Curated by Rafael de Cárdenas


Architect Rafael de Cárdenas is famous for his out-of-the-box approach to design. This week, he’s playing curator with an auction for Paddle8 titled “Through Thick and Thin.” His selection includes a healthy mix of pieces by both maximalist and minimalist luminaries including Gae Aulenti, Paul Rudolph and Shiro Kuramata. Here, he shares some highlights.


“Arnal’s Z chairs are a perfect, honest union of structure and form. Composed entirely of slender zig zag lines, the chairs’ minimal design allows it to stand without legs.”

Photo courtesy of Paddle8.


“Panton created the Vilbert chair for Ikea in the ‘90s, and a small quantity was sold for a very short time. I like that this chair has a formal lightness similar to Arnal’s Z chair, but rather than using a single line, Panton arranges several colorful panels to disguise structure into its overall appearance.”

Photo courtesy of Paddle8.


“This chair is unique in that its form is simultaneously naked and voluptuous. Kuramata cleverly exploits the traditional structural qualities of a chair by folding and bending steel mesh to create a design with no interior frame or support.”

Photo courtesy of Paddle8.


“Germanaz literally cloaked an unassuming chair in a red drape to create a provocative form that leaves the viewer feeling curious about what exactly lies underneath.”

Photo courtesy of Paddle8.


“Here, structure is inverted to the exterior surface. I particularly like that this pieces leaves no questions of integrity to its form and function.”

Photo courtesy of Paddle8.


“This charismatic light playfully signals for someone to use it…. but I can’t say how.”

Photo courtesy of Paddle8.