Sophisticated Scribbles
Though Marburger Tapetenfabrik is among the oldest wallpaper manufacturers in Europe, in the 1950s they eschewed traditional patterns and became one of the many companies producing ‘contemporary’ designs meant to compliment the new, modern houses popping up all over Europe and America in the building booms following World War II. What, exactly, made wallpaper contemporary...
Pleasant Abstractions
This unobtrusive sidewall was designed c.1954 – 1955 by Rolf Middelboe for the Danske Tapetfabbriker company, and it is a great example of midcentury “Danish Modern” design. Thin white lines wander over the paper, sometimes angular sometimes curvilinear, creating a patchwork of abstract polygons. The shapes are filled with muted tones of grays and greens,...
The Happy Cow
The Happy Cow is a children’s wallpaper designed by the celebrated German artist, Otmar Alt, for the “Xartwall” collection of wallpapers produced by Marburger Tapentenfabrik in the 1970s. The paper features a goofy cow made up of amorphous, puzzle-like blocks of bold primary colors. She floats atop a pink polka dotted background that looks like...
The Daily Pattern
The Daily Pattern is a Dutch blog dedicated to “textile design in progress.” Run by Swiss designer Zara Atelj, the blog collects unusual bits of data— weather reports, economic stats, even inkjet printer glitches—and repurposes them as abstract textile patterns. Pattern based on news data over a period of 48 days An experiment with newspaper...
Understanding the American Experience
The final grand challenge posed by Secretary Wayne Clough for the new strategic plan of the Smithsonian is explained by the sentence: “America is an increasingly diverse society that shares a history, ideals, and an indomitable, innovative spirit. We will use our resources across disciplines to explore what it means to be an American and...