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Seeing Double: Is It DWR or Someone Else?

Design Within Reach has made its own versions of at least a dozen works by other designers, but it says they are not copies.

Ronda 116 Chair // Aldo Ciabatti

Ronda 116 Chair

Ciabatti's stackable design is a café fixture throughout Europe, and until the fall of 2008, it was a DWR stalwart. "In good years, they sold 10,000," says a spokesman for EMU, which makes the Ronda ($79) in Italy. DWR's Café chair ($78) is made in China.

Sussex Credenza // Terence Woodgate

Sussex Credenza

Manufactured by the Spanish company Punt Mobles, the Sussex ($4,000) was a DWR star until it was replaced by the Dover ($4,000) in 2008. Woodgate says that the Dover is a copy. Brunner's response: "Clearly, he didn't invent louvers."

Chicago 8 Box Shelves // Blu Dot

Chicago 8 Box Shelve

DWR carried the Minneapolis-based company's Chicago 8 Box shelves ($1,799) until replacing it with its own Lacuna ($1,800). At press time, DWR was "in the process of purging" the Lacuna, says chairman Glenn Krevlin.

A version of this article appeared in the December/January 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.