In 1910 Walter Gropius established his own design practice and joined the Deutscher Werkbund, an association of German artists,architects, designers, and industrialists. That sameyear, he designed this sofa and armchair set, which was supposed to be Gropius’ solution to the Deutscher Werkbund’s debate over whether standardization and creative expression could be reconciled in design. As the pictures show, Gropius’ designs combine a beautiful aesthetic with a relatively simple structure that could be standardized and easily reproduced.
More pictures after the jump.
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The Eames Dining Chair Wood is the dining chair version of the Eames Lounge Chair Wood. The dining chair utilizes the same molded plywood and the same aircraft shock-mount-inspired piece of plywood which connects the chair seat’s reverse to the chair’s back. The two chairs look very similar, but the height and posture of the dining chair is more suitable for a kitchen table. The Dining Chair Wood is manufactured and sold by the Herman Miller company, and comes in a variety of woods, including walnut, cherry, and light ash, as well as a red finish.
The Eames Lounge Chair Wood, often referred to as the Eames Plywood Chair or the Eames LCW , was designed in 1940. This iconic lounge chair was designed by Charles Eames and his friend, architect Ero Saarinen, for the “Organic Furniture Competiton” run by the Museum of Modern Art. The LCW won the competition. However, it did not go into production immediately due to difficulties with the chair’s production. Production was then further delayed by the United States’ entrance into WWII.
The chair’s assembly was inspired by the aircraft industry, as Eames and Saarinen utilized utilized shock mouts to attach the reverse of the seat and the chair’s back. The chair was originally made of molded walnut plywood and then sealed with a clear plastic melamine coat. Since its original release, the Eames wood lounge chair has been produced by Herman Miller in a number of materials, including mahogany, rosewood, oak, cowhide, leather, teak, and several others.
The abcd chair was a chair designed in 1966 by French designer Pierre Paulin. The chair utilized the abcd system of design utilizing fiberglass seat shells that were either upholstered to form an individual chair or joined together to form multiple seat chairs and sofas. The Chair was upholstered with textiles and rested on casters. In 1969 the abcd furniture series won the Monza design award.
Charles Eames begain work on the Eames Wire Chair (commonly referred to as the Eames Bikini Chair) in the early 1950s. During this period Charles and Ray Eames began investigating the use of bent steel wire and the welding techniques required to incorporate it into their furniture. The Wire Chair, in particular, was a collaboration between Charles Eames and Harry Bertoia (an Italian-born artist, sculptor, and modern furniture designer). Bertoia was originally a metal-worker, and his knowledge in this field was a great help to Eames.
The Eames Wire Chair was manufactured and sold by the Herman Miller Company beginning in 1951. The company still produces the original Eames design today. It can be purchased in several different styles: the wire only chair, the wire chair with a single leather seat bad, and the wire chair with the dual “bikini” leather pad.
The Sunburst Clock is one of George Nelson’s most popular designs. It features 12 geometric rays which burst out of the clocks center. The clock can be found in the iconic multicolored version, red, or walnut.
The clock was designed for the Herman Miller Clock Company (Later the Howard Miller Clock Company) along with the designer’s other clock designs. These clocks were manufactured by this company until the line was discontinued in the 1980′s. Then, in the 1990′s, the Vitra Design Museum obtained the rights to manufacture the original designs and has been faithfully reproducing Nelson’s clocks since then.
The Ball Clock is one of George Nelson’s most iconic clock designs. Nelson had been known to collaborate with other designs, and the Ball Clock was no exception. In 1948, George Nelson was at a dinner party with fellow designers, Isamu Noguchi, Irving Harper, and Bucky Fuller. After having “a little bit too much to drink” the crew began sketching designs. They awoke the next morning to the wholly pleasant surprise of the Ball clock design sketched on a roll of drafting paper. However, none of the men could remember who exactly had drawn the masterpiece. “I don’t know to this day who cooked it up,” Nelson would later report. He explained, “I know it wasn’t me. It might have been Irving, but he didn’t think so. [We] both guessed that Isamu had probably done it because [he] has a genius for doing two stupid things and making something extraordinary out of the combination. It could have been an additive thing, but we never knew.” (George Nelson: The Design of Modern Design; pp 111).
Despite its uncertain origins, the ball clock’s design has become one of the most recognizable clocks from the modernist designer. It was originally designed for Herman Miller, which manufactured the Ball clock (as well as George Nelson’s other clocks) until the 1980′s. Today it is manufactured by Vitra design museum, which obtained the rights to produce the designs again in the 1990s. The ball clock can can be found in the multicolored version featured above, as well as in natural, orange, walnut, and white colors.
The Eames “La Chaise” lounge is one of the most iconic pieces of modern furniture ever to be produced. The lounge was designed by design duo Charles and Ray Eames in 1948.
“La Chaise” was designed for the 1948 competition for low-cost furniture held by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). A full scale model of the lounge was produced and accepted by MoMA and production costs were estimated at $15 for the lounge’s shell and $12 for its base. The design was featured in the museum’s 1949 exhibition of modern living. However, it was not produced commercially until 1990. Since then, it has been produced in limited runs by manufacturer Vitra. It is constructed from a fiberglass shell and natural oak base with metal supports.