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Designers

Charles and Ray Eames

Charles Ormond Eames, Jr. /ˈiːmz/ (1907–1978) and Bernice Alexandra “Ray” Kaiser Eames (1912–1988) were an American married team of industrial designers who made significant historical contributions to the development of modern architecture and furniture through the work of The Eames Office. Among their most well-known designs is the Eames Lounge Chair. They also worked in the fields of industrial and graphic design, fine art, and film. Charles was the mouthpiece and public face of the Eames Office but Ray and Charles worked together as creative partners and employed a diverse creative staff.

 Charles Eames was an American designer, architect and filmmaker. In creative partnership with his spouse Ray Kaiser Eames he was responsible for groundbreaking contributions in the field of architecture, furniture design, industrial design, manufacturing and the photographic arts.

Charles was born in St. Louis to Charles Sr., a railway security officer, and Marie Adele Celine Eames on 17 June 17, 1907. He had one elder sibling, a sister called Adele. Charles attended Yeatman high school and developed an interest for architecture.

Charles studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis on an architecture scholarship. After two years of study, he left the university. Many sources claim that he was dismissed for his advocacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and his interest in modern architects. The university reportedly dropped him because of his “too modern” views. Other sources, less frequently cited, note that while a student, Charles Eames also was employed as an architect at the firm of Trueblood and Graf. The demands on his time from this employment and from his classes led to sleep-deprivation and diminished performance at the university.

While at Washington University, he met his first wife, Catherine Woermann, whom he married in 1929. A year later, they had a daughter, Lucia Jenkins.

 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (/miːs/ MEESS; German: [miːs]; born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies; March 27, 1886 – August 17, 1969) was a German-American architect.[1] He was commonly referred to as Mies, his surname. Along with Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture.

Mies was the last director of the Bauhaus, a seminal school in modern architecture. After Nazism’s rise to power, with its strong opposition to modernism (leading to the closing of the Bauhaus itself), Mies emigrated to the United States. He accepted the position to head the architecture school at the Armour Institute of Technology (later the Illinois Institute of Technology), in Chicago.

Mies sought to establish his own particular architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classicaland Gothic did for their own eras. He created his own twentieth-century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glassto define interior spaces, as also conducted by other modernist architects in the 1920s and 1930s such as Richard Neutra. Mies strove toward an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of unobstructed free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He sought an objective approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design, but was always concerned with expressing the spirit of the modern era. He is often associated with his fondness for the aphorisms, “less is more” and “God is in the details

Eero Aarnio (born 21 July 1932, in Helsinki) is a Finnish interior designer, noted for his innovative furniture designs in the 1960s, such as his plastic and fibreglass chairs.

Aarnio studied at the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki, and started his own office in 1962. The following year, he introduced his Ball Chair, a hollow sphere on a stand, open on one side to allow a person to sit within. The similar Bubble Chair was clear and suspended from above. Other innovative designs included his Pastil Chair (a beanbag-like molded armchair),[2] and Tomato Chair (a seat molded between three supporting spheres). His Screw Table, as the name suggests, had the appearance of a flat head screw driven into the ground. He was awarded the American Industrial Design award in 1968.

Aarnio’s designs were an important aspect of 1960s popular culture, and could often be seen as part of sets in period science-fiction films.[3] Because his designs used very simple geometric forms, they were ideal for such productions. Eero Aarnio continues to create new designs, including toys and furniture for children. Eero Aarnio opened his official webshop and first Design Eero Aarnio Showroom, in Helsinki. There you can find Aarnio`s latest design, prototypes and latest news.

 

 

George Nelson

George Nelson (1908–1986) was an American industrial designer of American Modernism. While Director of Design for the Herman Miller furniture company, Nelson and his design studio, George Nelson Associates, Inc., designed 20th century modernist furniture.

