There’s Only One-Way
Alexander Girard was a prolific textile designer, producing over three hundred textile designs during his near thirty-year tenure at Herman Miller, an important American furniture company and promoter of modern design. He was also an ardent collector, amassing a collection of cross-cultural folk art that ranks among the largest in the world. At Herman Miller,...
International Women’s Day
This bold poster was printed by the Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 1975. The elegant design uses direct, straightforward symbols to clearly communicate a message of unity, a popular design approach amongst political and activist posters from the 1960s and 1970s. In this example, the simple repeat of...
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...
Algol 11 before Apollo 11: Sapper and Zanuso’s TV Set for Brionvega
During the 1950s and 1960s, television was a cultural force both in America and abroad. Milestones that included the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II were broadcast across the world. Variety and music shows, which included “Ready Steady Go!” and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” drew youth to watch their...
A Different Kind of Blanket
Focusing on durable textiles that meet high performance applications for healthcare, education, hospitality, corporate and residential, Designtex created Hint. The fiber is specially formulated to be bleach cleanable for healthcare applications and easy to clean for all other applications. The designers added a comforting hand through the use of chenille yarns, without sacrificing performance and...
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...
Cat on a Hot Thin Tile: A Grueby Faience Company Tile
The Grueby Faience Company was founded in Revere, Massachusetts, in 1897. Grueby quickly grew in popularity and soon collaborated with Tiffany and Co. to produce ceramic lamp bases. Best known for their creation of a distinctive forest-green glaze, Grueby used this colorway on their iconic vases and tiles. Grueby garnered many awards, including accolades from...
Flowers for a Gent
The waistcoat was the centerpiece of male costume in 18th-century France. Similar to a vest, the hip-length garment was almost always worn as a part of the habit à la française, the precursor of the three-piece suit, which included a waistcoat, a coat, and breeches. The waistcoat did not necessarily match the rest of the...
Where It’s At
“Where It’s At” is not only the title of this gloriously psychedelic wallpaper but also how someone in 1968 would have described the United De Soto wallpaper company in Chicago. A division of DeSoto Industrial Coverings, Inc., United De Soto stood out for its technical innovations, being the first American company to use fluorescent pigments...