneapolis with the desire to make quality modern design available to everyday people. Their humanist and populist approach to modern furnishings dovetailed with the democratization of design begun in the 1990s and seen in the success of mass-market retailing, design-oriented publishing, domestic-enrichment programs, and home-improvement schemes. Blu Dot has produced several lines of furniture, such as its Chicago line of shelving, the Modulicous collection of bedroom furnishings, or the more recent Buttercup lounge chairs, which are sold in small retail shops and by major retailers nationwide. It also creates furnishings for special projects such as the dormitories of a new student housing complex at MIT designed by Steven Holl, or a recent commission for retail fixtures for Gap Kids stores. They have created and cultivated a brand—including a series of film shorts for nontraditional marketing—that has merged humor and wit with products that balance form and function—without sacrificing one of the basic tenants of modernism: good design.
John Christakos and Maurice Blanks, Blu Dot Design, Minneapolis
$20 ($10 Walker and AIGA members; full-time students)