Author: Caitlin Condell

SORT BY:
Celebrating the Commercial Building
Ely Jacques Kahn's design for a skyscraper, now on view in The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s, demonstrates the power of the architectural drawing as an advertising tool.
Sink or be Sunk
The 1940s after World War II (1939-1945) marked a phase of industrial design that centered on the consumer. Coined by prolific industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) as the “Decisive decade”, manufacturers began acquiring prestige by redesigning products that met the needs of a changing society.[1] Populations had grown extensively from incoming immigrants; housing for returning...
Enduring Knots
For centuries, this intricately wrought interlace design—one of six similar motifs produced by Albrecht Dürer—has entranced and perplexed those who have encountered it. The intended purpose of the Knots, as Dürer referred to the series, as well as the precise date of their execution, remains unknown. Some scholars have postulated that the designs are patterns...
A Rhythmic Portrait
In 2002, Chinese graphic designer Jianping He founded Hesign, a Berlin-based design studio.  He studied both in China and in Germany, and his designs reflect the experiences of his training in both countries. In restrained color palettes, he executes bold poster designs with exacting precision, often incorporating both Chinese characters and Roman letters. To promote an exhibition...
A Forgotten Architect with Ethereal Solutions
For her first assignment as an architecture student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mary Ann Crawford was given a sheet of paper, twelve hours, and a problem: design an entrance to an architectural school. Crawford’s submission was well-received by her professor, but he gave her a cautionary warning. “You want to be careful...
It Starts With A Napkin
This is an early concept sketch for the lamp “I Ricchi Poveri – Silver Bzzzz” by the “poet of light” Ingo Maurer. The lamp is part of a small series through which Maurer has sought to play on the natural attraction to light in nature. In the design for “I Ricchi Poveri – Silver Bzzzz,”...
An Infinite Reflecting Vista
In the late 1990s, the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) in Tacoma, Washington announced its plan to relocate from the bank building that it had occupied since 1935 to a new site on the waterfront with views of Mt. Rainier.  National Design Award-winning architect Antoine Predock was selected to design a building that more than doubled...
Pattern Papers
The word katagami, the Japanese term for the paper stencil used to print patterns on fabric, translates literally as “pattern paper.” Featuring designs and motifs drawn from nature, traditional folklore, and literature, katagami are crafted as tools to be used in the resist-dyeing process that is used to produce printed textiles in Japan. The patterns...
Fragile Beasts and Where to Find Them
Have you ever wondered where you could find a spotted, two-legged creature with the body of a lizard, the ears of a goat, the wings of a bird and the claws of a chicken?  How about a monster with the head of a dolphin, ears of acanthus leaves, the body of a snake, and a tail...