Before the mid-1950s, vacuum cleaners weren’t in many Japanese homes because dusters, brooms, and floor cloths were considered adequate for cleaning traditional Japanese homes. But through extensive marketing efforts by manufacturers, Japanese-made vacuum cleaners gradually became household necessities by the 1960s – with the MC-1000 top of the list.
MC-1000, by Panasonic, 1965, Part a selection from the Panasonic Design Museum
Knotted Chair was featured in the 1996 exhibition “Contemporary Design from the Netherlands” curated by Paola Antonelli at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was presented in Milan in 1996 as part of the “Dry Tech” project initiated by Droog Design of the Netherlands and carried out in cooperation with the Aviation and Space Laboratory of Delft Technical University. Made from a macrame of carbon fibers and epoxy-coated aramid fibers, this chair is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Cappellini Knotted Chair, 1996, by Marcel Wanders
Each piece is designed by Josef Hartwig to reflect the moves that it can make in the game. This Bauhaus product is a fine example of collaboration between the different workshops: Heinz Nosselt produced the corresponding chess table in the joinery workshop, while Joost Schmidt designed the accompanying promotional leaflet and posters. This example is from the developmental period of the Bauhaus chess set. It is the penultimate version to the one produced in Dessau.
Chess set, by Josef Hartwig, 1924, Beech Stained Natural or Black for Workshop for sculpture, Bauhaus Weimar
Interior Design has posted an article “Brains and Braun” by Larry Weinberg looking at influential product designs produced by Braun from the 50s and ’60s.
“order rather than confusion, quiet rather than loud, unobtrusive rather than exciting, sparse rather than profuse, and well-balanced rather than exalted.”
- Dieter Rams
Images: (top) T1000 World Receiver, 1963, (middle) Record player PS 45, (bottom) Pocket radio T-41, all by Dieter Rams, for Braun
Many objects are beautiful; and many creations are functional. But only few achieve enduring status. Designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius in 1969, the Tac tea service is probably the most beautiful tea service ever produced.
“Our guiding principle was that design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society.”
- Walter Gropius
Tac Tea Pot, by Walter Gropius, (1883-1969) for Rosenthal
A set of vintage Verner Panton images have been unearthed, including one of the master himself.
Photographs, via: Does it Float
Many designers and architects have worked with the notion of folding, collapsible or adjustable furniture. A classic piece commonly known as the propeller stool was designed by Poul Kjaerholm, a functional design with slender, elegant steel legs, twisting 180 degrees.
PK 91, by Poul Kjærholm, for Fritz Hansen
Inspired by the hull of a viking ship, this large staved teak ice bucket, incongruously called Congo is lined in orange plastic.
Danish-born Jens H. Quistgaad was one of Scandinavia’s leading designers with a vast product range that included furniture, kitchen equipment, tableware and more. He is most closely associated with Dansk International Designs, a company which he co-founded with American entrepreneur Ted Nierenberg. Their partnership lasted for 30 years, Quistgaard being responsible for the majority of designs produced.
He worked in a variety of materials including iron, steel, ceramic and wood. It is wood, and in particular teak, which most often springs to mind when Jens Quistgaard is mentioned.
Teak Ice bucket, by Jens H Quistgaard, 1955, for Dansk Designs
Carl Arne Breger is one of those designers that emerged in the fifties and sixties that served the industry exceptionally well by being both technically innovative and completely in tune with the expectations of the users. The Duett Pitcher and Juicer made a cameo in the cult series Space 1999.
Duett is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Carl Arne Breger was trained between 1943 and 1948 as a decoration painter and model maker at Stockholm’s Konstfack he started as a scene and billboard painter for Svensk Filmindustri. His design career started when in 1953 he joined Stig Lindberg at Gustavsberg.
Duett Pitcher and Juicer, 1957 (now out of production) by Carl Arne Breger, for Gustavsberg
In his brief but brilliant career, Joe Colombo (1930-1971) produced a series of innovations which made him one of Italy’s most influential Italian product designers.
The Acrilica lamp design came about from Colombo’s work on a hotel project in Sardinia in which he utilized the perspective of a counter-ceiling to produce a particular mode of indirect lighting. It is this idea that ultimately gives birth to the Acrilica lamp which utilizes a curvature of methacrylate to diffuse light indirectly.
The Acrilica lamp is included in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Acrilica lamp, by Joe Colombo, for Oluce