postmodernism

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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...
Not Your Grandmother’s Chippendale Chair
Since the publication of his 1966 treatise, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, architect Robert Venturi has been considered one of the founders of Postmodernism. Venturi challenged the modernist prejudice against ornament and traditional decorative styles, and questioned the maxim “form follows function.” The Chippendale Chair is one of a series of nine chairs in historical styles he...
Oversized poster for AIGA calling for entries for contest. Poster folds into 16 sections. Computerized photo reproduction of whirlpool (in black and white) and fish (in color) in middle. Imprinted below fish: "Communication Graphics 1993" (in black). Red, yellow and black dots assembled to form human figure at left center with head overlapping image of whirlpool. Square cut out in center of head with digital image of brain. Five other digital images of brain in various perspectives superimposed over figure with accompanying labels. Flow chart at left center: "brain/ reading/ unity/ language/ reasoning/ and/ mathematics" (in black). Imprinted, near top center, in text boxes: "neomammalian/ 200 million years old/ cerebral cortex:/ problem-solving, memorizing, creating/ paleomammalian/ 300 million years old/ limbic:/ emotional feelings guiding behavior/ reptilian/ 500 million years old/ self-preservation, hunting, homing, mating, establishing territory,/ and fighting". Photo reproduction (in black and white) of man and inversed image of same photo above. Two images connected by X's (in green and red lines). Along right edge: "AIGA/ Commun-/ication/ Graphics/ 1993" (in yellow), interspersed with names of various designers (in vertical orientation).
Mind and Body
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Cooper Hewitt is dedicating select Object of the Day entries to the work of women designers in our collection. “I believe that all designers come to a task with a unique way of ordering that is particular to their past experiences, and perhaps even their genetic structure,” says maverick...
Horizontal building elevation built over a canal; building is held up by pillars; formed by arches and pediments, geometric shapes, glass.
Tangible Speculation and the Pleasure of Drawing
The architect Michael Graves, who died last week at the age of 80, was passionate and insistent about the importance of drawing in architectural practice. Over the course of his career, the use of computer-aided design software became ubiquitous among generations of architects, but Graves remained steadfast in his belief that drawing by hand was...