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Author Archive
Thonet: thonet chair, 1848

Thonet: thonet chair, 1848

Michael Thonet’s determination to bend wood efficiently and consistently produced the classic Thonet side chair. We couldn’t possibly believe that the form of Thonet’s chairs follows primarily from their function. We unavoidably perceive that material considerations and the formal language derived from the investigation of the material led to his particular and very individual forms....
Marcel Breuer: Cesca and Wassily chairs

Marcel Breuer: Cesca and Wassily chairs

Cesca Chair Noticing that steel tubing could be formed into bicycle handlebars is supposedly what sparked the idea for Marcel Breuer’s classic “Cesca” chair. Taken separately from the manufacturing process, each of Breuer’s expressions of form would not seriously be considered the most appropriate formal expression of the material used. The Cesca chair is most...
Eames: Wicker chair, 19th century

Eames: Wicker chair, 19th century

Eames An intimate knowledge of material is necessary, probably as intimate as that of craftsmen – a facility with the material lets us understand what it wants to be. This a dilemma in a specialized society which demands the new but does not always know how to take advantage of it. Certainly the Eames’s experiments...
Design is a Performing Art: Canoe?

Design is a Performing Art: Canoe?

The intent of this collection of essays is to clarify the relationship between art and design. That they are not one and the same. To draw a clear picture of the processes by which things have been designed: either by material influences or mechanical process. That human beings instinctively produce good design and that a...
Design is a Performing Art: Form Follows Facility

Design is a Performing Art: Form Follows Facility

I was always fascinated with the way things are made. When I was a kid I loved making stuff. During my education I met some wonderful people who explained and showed me how to make things. As I started to teach and design I tried to bring my fascination with materials and processes to the...