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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...
Just Add Sunshine
In all of the many areas of design Gere Kavanaugh has tackled, from commercial interiors and exhibitions to furniture, textiles and wallcoverings to typefaces to toys, she is noted for her vibrant use of color and sense of play. She is inspired by folk art, and co-curated the exhibition “Home Sweet Home: American Domestic Vernacular...
Picasso’s Fish
In 1953, Dan Fuller, president of Fuller Fabrics, invited five of the 20th century’s most distinguished artists: Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, and Raoul Dufy, to collaborate on a line of textiles to be called the Modern Master Series. The concept was unique in that the artists were not commissioned to produce...
On Balance
The French designer and architect Marc Held has worked across various media, forms, and dimensions, from teapots to automobiles, and wristwatches to cruise ship interiors. His intrigue with the possibilities of kinetics in furniture design drove him to develop the “Culbuto” furniture series in 1967. Made up of a low-back armchair, a high-back armchair and...
Molded, laminated wood form of T-shaped back, square seat, the sides bending to form four flat legs; front of seat bent down to form short apron; back with small heart-shaped cut-out in center, attached to seat with three metal fasteners. Red-stained finish.
Minimalism in the Playroom
Experimenting with the possibilities of molded plywood during World War II allowed influential design couple Charles and Ray Eames to perfect a cheaper alternative to metal leg splints. The lightweight design proved to be a life-saving innovation for wounded soldiers. At the end of the war, the Eamses redirected their improved understanding of molded plywood...
Foliate plaster dome lamp
Marcel Wanders’ Secret Garden
Warm, yellow light bathes a hemisphere of delicately molded plaster flowers, spindly tendrils and leaves. Shadows deepen the foliate reliefs, a luminous dome suspended above the ground. All the elements of an ornate plasterwork ceiling are compressed into a compact sphere. Marcel Wanders’ Skygarden hanging lamp relies upon the unquestioned unity of stylistic opposites: completely...
Eva Zeisel’s Playful Search for Beauty
Eva Zeisel was 105 years old when she died on December 30, 2011. She was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1906 and entered the Hungarian Royal Academy of Fine Arts as a painter in 1923, but soon decided that she wanted to become a “maker of useful things.” She apprenticed herself to a pottery master...