Author: Cynthia Trope

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Image features a bronze brooch in the realistic form of a decayed and torn dried leaf, in tones of ochre to golden brown. Please scroll down to read the blog post about the object.
Capturing a Bit of Autumn
This bronze brooch by John Iversen, in the form of a delicate decaying leaf with all its ripples and tears, celebrates the variety, cycles, and even decline found in nature. Variations in the metal’s color and finish meticulously capture a dry leaf’s faded hues and brittle textures, heightening a sense of nature’s unpredictability and randomness....
Image features a large, mottled-blue irregularly shaped plastic vessel tapering to a narrow neck with a circular mouth. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Big, Blue, and Bioplastic
Designers Rutger de Regt and Marlies van Putten, the principals of Handmade Industrials, are both inspired and concerned by today’s production processes that are increasingly driven by computers. They ask, are we reducing or removing the presence of human experience and experimentation in manufacturing? Are we losing touch with our environment—is it becoming increasingly artificial?...
Image features leather covered folding camera with front panel enameled in red, brown and tan geometric pattern. Rectangular black-lacquerd cedar box with same geometric design as on camera holds the folded camera. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Camera in a Box
Walter Dorwin Teague was a well-established industrial designer by 1928, when the Eastman Kodak Company, engaged him to modernize their line of cameras. Kodak sought Teague based on recommendations by curators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Having no prior experience in camera design, Teague undertook the assignment after Kodak agreed that he could spend...
Image features a cantilevered chair of ribbon-like form, made of natural brown laminated plywood; the front feet slightly raised. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Sinuous Seat
Probably best known for his one-piece injection-molded plastic design, the Panton ‘S’ chair of 1960, designer Verner Panton was sketching ideas for one-piece, self-supporting, cantilevered stackable chairs made of a single material as early as 1955. Panton’s 275 S chair is the first one-piece cantilevered chair made of molded plywood. It was among his entries in the 1956...
Image features a globular, clear colorless glass vase with a short, narrow cylindrical neck. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Ingeborg Lundin’s Renowned “Apple”
For the nearly thirty years between 1947 and 1971, that Ingeborg Lundin designed glassware for Sweden’s Orrefors glassworks, her designs were  prized for their originality, simplicity and grace. Founded in 1898, Orrefors originally manufactured bottles, window glass, and tableware. In 1914, the firm started to produce cut crystal, and by 1925 had become internationally renowned...
Image features a lamp composed of a curved, white translucent shade on a segmented stainless steel column with a white base. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Pipistrello Lamp
By the 1960s, it could be argued that lighting design had come of age. This was influenced by several factors—booming post-war economic growth, the emergence of a new youth market eager to challenge established ideas about modern style, and the continuing development of lighting technologies and new plastics that encouraged greater experimentation with form and...
Image features a low, stepped rectilinear typewriter,the; top section and paper support in light blue, yellow knobs on left and right ends of platen, and gray base with gray "QWERTY" keyboard and function keys. Linear indented banding in wedge-shaped base visible in profile.
A Dexterous Touch
By the 1980s, the drive to miniaturize electronics had advanced so far that industrial designers were no longer obliged to create forms that had to accommodate large internal mechanisms and parts. Mario Bellini and his contemporaries could use their creativity and skills to appeal to consumers on practical, visual and experiential levels. His ET Personal...
Image features an arm chair of irregular curved form composed of stacked thin contoured plywood sheets. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Slice Chair
Danish designer Matthias Bengtsson designed the Slice chair in 1998, while a student at the Royal College of Art in London. Exploring the relationship between high tech manufacturing methods and the hand-made, his creative process combined cutting-edge production techniques with craft. Bengtsson first modeled the curves and contours of this sculptural form by hand in...
Image features a group five floor lamps in the shape of giant pills, each with a white top and a base in a different color: yellow, white, green, red, and blue. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Popping Pills
Revealing the importance between Pop Art and design, Cesare Casati and Emanuele Ponzio’s Pillola lamps designed in 1968, are representative of Italy’s anti-design movement of the mid-1960s and 1970s. Challenging notions of “good design,” the anti-design movement took its cues from Pop Art’s use of bright colors and banal subject matter. The Pillola lights culturally...