How the Wallbanger came to be...
Greg Benson contemplating another app.Jeff Taly on top of the Gansevoort Hotel.The Wallbanger began three years ago in early 2009 around the same time I discovered and downloaded the light saber app on my iPhone. It was a sunny and warm day in May in New York City. I was travelling with Jeff Taly and John Kiffmeyer, two designers from Loll who were visiting NYC for the first time with me responsible for their continued education and good times. We were attending the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and related furniture events during the day and sloshing about mad capped Manhattan at night. We had the luxury of attending ICFF without the burden of having a trade show booth to set up and staff and we were squeezing the most from our fleeting free time. This particular day found us sauntering about the show on a marvelously desultory amble between and through furniture of the past and the future. It was either a slight hangover from the night before, the dry air and unnaturally lit Javits Center, or a lingering parched throat from a Cuban lunch in Chelsea, but regardless of the cause, we were really, really thirsty.
Cuban Foodurbancase founder Darin MontgomeryJohn Kiffmeyer in a chair of the Future.Just as lady luck and happenstance would have it, along the south wall of the Javits we spotted what looked to be a wall mounted bar guarded by a tallish dude in a porkpie hat. Leaving fear and etiquette in last night’s taxi, we bee lined toward the perched bar and stepped into what turned out to be the clean lines of the urbancase booth. The tallish dude was owner, master craftsman, and the most amicable guy in the world, Darin Montgomery. Darin founded urbancase in 2002 with the philosophy of living well with less. Darin designs objects that contribute to a simpler, pared back lifestyle that harkens back to 1960’s modern. The details make up Darin’s furniture as a whole and so the details are the pieces. Unexpected surprises like hidden drawers and amazingly detailed cnc work finish everything out with elegance and craft. What intrigued us about the bar was both its simplicity and well thought out function. It was also just good old fashioned fun and it had what we needed inside.
A warm day in May in New York City during Design Week.
With our thirst somewhat abated, we released our minds back to furniture and ruminated with Darin on an outdoor version of his compact bar. With sincere cheers and handshakes we parted ways and said we would begin work together on the Loll outdoor wall mounted bar upon returning to Duluth the following week. Unfortunately, the years flew by with the speed of a light saber and the bar was stuck in the scabbard of great ideas. However, a wise elder once told me that "thirst and great ideas should always be quenched" and I understood that when the two came together there is an indomitable force that demands results. It wasn’t that it took us three years to design this piece; Darin had already come up with a superb design, but somehow it just didn’t find its way through our design queue until now. Fortunately for all of us it has arrived just in time for summer.