George Nelson graduated from Hartford Public High school in 1924, and thereafter attended Yale University. He did not originally set out to become an architect; he happened upon the architecture school at Yale, when he ducked into a building during a rainstorm, in order to get out of the rain. Walking through the building, he came upon an exhibit of students’ works entitled “A Cemetery Gateway”.

Nelson met with some early recognition while still an undergraduate, when he was published in Pencil Points and Architecture magazines. During his final year at Yale, he was hired by the architecture firm Adams and Prentice as a drafter.

In 1928, he graduated with a degree in architecture. In 1929, Nelson was hired as a Teacher’s Assistant while pursuing his second bachelor’s degree at Yale. He received a degree in Fine Arts in 1931.

The next year, while preparing for the Paris Prize competition, he won the Rome Prize. The award for the Rome Prize was a year studying architecture, a healthy stipend, and accommodations in a palace in Rome.

While based in Rome, Nelson traveled through Europe where he met a number of the modernist pioneers, whom he interviewed for articles for Pencil Points magazine. While being interviewed by Nelson, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe asked about Frank Lloyd Wright, whom Nelson was embarrassed to say he did not know much about. Years later, however, Nelson would work with Wright on a special issue of Architectural Forum which catalyzed Wright’s comeback from relative obscurity.

While in Rome Nelson married Frances Hollister.[citation needed] A few years later, he returned to the United States to devote himself to writing. Through his articles in Pencil Points he introduced the work of Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Gio Ponti to North America.

 

 

Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray (born Kathleen Eileen Moray Smith; 9 August 1878 – 31 October 1976) was an Irish architect and furniture designer and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. Over her career, she was associated with many notable European artists of her era, including Kathleen Scott, Adrienne Gorska, Le Corbusier, and Jean Badovici, with whom she was romantically involved. Her most famous work is the house known as E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France

Gray was born Kathleen Eileen Moray Smith on 9 August 1878, near Enniscorthy, in County Wexford, Ireland. She was the youngest of five children[1] in a Protestant Anglo-Irish family.

Her father, James MacLaren Smith, was a Scottish landscape painter.[1] He encouraged Gray’s interest in painting and drawing. Although he was a minor figure, James corresponded with major artists of the day.[3]

Her parents’ marriage broke up when she was eleven and her father left Ireland to live and paint in Europe.

Gray’s mother, Eveleen Pounden, was a granddaughter of Francis Stuart, 10th Earl of Moray.[3] She became the 19th Baroness Gray in 1895 after the death of her uncle.[3] Although the couple was already separated by this point, Gray’s father changed his name to Smith-Gray by royal licence and the four children were from then on known as Gray.

Gray split her upbringing between Brownswood House in Ireland and the family’s home in Kensington, London.

Both Gray’s brother and father died in 1900.

 

 

Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon, OBE (born 21 May 1959 in Sfax, Tunisia) is a self-taught British designer. He is currently the Creative Director of the brand ‘Tom Dixon’ specialising in Lighting, Furniture and Accessories.

His works have been acquired by museums across the globe, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum of Modern Art New York and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Tom Dixon rose to prominence in the mid 1980s as “the talented untrained designer with a line in welded salvage furniture”. He set up ‘Space’ as a creative think-tank and shop front for himself and other young designers. By the late 1980s, he was working for the Italian giant Cappellini for whom he designed the Iconic ‘S’ chair.

In the 1990s, he became a household name with ‘Jack’, his polyethylene “sitting, stacking, lighting thing” designed for his own company ‘Eurolounge’. In 1993 he participated in the ″greatest exhibition of British furniture design of the 20th century″, organized by Helmut Diez in Bremerhaven, Germany. In 1998 Tom was appointed head of design by Habitat and later became Creative Director until 2008. He was the public face of a collective team responsible for rejuvenating the Habitat brand.[2]

In 2002 Dixon established his own brand under the name ‘Tom Dixon’. The company is based in Portobello, London. In 2004 Proventus, the Swedish-based private investment company, teamed up with Tom Dixon to establish Design Research, a design and product development holding company.[4] The Tom Dixon brand launches new collections of lighting and furniture bi-annually at the Milan international furniture fair and at London Design Festival. In 2012 the company launched its first accessories range at Maison et Objet, Paris. The company’s products are sold internationally in 65 countries.

