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This Grain is Not For Your Table
This roll of embossed imitation leather wallpaper is a beautiful example of Art Nouveau design. The pattern is a repeating design of a single motif, a stylized ear of wheat or other grain, lined up in offset horizontal rows. The leaves have been delicately rendered with the tip ending in a scroll, while the top...
Dream Car
Cooper Hewitt’s Department of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design celebrates the recent acquisition of a group of designs for automobiles, an important area of industrial design that had not previously been well represented in the museum’s holdings. The drawings document designs throughout the twentieth century, highlighting the history and prominence of innovation in the American...
Painterly Effects
Tissu simultané no. 46, a bold geometric design of blue, yellow, and black lines on a white ground, has the hallmark characteristics of Sonia Delaunay’s textiles from the 1920s: contrasting colors with abstract, geometric, or rounded patterns that are block-printed on cotton or silk fabric. In fact, she often printed the same pattern and colorway...
The Solitude of Swing
“’Solitude’ I wrote in 20 minutes in Chicago standing up against the glass office enclosure waiting for another band to finish recording.” Duke Ellington’s comment is hard for the musician in me to swallow, because the musical score, with its complex chording and swinging rhythms, sure doesn’t sound like its composition took place in the...
Industry: Worth the Visit, and Revisit
I find the design format of the Industry wallpaper particularly appealing. The pattern’s symmetry creates a nice sense of balance, while the monochrome gray colorway with equally spaced elements makes for a nice visual flow. Following all reason these factors should create a calm, neutral background. But when you start identifying individual elements such as...
Photograph of ceiling fixture, Rockefeller Center, 1932.
Cosmic Caldwell
Jennifer Cohlman Bracchi discusses this Caldwell lighting fixture, created for Rockefeller Center in 1932.
Hello, Dollies!
The most iconic costume from the musical Hello, Dolly! pairs an elaborate, feathered headdress with a beaded, crimson gown, glamorizing the brash comedic timing of the show’s star. But the plot of the musical originates in a location that requires much humbler attire: a feed merchant’s outpost in Yonkers, New York. As such, the young...
3-D Pleats
In 2014 Designtex introduced the Origami Collection by Tobia Batria, who designed two fabrics–Chiyogami and Kabuto–both inspired by traditional Japanese paper-folding. Recently added to the Textile collection is Chiyogami, also a term that describes the graphic patterns on origami paper that were originally printed with woodblocks. The chevron form in Chiyogami becomes three dimensional through...
Sitting on a Sustainable Cloud
The softseating stool is a collapsible form made of white, paper-thin honeycombed polyethylene sheets joined between two white cardboard panels that connect with magnets to form a cylindrical shape. When fanned outward and secured, the polyethylene sheets are sturdy enough to support weight, yet remain comfortable to the user. The stool is portable, lightweight, and...