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Dancing with Modernism
Written by Gretchen Von Koenig Elements of Geometry by Euclid is one of the most printed books in the world, second only to the Bible. A critical subject for any branch of mathematics, Euclid’s Elements is a timeless book and certainly an ideal project for Bruce Rogers, one of the most prolific American book and...
This is a Teapot and lid. It was designed by Marek Cecula. It is dated 1991. Its medium is glazed porcelain.
Memories of Bauhaus
One would not have thought that “fragment” and “porcelain” could co-exist as happily as they do in this teapot, from Marek Cecula’s “Fragment Series”.  Why fragment? Cecula (born Poland, 1944, working in New York) writes that, in creating the “Fragment Series”, he wanted to “substitute conventional functionality into a utilitarian sculpture.” In this sense, the...
2006-24-1
The Horizontal Line in American Design
This desk by Paul Frankl is an example of American streamlined furniture of the 1930s. Frankl trained as an architect in Germany and Austria before settling in New York in 1914, as a decorator and designer. He created geometric furniture designs for Frankl Galleries in Manhattan. Frankl’s design philosophy centered on designing for the future,...
1996-83-1
Textile by Testa
Although the name may be unfamiliar to some, American textile designer Angelo Testa (American, 1921–1984) made an important contribution to 20th century textile design. As the very first graduate of the Institute of Design in Chicago, Testa was at the vanguard of the “New Bauhaus”, alongside Lazlo Moholy Nagy, Marli Ehrman and George Fred Keck....
Two cones; left composed of two spirals; right composed of woven strips and squares.
A Renaissance Twist of Ancient Mathematics
Translated as “Perspective of regular bodies,” Jamnitzer’s book exemplifies the overwhelming resurgence and appreciation of classical texts during the Renaissance. Not only does the artist present his drawings through a Latin introduction, but the regular bodies mentioned in the title are based on the five Platonic solids of Euclidean geometry: the tetrahedron, hexahedron, octahedron, icosahedron...
Tapering cylindrical form with circular mouth, broad shoulder; body decorated with horizontal grooves; creamy yellow matte glaze.
A Modern Wedgwood Unadorned
This austere vase embodies nearly the exact opposite of Wedgwood’s well-known decorative aesthetic. Founded in 1759, the firm developed a sophisticated earthenware, often either black to imitate ancient Greek ceramics, or blue with relief decoration featuring neoclassical husks, swags of flowers and pastoral scenes. Early wares made of this material were cheaper than porcelain, but...
Raised disc-shaped metallic-toned plastic body, the center pierced by six columns of small squares (speaker) above square black number and function keys.
Squaring The Circle
When Coherent Communications System Corporation decided to create this conference phone their goal was to accommodate the needs of conference calls by incorporating all the necessary telephone elements and electronics into a single, sophisticated speaker/microphone housing. For ease of use and efficiency, the engineers wanted to position the speaker in such a way that the...
Illustration of Design, cover
Lockwood de Forest Teaches Indian Design
This publication was written by Lockwood de Forest during the years of his retirement from decorating after moving permanently to Santa Barbara, California.  As he says in the preface, de Forest wrote the book for design teachers so they could teach the principles of Indian design to students, helping them generate pattern through using certain...
Exhibition poster in black and white with 3 registers. Top and bottom registers consist of 3 squares, black in the corners, white in center. In center register: circle thickly outlined in black with 4 black squares in diamond in center. Black squares have small white square in center. Text along bottom register.
Simple Yet Bold
Born on today’s date in 1930, Ikko Tanaka was one of the giants of Japanese graphic design in the second half of the twentieth century. Tanaka began designing posters in 1954 and was renowned for his ability to synthesize both Japanese and Western aesthetics. His name became synonymous with straightforward, impressive designs recognizable for their...