Rebecca Gross

Pioneering the utopian future

The song lyric, “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way” (famously popularized by Whitney Houston in 1985) holds surprising resonance with this 1976 poster for The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union.
poster, Propoganda, Soviet Union, offset lithograph, Valdimir Lenin, slogan

How To: Mix Prints

Open an interior decoration magazine, peruse a sartorial blog, or catch-up with the latest fashion on television, and you’ll know mixing prints has been the trend for the last few seasons.  Endorsed as a risky and intimidating choice, it is often accompanied by a number of rules and guidelines. English-born industrial designer George J. Sowden (b. 1942) is renowned for his use of patterns and prints.
George J. Sowden, Postmodernism, Memphis, Italy, prints, screenprint, interior, furniture

The spirit of the age

In 2011, Italian designer Michele de Lucchi (b. 1951) reflected in an interview, “design is truly a kind of witness to history. Design documents the spirit of the age.” [1]  His 1981 drawing of Two Designs for Tables (and Three Designs for Tables) is an example of how design records its historical and cultural context, and reflects the nature of that time.
Michele de Lucchi, furniture design, table, drawing, Postmodernism, Memphis, Studio Alchimia

The coffee table as experiment

Search ‘Alfons Bach’ online and you will find a slew of images featuring modern, tubular steel furniture designed in the 1930s. This is what industrial designer Alfons Bach is most well known for.
Alfons Bach, Heywood-Wakefield Company, furniture, drawing, Bentwood furniture

There’s intrigue in the ordinary

Sometimes it’s the seemingly insignificant that holds the most meaning.
Constantin Boym, Vitaly Komar, Alex Melamid, Sears, drawing, furniture design, sofa

Tools for Easier Living

For craftsman and industrial designer Russel Wright (1904-1976), flatware was not just a tool for the tabletop. It was a tool for easier living. From the late 1920s through to the 1960s, Wright introduced Americans to modern, practical, and easy-to-care-for homewares and furnishings suited to a more informal and sociable way of life.
Russel Wright, flatware, design, modern design, table ware, drawing, stamps, Highlight/Pinch

Petticoats in the Navy

When 20-year old Bernice Smith Tongate walked into a California Navy recruiting office in 1917, and proclaimed “Gee, I wish I were a man, I’d join the Navy!,” I’m sure she was blissfully unaware of the impact she was about to have on the American Navy and women’s equality.
Howard Chandler Christy, United States Navy, graphic design, poster, Bernice Smith Tongate, national pride

An Ultra Modern Luxury Studio

For many of us residing in New York City, we quickly become accustomed to living in small apartments. Yet, through design, decoration, and furnishings we do our best to make our sometimes-cramped quarters as practical, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing as possible. In the 1930s, American-born designer Donald Deskey, inspired and influenced by European design of the period, created apartment interiors that were functional, sophisticated, and modern.
Donald Deskey, New York City, apartment, streamlining, interior design, Interior decoration, micro-unit, drawing