Under the direction of Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus sought a union of art and technology, with an emphasis on developing prototypes for industrial production. Marianne Brandt, the sole woman enrolled in the school’s metal workshop, designed this silver teapot while still a student. By interrelating a number of pure geometric forms, including the hemisphere, circle, and cylinder, Brandt’s design explores their formal relationship in space. Like other functional Bauhaus items, the teapot was designed to work well in addition to looking good—it is well balanced and easy to pour.
Tea infuser and strainer ca. 1924, Silver and Ebony; H. 7.3 cm, by Marianne Brandt, Sold at Auction $361,000, Sotheby’s
More a Marvel of Engineering, Torre de Collserola functions as a highly adaptable communications tower and an innovation for an entirely new structural concept: a hybrid concrete and steel-braced tube. This required a base diameter of only 4.5 metres, dramatically minimizing its impact on the mountainside.
Torre de Collserola, Barcelona, Spain by Foster and Partners
“Sottsass designed the Valentine typewriter (with Perry A. King) for Olivetti in 1969 to be an “anti-machine machine,” for use “anyplace but an office. Undoubtedly one of the great design classics, the Valentine expresses the mood of its time: goodbye to the bulky cast-iron housings of old typewriters, hello to the new mobility of a light, modern, plastic casing made from ABS.
Olivetti Valentine Typewriter (c.1969), by Ettore Sottsass, for Olivetti
From mobile phones and restaurants, to a private jet and Ford concept car, Marc Newson has executed a range of projects in the past twenty years that most designers barely dream of. Born in Sydney in 1963, Newson spent his childhood in Europe and Asia before studying jewellery and sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts. After graduating in 1984, he lived on government grants while designing sculptural furniture and making it himself. His breakthrough came in 1986 when Newson exhibited the Lockheed Lounge, an elegant aluminium version of an 18th century chaise longue. The Lockheed Lounge became a media sensation and now commands hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.
In honor of George Nelson’s 100th birthday, Vitra has released a special re-edition (limited to 1,000) of Nelson’s Pretzel Chair he designed in 1952.
Pretzel Chair, by George Nelson, manufatured by Vitra, via: Design Related
The site where the Gherkin stands was originally occupied by the Baltic Exchange, a masterpiece of Edwardian commercial architecture that housed an expansive trading floor behind its elegant stone facade, the building was destroyed by an IRA truck bomb. A landmark on London’s skyline and architectural history; the sleek and shiny exterior of the offices at 30 St Mary Axe hide its credentials as the UK’s first environmentally progressive, commercial high-rise building. It changed the London skyline forever.
1961 Playboy photo featuring left to right – George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames and Jens Risom.
Portrait, from Playboy
Born in Finland in 1910, Eero Saarinen was the son of Eliel Saarinen, a noted and respected architect. His mother, Loja Saarinen, was a gifted sculptor, weaver, photographer, and architectural model maker. Eero was taught that each object should be designed in its “next largest context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, environment in a city plan.”
Eero Saarinen produced a series of masterpieces of breathtaking individuality, including the 630-foot-tall, stainless steel St. Louis Gateway Arch and the TWA Terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
The underside of typical chairs and tables makes a confusing, unrestful world,” said Saarinen. “I wanted to clear up the slum of legs.” Thus in 1957 Saarinen unveiled his groundbreaking collection of pedestal coffee, dining and side tables for Knoll, whose simple elegance has endured for over 50 years.
Echoing the Martian invaders in the War of the Worlds (Paramount Pictures, 1954), for which his brother, Hal Pereira, was Art Director, William Pereira’s “Theme Building” for the new Los Angeles International Airport was intended to resemble a landing spaceship. Calling this “the first terminal area specifically designed for the jet age,” The initiall building design was done by James Langenheim, of the Pereira-Luckman firm.
Theme Building, LAX, Los Angeles Airport, USA, by (1962, Pereira, Luckman, Becket, Williams)