Product design agency Teague, has an interesting post on the Kodak Bantam Special. Considered an icon in the classic design style of the 1930’s, the camera was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague in 1936. The Bantam Special is one of the finest examples of art-deco styling applied to any camera design. The Bantam Special had a 1937 list price of $110.00, targeting the affluent and fashionable set.
Kodak Bantam Special, by Walter Dorwin Teague for Kodak
This significant exhibition is the first in America to explore the work produced by German designer Konstantin Grcic, one of the most important industrial designers working today. Grcic is known for his logical designs, driven by an honesty of materials and an appropriateness of production methods, yet injected with an inventiveness and originality that set his work apart.
Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design, November 20 – January 24,
at Gallery 184, The Art Institute, Chicago, USA
László Moholy-Nagy became known in Germany through his formative work as a teacher at the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1923 to 1928. In 1937 he went to Chicago, where he became the founding director of the New Bauhaus (later named the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology). The New Bauhaus, was the immediate successor to the Bauhaus dissolved in 1933 under National Socialist pressure. Bauhaus ideology had a strong impact throughout America, but it was only at the New Bauhaus that the complete curriculum as developed under Walter Gropius in Weimar and Dessau was adopted and further developed.
A retrospective at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt will examine the complex picture of Moholy-Nagy’s oeuvre in order to present the range of his creative output to the public for the first time since the last major exhibition of his work in Kassel in 1991.
Exhibition: László Moholy-Nagy Retrospective, October 8 – February 7, at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany.
Sometimes ordinary photographs of the Farnsworth House leave you wanting more. Peter Guthrie has filled the gap, by creating a set of beautiful 3D renderings of the iconic house, originally designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for his client, Dr Edith Farnsworth in 1946.
Farnsworth House, Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,
3D Renderings by Peter Guthrie, Flickr Set
The unsung hero in any product development is the model-maker. This is set to change with the inauguration of the Giovanni Sacchi Archive in Milan. Giovanni Sacchi’s model-making workshop was an important point of reference for many Italian master designers and architects including, Vico Magistretti, Enzo Mari, Achille Castiglioni, Ettore Sottsass, Marco Zanuso and Aldo Rossi who designed these espresso makers, the models were executed by Sacchi. An entire working environment has been reconstructed in the Archive, completed by an area equipped with new machinery where it will be possible to organize model-making workshops with teachers, students and professionals.
The digital archives of Google Books now hosts over 1,860 issues of LIFE magazine, other unpublished photos are also available on Google, including seldom seen images of Charles and Ray Eames at their Pacific Palisades home, also known as Case Study House No. 8. Other LIFE features include Raymond Loewy’s Palm Springs Pad.
LIFE photographer Gjon Mili visited Picasso in 1949. Mili showed the artist some of his photographs of ice skaters with tiny lights affixed to their skates jumping in the dark–and Picasso’s mind began to race. The series of photographs–Picasso’s light drawings–were made with a small flashlight in a dark room; the images vanished almost as soon as they were created.
Picasso’s Light Drawings, Photographed by Gjon Mili, for LIFE
Mirage.studio.7 has a collection of fictional architects in movies. Our favorite is Gary Cooper in The Fountainhead, an adaptation of the novel by Ayn Rand.
During World War II, the U.S. Navy called upon Charles and Ray Eames to create a lightweight, inexpensive leg splint. The resulting design is a highly sculptural yet functional device that could be mass-produced and, being modular, conveniently and inexpensively transported. Access to military technology and manufacturing facilities allowed the designers to perfect their technique for molding plywood, which they had been working on for several years. In its three-dimensional, biomorphic form, the leg splint suggests the Eames‘ subsequent, highly influential plywood furniture designs such as the Eames Lounge Chair
Molded Plywood Leg Splint, Patent No. 2548470, by Charles and Ray Eames, Manufactured by Evans Products, Molded Plywood Division
more: Metropolitan Museum of Art
When Ray and Charles Eames arrived in Los Angeles in 1941, they turned a spare room in their apartment into a workshop to experiment with molded plywood forms with the goal of mass producing furniture. During the war, they began making molded plywood splints for the U.S. Navy. This combination of experience and experimentation led to the design many well-known chairs, including the DCM Chair and the LCW Chair (Low Chair Wood). Sometime in the early 1950s Charles and Ray decided to go ahead with developing an upholstered super-comfortable lounge chair, like those found in men’s clubs. Charles Eames says that “the motivation behind most of the things we’ve done was either that we wanted them ourselves, or we wanted to give them to someone else, and the way to make that practical is to have that gift manufactured… the lounge chair for example, was really done as a present for a friend, Billy Wilder, and has since been reproduced.”
The Lounge Chair has since been in continuous production by Herman Miller and Vitra. Its rosewood veneer and black leather upholstery became a status symbol ”…and during the last decade or so, newspapers and magazine stories have depicted the Eames Chair as the throne of choice for movie moguls and other powerful businessmen who seek to project and air of informal, but total control.” The chair evolved to become the height of luxury and comfort and one of the most important design icons of the 20th century.
The book examines the designs of Ray and Charles Eames and with lavish photographs and illustrations, documents the evolution of the Lounge Chair and places it in its cultural, historical and social context. It also includes insightful interviews of people involved in making the Lounge Chair and observations on its transformation into a Modernist icon.
Charles Eames was often asked to “explain” the Chair. One of his most quoted lines was that he wanted it to have “the warm receptive look of a well-worn first baseman’s mitt. Anyone who has owned the Lounge Chair will tell you — it gets better with age.
The Eames Lounge Chair: An Icon of Modern Design, by Pat Kirkham, Thomas Hine, David Hanks, Martin Eidelberg, Hardcover, Dimensions: 25 x 25 cm, Pages: 192
Published by, BIS Publishers
Buy it here: Amazon