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International 1950s -1970s

 

Industrial Design of the 50s

 

Gio Ponti

Charles Eames

Eero Saarinen

Harry Bertoia

Marco Zanuso

Achille Castiglioni

Bruno Munari

 

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lounge chaier by charles eames

image source: www.furniturestoreblog.com

 

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50s industrial design  

villa savoy international style pic from www.britannica.com

image source: www.matrixinternational.it

saarinen table

image source: http://www.costruirecasa.com/prodotti.asp?offset=100

walter gropius house pic from dreamhome.blogs.nytimes.com

image source: dreamhome.blogs.nytimes.com

 

Design of products made by large-scale industry for mass distribution. Among the considerations for such products are structure, operation, appearance, and conformance to production, distribution, and selling procedures; appearance is the principal consideration in industrial design. The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design was founded in London in 1957 and with in 25 years had members in more than 40 countries. Two significant trends have persisted: streamlining, a design principle pioneered by Raymond Loewy and others in the 1930s; and planned obsolescence, design changes that tempt owners to replace goods with new purchases more frequently than would normally be necessary. Info source: www.encyclopedia.com

In the second half of the 20th century, Italian design was showcased for American museum audiences in exhibitions ranging from “Italy at Work” (1950) at the Art Institute of Chicago to “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” (1972) at the MoMA in New York. In the former exhibition, Italian design captured the public’s imagination with its sensual curvilinear forms.. Info source: www.britannica.com

       
Giò Ponti  

gio ponti domus magazine pic from bp1.blogger.com

image source: galeso.blogspot.com

gio ponti super leggera pic from www.stylepark.com

image source: www.stylepark.com

gio ponti interior design pic from www.archimagazine.com

image source: www.archimagazine.com

gio ponti duefoglie design for cassina pic from www.dolcevita.com

image source: www.dolcevita.com

 

 

One of the great all-rounders was Italian architect, designer artist and publicist Gio Ponti (1891 to 1979). For Ponti, architecture, interiors and utility items were directly connected with one another, and yet, when combining them, he avoided dogmatism of all kinds. His work fluctuated between Classicism and Modernism, between craftsmanship and industrial production. Sometimes it was a simple and practical, sometimes decorative. Accordingly, Ponti's work is not uncontroversial and yet his individual pluralism is considered a forerunner of the Post-modern.

As an enthusiastic mediator between architecture and design ("Amate l'architettura!"), in 1928 he established the magazine "Domus" whose editor-in-chief he remained almost without interruption until his death in 1979. Ponti's most famous building is the Pirelli Tower in Milan, which he realized together with Pier Luigi Nervi. This elegant skyscraper was erected on a long, hexagonal floor plan because for Ponti the diamond-shaped hexagon was the perfect geometric figure.

Ponti's ultra-light chair "Superleggera" (dating from 1955/1957) and weighing only just under 1.7 kg is considered a legend of design classics. At the time, the manufacturer Cassina ran an advertising campaign claiming that if thrown out of the window onto the street it would land unscathed and even bounce back. Ponti had designed graceful chairs even earlier than this, for example "Livia" (dating from 1937), which, alongside other historical Ponti chairs, is still being produced by l'abbate today.

The search for lightness and elegance is a recurring theme in Ponti's work. His later work is dominated by surfaces which he continued to dissolve - almost to the point of dematerialization. For example, in the open facade of the Concattedrale of Tarento (1970) or in his luminaire "Fato" for Artemide.

Info source: www.stylepark.com

       
Charles Eames  

charles and ray eames 50s pic from www.vitra.com

image source: www.vitra.com

charles eames lounge chair pic from www.vonzezschitz.de

image source: www.vonzezshwitz.de

charles eames lcw chair pic from www.stylepark.com

image source: www.stylepark.com

charles eames office chair pic www.mojointeriors.co.uk

image source: www.mojointeriors.co.uk

 

Charles Eames
(1907-1978)studied architecture at the George Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, US, from 1924 to 1926. He opened his own office, but did not obtain much success.

In 1936 he asked some architectural advise to the architect and designer Eliel Saarinen of whom he became a close friend; subsequently he was offered by him a fellowship at the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, US. There he had the opportunity to interact with important designers like Eliel Saarinen himself, his son Eero Saarinen, and Harry Bertoia. He also had the opportunity to meet the designer and painter Ray Kaiser with whom in 1941 got married and undertook important design projects that led to the foundation of the Eemes Office, the creative workshop in which the couple established their professional activity.

In 1940 with Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames submitted an innovative piece of furniture realised in moulded plywood to a competition sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art. The creation received two awards and attracted the attention of the design company Herman Miller. Charles Eemes, in partnership with Ray Eames, began a commercial collaboration with the company. The objective was the creation of furniture pieces designed in accordance with Herman Miller's mass production manufacturing techniques, and gifted with the virtue of appealing to a vast public.

