On the Ropes

We don’t know why it is that, at a particular time, for no apparent reason, certain things become part of design’s zeitgeist. Why, for instance, at a given moment, does everything seem to be dip-dyed or waxed or distressed? Or why does brass suddenly become the new stainless steel? And why, to those of us who care about such things, does it—whatever it is at the moment—look so good?

The latest attraction, the thing that feels “right,” has more than a few references to rope. Fabric, metal, raffia, and thread have been twisted, braided, knotted, and tied to create objects that have real strength—tensile and decorative—and seem to be on many a design aficionado’s most-wanted list these days.

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