Tag Archive | Value of Good Design

Eye On Design: Cane Side Chair By Marcel Breuer

Breuer Chair Installation View
Installation View with Eames Shelving Unit (All Photo By Gail)

This side char was the product of a team research project led by Marcel Breuer (19021981), a celebrated architect and émigré known for his tubular metal furniture, and designer of the original Whitney Museum Building on Madison Avenue in NYC. Collaborating with the US Forest Products Laboratory, he applied knowledge accumulated over fifteen years of experimentation, as well as new developments in high-frequency gluing, to plywood construction.

Breuer Chair

The team’s report boasted of the chair’s ability to carry a load of five hundred pounds, and the jury of MoMA’s International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture described the design ad “ingeniously articulated.”

Breuer Cane Chair

Photographed as Part of The Exhibit The Value of Good Design, on Through June 15th, 2019 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Breuer Cane Chair

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Eye On Design: Landi Chair By Hans Corey

Landi Chair
All Photos By Gail

The Landi Chair (1938) was among the examples of international design in the exhibition Die Gute Form (Good Form), which the designer Max Bill curated  on behalf of the Swiss Werkbund — an organization established in 1913 to promote good design — and which travelled to venues in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands from 194151.

Landi Chair

Landi Chair was designed by Hans Corey and manufacured from bent and pressed aluminum.

Landi Chair Installation View
Landi Chair Installation View With Kitchen Clock (1953) and Sun Lamp By Max Bill (1951)

Landi Chair

“We’ve tried in this exhibition to dispense as much as possible with ‘appearance’ and focus instead on what is modest, true [and] even good,” Bill wrote in the exhibition catalogue.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, The Value of Good Design, on View at The Museum of Modern Art Through June 15th, 2019.

Eye On Design: Royal Festival Hall Chair By Robin Day

Royal Festival Hall Chair
All Photos By Gail

Robin Day’s prizewinning design for the Royal Festival Hall chair, created for entry into MoMA’s 1948 International Low-Cost Furniture Competition, helped to launch his career as an industrial designer. Day enjoyed a long-term consultancy with Hille, the chair’s manufacturer, as well as the establishment of a studio with his future wife, Lucienne.

Royal Festival Hall Chair

Epitomizing  the contemporary style and technological innovation of the 1951 Festival of Britain, the chair was featured in the couple’s Home and Gardens pavilion as well as in the lounge of the new Royal Festival. The chair also appeared in that year’s Milan Triennale and was soon put into production for an international market. Robin Day’s radical molded plywood seating design appears on the point of taking flight, as if lifted off its slender steel legs by the surge of energy and hope also expressed in the Festival of Britain that year. The lemon-yellow upholstery and copper-plated legs add to the extraordinary visual vitality of this sculptural piece.

Royal Festival Hall Chair

The fabric hung in the background (left) is by Austrian-born textile designer Marian Mahler, a contemporary of Robin and Lucienne Day. The yellow textile on the right is a length of Lucienne’s 1958 design Mezzanine, which was presented to the Museum by Denver-based Lucienne Day collectors Jill A. Wiltse and Kirk H. Brown III.

Robin Day Chair

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, The Value of Good Design, on View at The Museum of Modern Art Through June 15th, 2019.

Robin Day Chair

Eye On Design: Inflatable Chair By William H. Miller Jr.

Inflatable Chair
All Photos By Gail

Composed of Vinylite and manufactured by a chemical company (Gallowhur Chemical Corp. of Windsor, VT) this Inflatable Chair (1944) typifies the application of innovative materials and production techniques — heightened during wartime — to domestic products. Designer William H. Miller was an employee of Gallowhur Chemical.

Inflatable Chair

During World War II, Miller collaborated with a cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt to design a pocket-sized water-desalination device that became standard equipment for Army and Navy Fliers.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit The Value of Good Design, On View Through June 15th, 2019 at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Inflatable Chair Installation View
Installation View

Eye On Design: Slinky Designed By Richard James

Slinky with Original Box
Slinky Toy with Original Box (Photo By Gail)

Slinky was once just a little old everyday spring on a ship,” read a brochure describing the origins of the popular toy. Speaking about inventory Richard James, it continued, “One day Dick took it home to show his family. His little boy, Tommy, surprised everybody by making the spring walk down the stairs — all by itself! That gave Dick the idea to make this little old spring into a toy. His wife, Betty, named it Slinky!” What started as a chance discovery went on to become an international bestseller that has helped generations of children ponder the principles of gravity and tension.

Richard James, who began his career as a naval engineer, spent a few years perfecting his design before bringing it to market in 1945. It was Betty James, his wife, who brought Slinky its international success, marketing the cleverly named toy with a catchy jingle and playful television ads. When she died in 2008, The New York Times estimated that the number of Slinkys sold since the 1940s could circle the globe 150 times.

This Slinky was Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, The Value of Good Design, on View at The Museum of Modern Art Through June 15th, 2019.

Eye On Design: Hang-It-All Clothes Hanger By Charles Eames

Hang It All Clothes Hanger
Photos By Gail

Designing couple Charles and Ray Eames’s interest in design for children extended to many different kinds of playroom objects, including this hanging rack made from colorful wooden balls. The Hang-It-All Clothes Hanger (1953) remains in production to this day, and you can find an inexpensive version at any Flying Tiger Shop.

Photographed as Part of The Value of Good Design, on Exhibit Through June 15th, 2019 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC

Hang It All Clothes Hanger
Installation View