Cartier Deco Matchsafe
The development of friction matches in the early nineteenth century was a major discovery as it allowed for instantaneous and reliable fire on demand for the first time in history. The design of matchsafes arose as the early friction matches were both highly combustible and unstable. These decorative boxes allowed bulk matches to be protected...
Flynn 001
American Bauhaus
This printed textile, Campagna, by Angelo Testa epitomizes his distinct design vocabulary. Likely named after Testa’s friend, Paul Campagna, Testa designed it around 1950 for Knoll Associates. Campagna utilizes Testa’s preferred linear and geometric forms, commonly associated with his Bauhaus training. The hard edges of the concentric rectangles in this textile, however, have been softened...
A Miniature Playhouse
Imaginative author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in his 1884 essay, A Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured, “If you love art, folly, or the bright eyes of children, speed to Pollock’s…”[1] The toy theatre was a beloved pastime in 19th-century England that appealed to the creativity and craftsmanship of children and adults. Benjamin Pollock inherited his...
Swallows and Lily Clouds
This wallpaper caught my eye at first because of the graceful swooping lines of the birds and the watercolor-like application of the blues. I thought it was a lovely scene of swallows flying in a morning sky. Then I noticed that many of clouds are actually water lilies. Are we looking then at the surface...
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...
Americana Bandanna
The red cotton bandanna so closely linked to the American west was originally a tie-dyed silk scarf from India, and later the product of a number of European innovations. The Turkey-red process for dyeing cotton a brilliant, wash-fast scarlet red was mastered in Europe in the 18th century, but it was incompatible with printing processes....
By the People, By Other Means
Brooklyn-based graphic design studio Other Means discusses designing the book that accompanies the exhibition and their approach to "American" design.
Living with Memphis
Ettore Sottsass Jr.’s iconic Carlton cabinet—sometimes referred to as a “sideboard” or “room divider”—is one the designer’s most recognizable works. Its anthropomorphic form is thought provoking and yet childishly simple. The Carlton cabinet’s playfulness is asserted in its mix of garish colors, patterns, and mass-market materials—plastic laminate and wood. When Sottsass designed this piece for...
Infographic: Environmental Impacts of the Textile Industry
The fashion and textile industry is an intricate business. Do you know how it works?