Historical Artists & Past Designers:

As part of unit 2  I needed to look at a number of past artists to influence my work, I decided to upload this to my blog to better inform my third stage/

1.) Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)


“Virginia” formed glass design.

Wright began to herald a new concept in architecture that focused on organic styles. While best known for innovative architectural projects such as the Larkin Building and Unity Temple, Wright also dabbled in furniture design inspired by the exterior of his suburban projects such as the Prairie School. His combination of interior and exterior designs made him one of the most renowned American architects in history.

2.) Charles and Ray Eames (Charles, 1907-1978 & Ray, 1912-1988)


Ray’s molded plywood sculpture.

Charles and Ray Eames dominated the furniture design scene in the US from the early 1950s to the 1970s, and they are most known for their Eames Lounge and Ottoman chairs. Although the duo spanned into other artistic projects such as photography, film and other architectural ventures, the power couple is renowned for their significant contributions in creating modern works within the US. The furniture design of Charles and Ray Eames would serve as inspiration for other leading designers during their time.

3.) Florence Knoll Bassett (1917)


Knoll 1960’s showroom LA.

By studying under the guidance of renowned architects such as Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, Bassett entered the furniture design business with notable years of experience in architecture. It was when she moved to New York and met her husband, Hans Knoll, that she decided to venture into the furniture business. Using her background in architecture, she applied use of space and modern touches to the company’s furniture collection. Although Hans Knoll would pass away, Bassett continued to run the company and its daily endeavors, sealing its success as a leading company that pioneered popular and iconic furniture from the 1950s-1960s.

4.) Le Corbusier (1887-1965)


Variation on the iconic “LC2” armchair.

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris was a French-Swiss architect who assumed the pseudonym ‘Le Corbusier’ when he move to Paris in 1917. Chiefly using geometric forms and building in steel and cement, this style of clear structure fell into his design work of furniture and in 1928 started his own furniture company launching a collection with Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret. This included, among other things, his famous take on the lounge chair.

5.) Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999)


“Bibliotheque” mural bookcase.

Famously going on to work with Le Corbusier, Perriand was initially denied a spot at her studio but kept working at it and eventually gained his recognition and rose into a famed designer in her own right. She left Corbusier’s studio in in 1937 in order to further develop her own style and focus on her own range of chairs and furniture becomingly equally as iconic as her one-time mentor.

6.) Peter Behrens (1886-1940)


“Octagonal” kettle range

Behrens turned to architecture after designing and building his own home. He even conceived the items in the interior, towels, shelves, furniture and everything in between. He was one of the pioneers of architectural reform, and his factory buildings designed of brick, glass and steel gained popularity during the early 20th century.

7.) Arne Jacobsen (1902 – 1971)


The “Egg Chair”

Danish-born Arne Jacobsen is considered to be amongst the most influential architects and designers of the 20th century. Two of the standouts of Jacobsen’s prolific career are his Egg Chair (1956) and Swan Chair (1958). Jacobsen’s chairs exemplify the pared down silhouettes and seamless futuristic curves we have become so attached to. Even after half a century, Jacobsen’s work somehow manages to be historical, futuristic, and contemporary all at the same time.

8.)  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 – 1969)


“Bacelona Chair”

He served as the director of Berlin’s Bauhaus as well as the department head of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he is credited to have developed the Second Chicago School. Among his fellow modern design masters (or peers, as some might refer to them) are Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, and Le Corbusier. But despite his rich associations, Mies strove for what he called “skin and bones” design; design with minimal framework and open space. Today, such a concept seems benign or even standard, but it was the prolific work of Mies that breathed life into the mantra, “less is more.”

9.) Dieter Rams (1932 – )


Braun “Sixtant 4004”

German industrial designer Dieter Rams served as the head of the consumer products company Braun. Rams is usually associated with the Functionalist school of industrial design and has even created ten clean-cut principles for us civilians to qualify “good design.” According to Rams, good design is innovative, makes a product useful, is aesthetic, makes a product understandable, is unobtrusive, is honest, is long-lasting, is thorough down to the last detail, is environmentally friendly, and is as little design as possible.

10.) Walter Gropius (1883 – 1969)


The “F51 Chair”

In 1919, German architect Walter Gropius founded the Staatliches Bauhaus, an institution still renowned for its approach to teaching and integrating craft, design and the fine arts. In addition to founding a school that attracted the likes of Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Josef Albers as faculty, Gropius is also considered to be a pioneer of modern architecture and furniture design.


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