Info source: www.designdictionary.co.uk

       
Eero Saarinen  

eero saarinen pic from www.allmodern.com

image source: www.allmodern.com

le corbusier interior pic from http://www.retropolis.net/exposition/newspirit.html

image source: www.classic-design24.com

le corbusier rochamp church pic from www.bbc.co.uk

image source: www.allmodern.com

 

A prolific designer with a style that sought harmony between shapes and materials, Eero Saarinen has had a profound influence on modern design. Born in Finland in 1910, Saarinen was always conscious of the importance of design: his father, Eliel, was a renowned architect and director of the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art, while his mother, Loja, was a sculptor and textile artist. After studying fine arts in Paris and architecture at Yale, Saarinen went on to practice architecture with his father and establish himself in his own right in furniture design. His friendships with fellow designers Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Knoll helped him realize his full creative potential and become a true innovator in the design world.

Saarinen is known for his creations in both architecture and furniture. He has designed such famous structures as the Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri and the TWA Terminal at Kennedy International Airport in New York. His long-term collaboration with Knoll has produced a number of famous pieces, many of which are still in production today. The distinctive Saarinen Executive Chair features an appealing shape that earned a Museum of Modern Art Award in 1969. The Womb Chair and Ottoman are a study in pure comfort, designed in response to Florence Knoll’s challenge to create a chair she could curl up in. His landmark achievement, however, is considered by many to be his Tulip Chair and Saarinen Table Collection, which includes a series of pedestal tables and chairs designed, as he put it, “to clear up the slum of the legs.” The enduring appeal of this collection, having just reached its 50th anniversary, lies in the purity of its forms and timeless elegance.

Info source: www.allmodern.com

       
Harry Bertoia  

harry bertoia pic from www.inliquid.com

image source: www.inliquid.com

diamond chair py harry bertoia

image source: www.steelform.com

bertoia wire chairs 50s pic from www.stylepark.com

image source: www.stylepark.com

bertoia lounge chair pic from www.treadwaygallery.com

image source: www.mambodesign.com

 

 

Harry Bertoia was born in Udine, Italy and emigrated in 1930 with his family to the United States. Six years later he graduated from the Technical High School, Detroit and was trained afterwards at the Cranbrook Academy of Arts, Michigan.

Later on Bertoia established at Cranbrook a metalworking studio and taught there from 1939 to 1943.

After the war he worked with the Charles and Ray Eames at the Evans Products Company developing techniques for moulding plywood. This let later to a partnership with the Eameses, when Bertoia worked with them at the Plyformed Products Company in Venice, California.

His innovative wire chairs, designed for Knoll International in 1951, were commercially very successful. Because of their transparent character they fit well in libraries and lounge areas. Info source: www.directclassics.de

Harry joined Charles Eames in California to do ongoing experimental work on molded plywood. This work stemmed from a continuation of the Eames/Saarinen chair design that won the MOMA furniture competition, which could not be succesfully produced. In addition, he was happy to contribute to the war effort making airplanes parts manufactured by Evans products Co, where Eames was director of Resarch & Development.Harry's solutions were being absorbed with no credit to him. He chose to move on. He spent two years in San Diego, at Point Loma Naval Electrical Lab. He worked on a project involving human engineering and stroboscopic photography, designed to evaluate equipment. this is where he began making sculptures after hours.

In 1950, at the request of Hans and Florence Knoll, Harry moved to Pennsylvania with his family. They offered him free reign to design whatever he wished - furniture or sculpture - with full credit, which was their policy with all designers. Harry enjoyed the freedom to do whatever he wished and created entirely new forms. The Bertoia Diamond chair series was introduced in 1952 by KnollHarry designs the "421" chair, better known as the Diamond chair. Harry also designs all the jigs for the production of the item.The chair is introduced in 1952. Info source: www.directclassics.de

 

       
Marco Zanuso  

zanuso pic from www.magris.it

image source: www.magris.it

marco zanuso ladychair pic from

image source: www.retrotogo.com

marco zanuso armchair pic from www.chaplins.co.uk

 

image source: www.chaplins.co.uk

zanuso zanotta maggiolina chair

image source: www.stylepark.com

 

One of the elder statesmen of modern design, Marco Zanuso contributed to the Italian design movement in the years following World War II. Trained in architecture at the Milan Polytechnic (1935-39), he opened his own design office in 1945 and his work was marked by rigor and originality during a long, illustrious career.

Zanuso's early experiments with bent metal brought him international recognition at the Low-Cost Furniture competition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1948. Further exploration of materials yielded sleek designs in plastic and upholstered furniture. Witness, for example, his breakthrough designs for Arflex, a division of Pirelli. In 1948, the company commissioned Zanuso to design its first furniture models using foam-rubber upholstery. Zanuso's Antropus chair was released in 1949, followed by the elegant Lady armchair, which took First Prize at the 1951 Milan Triennial. The chair offered not only comfort and sensual contours, but also a potential for efficiency in production previously unimaginable.

