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Donald Strum: Behind Great Product Design

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Donald Strum, principal of product design at Michael Graves Design Group, drew a standing-room-only crowd at the Business of Design Stage on Friday, June 21, at Dwell on Design. Strum briefly introduced the work of the eminent architect before delving into the inner workings of the office's new line of homewares for presenting sponsor jcpenney.
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  Here's Michael Graves (front) along with Donald Strum (back right) in one of the jcpenney shops-within-a-shop dedicated to the Graves line.

    Here's Michael Graves (front) along with Donald Strum (back right) in one of the jcpenney shops-within-a-shop dedicated to the Graves line.

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  Here's a trio of vases from the collection Strum discussed in the talk. The ceramic Footed Vases (left and center) come in a bronze finish and celadon. The Cube Vase (right) shows how classical forms continue to inform Graves's work.

    Here's a trio of vases from the collection Strum discussed in the talk. The ceramic Footed Vases (left and center) come in a bronze finish and celadon. The Cube Vase (right) shows how classical forms continue to inform Graves's work.

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  Here's the Michael Graves Design Toaster which is made from stainless steel and has a copper handle. Strum described how copper is a common material in kitchenware and how his team wanted to nod to the metal in the toaster design. The little toast icon is actually an digital display that counts down as your bread toasts.

    Here's the Michael Graves Design Toaster which is made from stainless steel and has a copper handle. Strum described how copper is a common material in kitchenware and how his team wanted to nod to the metal in the toaster design. The little toast icon is actually an digital display that counts down as your bread toasts.

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  This Salad Bowl is made from acacia wood. The Graves office wanted to up the level of materials used in this collection, but found that instead of getting jcpenney's Chinese manufacturers to work with American woods, it was far better to design them in woods native to China.

    This Salad Bowl is made from acacia wood. The Graves office wanted to up the level of materials used in this collection, but found that instead of getting jcpenney's Chinese manufacturers to work with American woods, it was far better to design them in woods native to China.

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  The Graves office is famous for tea kettles, the most popular of which is the Whistling Bird for Alessi. This Bells and Whistles tea kettle continues its legacy with a playful touch at the spout.

    The Graves office is famous for tea kettles, the most popular of which is the Whistling Bird for Alessi. This Bells and Whistles tea kettle continues its legacy with a playful touch at the spout.

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