Author: Ben Green

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Ahead of the Times
Dieter Rams, the co-designer of this alarm clock, said that good design should “omit the unimportant in order to emphasize the important.” This travel alarm clock embodies his philosophy and design aesthetic—one which became iconic for Braun in the 1970s. The clock features an economic use of color and Akzidenz Grotesk, an easy-to-read sans serif...
Reviving Fantasy
Though enigmatic, the iconography of this wallpaper—with its flowers blooming in full, Chinese phoenixes, and scenes of men from the East—expresses the Rococo and chinoiserie styles of the late Georgian and early Victorian periods in England. These styles actually have their origin in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but throughout the 1800s, revival styles proliferated...
An Architect’s Touch
The Danish designer Arne Jacobsen believed in the artist’s complete control over a project. Though originally trained as an architect, he had a hand in all aspects of his buildings’ designs, including the interiors. His works might be considered examples of Gesamtkunstwerk, or the total work of art, because of his individual and obsessive control...
An Office Artifact
As a portmanteau for “rolling” and “index,” the term “rolodex” has entered the English lexicon to mean a list of one’s business contacts. Though the term can be used broadly, it also refers to the brand name Rolodex—the company that made this swivel file. Devices such as these allowed the user to type or attach...
Shaken, Not Stirred
Though not directly connected to the Memphis Group, a collective of young designers based in Milan during the 1980s, this Memphis cocktail glass suggests a similar postmodernist approach to design. Postmodernism rejects the severe aesthetic and sweeping and universal claims of modernism in favor of “complex and often contradictory layers of meaning.”[1] The playful design...