Set Pieces: How 'V' created its mod space pod
In a mother ship hovering above Manhattan, Anna, the queen of the reptilian alien visitors in ABC's "V," plots the extinction of Earthlings from the comfort of a design classic: the 2004 Spoon chair, above, designed by Antonio Citterio and Toan Nguyen.
The Spoon is definitely more office chair than throne, set decorator Mark Lane said by e-mail. "Anna is more like a ruthless CEO than queen. The chair and desk reflect this. It also reflects what Anna represents: beauty and sensuality, the curves of the chair, the curves of her body."
Manufactured by the Italian firm Kartell, the polypropylene chair is notable for its cantilevered seat and a height-adjustment mechanism concealed in the stem. The Spoon sells for $675 at Kartell stores and modern furniture websites.
In the photo at top, the devious Anna (Morena Baccarin) has face time with human reporter Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) at a desk created for the show by designer Ian Thomas. He carved it from a single block of foam and added a glass top.
Other interiors of the V ship are decked out in iconic Modern furniture by designers such as Eero Saarinen "because they possess an anamorphic feel, almost as if they were growing out of the floor, and, because they are classics, the audience can identify with them. It begs the question: Are the Vs making us comfortable with what we know?"
When Anna entertains Earthlings, below, she uses the well-known 1956 Saarinen marble-topped table, produced by Knoll and sold for about $1,600 and up (though you can find knockoffs for half the price). Rather than use the Tulip chairs that Saarinen created for use with his dining tables, Lane chose a recent design, the Azhar chair by designer Marcello Ziliani.
Anna and the Vs have supercomputers, but Lane found the chairs the old-fashioned Earthling way: on the Internet. "I basically typed in 'cool white chair,' " he said. "I thought they looked like some form of sea life." He contacted the Italian manufacturer Casprini, which has yet to introduce the chair in the U.S. "We were the first to have them in North America," Lane said.
And the first to ship them off into space.
-- David A. Keeps
Corrected: An earlier version of this post cited "the 2006 Spoon chair." The chair was designed in 2004, and it premiered in 2005 at the Milan furniture fair.
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Photo credits: ABC, Kartell