During the 1960s, Zanuso enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with the widely respected German designer, Richard Sapper. One of their first projects was a children's stacking chair for Kartell. Light, functional and manufactured in playful colors, the simple chair was among the European designs that began to transform the perception of plastic as a cheap material to an acceptance of plastic as an appropriate, even classy, material for the modern home.

Zanuso and Sapper also earned their place in design history as consultants to Brionvega, developing products that have since become icons of modern industrial design. The Doney 14 (1962) was the first completely transistorized Italian television, while the LS502 (1964) was a battery-powered portable radio that folded into a neat box. Info source:www.dwr.com

       
Achille Castiglioni  

achille castiglioni

image source: www.flos.com

achille castiglioni arco lamp pic from www.design-conscious.co.uk

image source: www.design-conscious.co.uk

achille castiglioni armchair pic from www.architonic.com

image source: www.design-conscious.co.uk

achille castiglioni bookshelf

image source: theblogonthebookshelf.blogspot.com

 

 

Castiglioni was born in 1918 and studied architecture at the Polytechnic in Milan. Just after World War II he joined the studio run by his two older brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo, also architects. When Livio left the practice in 1952, Achille and Pier Giacomo collaborated until the latter's premature death in 1968.

During the course of his long career, which continues today, Castiglioni has designed dozens of objects, as well as temporary architecture for numerous art exhibitions, trade fairs, and showrooms. This exhibition presents a selection of these objects, as well as three reconstructed rooms from 1957, 1965, and 1984 that further demonstrate his design philosophy, based on observation and free association.

Castiglioni views the world as a wonderful catalogue of objects that can provide a designer with ideas and guidance, and his own work is often inspired by everyday things. The designer's personal collection of found objects, gathered over a lifetime of curiosity, consists of objects with lives of their own. Independent of any designer's name, these objects become the means through which he pursues and recognizes good design--a lens through which his work can best be understood.

With his functional and purist yet playful objects, Castiglioni has shown that form and function, while certainly the main ingredients for successful design, cannot be a designer's only concerns. He has thus contributed invaluably to updating modernist design to contemporary modern.

Info source: www.moma.org
       
Bruno Munari  

glass house exterior

image source: binat.wordpress.com

bruno munari lamp pendant pic from nova68.com

image source: wwww.nova68,com

munari customizable bed

image source: www.agoramagazine.it

 

 

Bruno Munari was born in Milan in 1907. When he was just twenty, he joined the second-generation Milanese Futurist Movement and began his eclectic activities in the fields of painting, design, educational and kinetic experimentation, graphic design, advertising and photography.


In 1948 he founded the MAC (Concrete Art Movement) together with Monnet, Dorfles and Soldati. His numerous personal exhibitions underlined his enormous creativity. In 1949, at the Libreria Salto in Milan, he presented Useless Machines and in 1950 Illegible Books; in 1951, at the Saletta dell'Elicottero in Milan, he displayed his Collezione di oggetti trovati; and in 1952, at the Galleria Bergamini in Milan, he exhibited his Quadri quadrati plastici.


In 1950 Munari began his Positive Negative paintings, which he displayed the same year in Paris.
He took part in numerous collective exhibitions, including one in 1952 at the Saletta dell'Elicottero where he presented Materie plastiche in forme concrete with works in celluloid, plexiglas and plastic laminates.
In April 1954 Munari worked together with Dorfles on the exhibition Colore per le carrozzerie di auto, held at the Salone dell'Automobile in Turin.

The same year, he was one of the members of the Italian Groupe ESPACE.
He won international acclaim for his work in the field of design and his studies of art, play and creative learning that aimed to respect the intelligence of children.
He died in Milan on 30 September 1998.Info source: wikipedia.org

       

Pictures

 

aarnio ball chair pic from brokenfliker.blogspot.com

image source: brokenflicher.blogspot.com

 

tulip series saarinen design pic from modculture.typepad.com

image source: www.retrotogo.com

 

lamp by gio ponti pic from www.kabooble.comimage source: www.kaboodle.com

harry bertoia chair pic from www.retrogo.comimage source: www.retrotogo.com

gio ponti chairsimage source: www.bonluxat.com

eero saarineen grasshopper chair pic from www.treadwaygallery.comimage source: www.treadwaygallery.com

marco zanuso modern armachairimage source: www.chaplins.co.uk

marco zanuso modular seats pic from www.pataimage source: www.patamagazine.com

   
       
Links  

more about modern archtecture: iDesign / styles / International Style

more about 900' classics: www.modernclassicsdirect.co.uk , www.italiadesigns.co.uk

more about Gio Ponti: www.stylepark.com

more about Charles Eames: www.eamesoffice.com , www.designdictionary.co.uk

more about Eero Saarinen: www.allmodern.com

more about Harry Bertoia: bertoiaharry.com , www.directclassics.de

more about Marco Zanuso: www.dwr.com

more about Achille Castiglioni: www.moma.org

more about Bruno Munari: www.moma.org

more about Jacobsen: www.moma.org

 

 

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