In 2007 Dixon launched Design Research Studio, an interior and architectural design studio. High-profile projects include Restaurant at The Royal Academy in London ,[5] Jamie Oliver’s London restaurant, Barbecoa as well as Shoreditch House. Most recently Design Research Studio announced their first ever hotel project, redesigning the iconic Thames-side Sea Containers House in collaboration with US hotel giant Morgans Hotel Group Completed summer 2014. In 2016, Dixon collaborated with Revolution Precrafted to design a prefabricated house named HOME. 

His work is included in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

In 2017, the Tom Dixon brand launched its first textile collection Super Texture, which features three sets of cushions. Josephine Ortega, a young British textile artist, was commissioned to create two of the three cushions – Paint and Abstract. The two urban-inspired sets incorporate bright colors with varying textures. The third set of cushions, Geo, resembles layered rocks and sediment with embroidery by hand and machine.

 

Arne Emil Jacobsen

Arne Emil Jacobsen, Hon. FAIA (11 February 1902 – 24 March 1971) was a Danish architect and designer. He is remembered for his contribution to architectural Functionalism as well as for the worldwide success he enjoyed with simple but effective chair designs. 

Arne Jacobsen was born on 11 February 1902 in Copenhagen. His father Johan was a wholesale trader in safety pins and snap fasteners. His mother Pouline was a bank teller whose hobby was painting floral motifs. He first hoped to become a painter but was dissuaded by his father who encouraged him to opt instead for the more secure domain of architecture. After a spell as an apprentice mason, Jacobsen was admitted to the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Artswhere from 1924 to 1927 he studied under Kay Fisker and Kaj Gottlob, both leading architects and designers.

Still a student, in 1925 Jacobsen participated in the Paris Art Deco fair, Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, where he won a silver medal for a chair design. On that trip, he was struck by the pioneering aesthetic of Le Corbusier’s L’Esprit Nouveau pavilion. Before leaving the Academy, Jacobsen also travelled to Germany, where he became acquainted with the rationalist architecture of Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Their work influenced his early designs including his graduation project, an art gallery, which won him a gold medal. After completing architecture school, he first worked at city architect Poul Holsøe’s architectural practice.

In 1929, in collaboration with Flemming Lassen, he won a Danish Architect’s Association competition for designing the “House of the Future” which was built full scale at the subsequent exhibition in Copenhagen’s Forum. It was a spiral-shaped, flat-roofed house in glass and concrete, incorporating a private garage, a boathouseand a helicopter pad. Other striking features were windows that rolled down like car windows, a conveyor tube for the mail and a kitchen stocked with ready-made meals.[6] A Dodge Cabriolet Coupé was parked in the garage, there was a Chris Craft in the boathouse and an Autogyro on the roof. Jacobsen immediately became recognised as an ultra-modern architect.

 

 

Le Corbusier

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (6 October 1887 – 27 August 1965), known as Le Corbusier (French: [lə kɔʁbyzje]), was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades, and he designed buildings in Europe, Japan, India, and North and South America.

Dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities, Le Corbusier was influential in urban planning, and was a founding member of the Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM). Le Corbusier prepared the master plan for the city of Chandigarh in India, and contributed specific designs for several buildings there.

On 17 July 2016, seventeen projects by Le Corbusier in seven countries were inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement.

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret was born on 6 October 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a small city in the French-speaking Neuchâtel canton in north-western Switzerland, in the Jura mountains, just 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) across the border from France. It was an industrial town, devoted to the manufacture of watches. (He adopted the pseudonym of Le Corbusier in 1920.) His father was an artisan who enameled boxes and watches, while his mother gave piano lessons. His elder brother Albert was an amateur violinist. He attended a kindergarten that used Fröbelian methods.

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