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Princess Phone, Henry Dreyfuss
For much of the twentieth century, telephones were standard issue, designed for durability and function rather than consumer appeal. After 1953, color transformed the telephone from a basic technology into an alluring consumer product. AT&T ran ad campaigns encouraging women to see the phone as an element of home decoration. What if new phone models...
Made by Hand: Alabama Chanin
  The evening of May 19th capped off a three-day residency at the Cooper-Hewitt for Natalie Chanin, founder and designer of the design studio Alabama Chanin. Chanin, one of the founders of the burgeoning “slow fashion” movement, followed up her two-day Design Directions workshop for teenagers with an hour-long public lecture and book signing. “Lecture”...
Felt in Haiti
I had the pleasure of meeting recently with Ton Vriens, a Dutch documentary filmmaker and journalist who, through his foundation Turtle Tree, is working with women in Haiti to develop a felt-making co-operative, with the goal of achieving economic and social independence for the members of the self-governed group. Haiti is one of the poorest...
Slideshow: Miss Rococo
Intimate and ornate, rococo design has long been associated with feminine taste. Madame de Pompadour, the official mistress of Louis XV, was one of the supreme patrons of the rococo style. In 1990 artist Cindy Sherman pictured herself as Madame de Pompadour, emblazoning her image on a porcelain tureen commissioned by Artes Magnus. The curvaceous...