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Vintage photo of Herbert Matter

Printed Matter

Considering his cache of bold-faced employers, the Swiss-born graphic designer and photographer Herbert Matter (1907–1984) should loom larger in the mid-century design canon than he does. His clients included Knoll (he was a design consultant on their ads, logos, and catalogs from 1946 to 1966) the Eames Office, Le Corbusier, and Yale University, where he taught photography and graphic design. His friends, luminaries of the art world, often became subjects of his work.  He photographed Jackson Pollock on Long Island weekends, shot a film for MoMA about Alexander Calder, and made a decades-long pictoral study of fellow Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. In the mid-1930s Matter made a quick name for himself as a graphic designer with a set of bold, avant-garde-inspired travel posters for the Swiss National Tourist Office. His deft use of angular photography and collage presaged what would become a life-long fascination with the camera. His interdisciplinary 50-year career included magazine covers for Condé Nast, communication design for the U.S. government, and the graphic identity for the New Haven Railroad. Herbert Matter warrants a second look—here’s ours.
May 5, 2011
Artists Handmade Houses

Artists' Handmade Houses

Ever wonder what an artist's home would look like if he or she were the mind behind it? This month, Abrams has published a stunning new coffee table book that peeks inside the abodes of 13 well-known, American craftspeople who built their homes themselves. Appropriately titled Artists' Handmade Houses, the book features beautiful images by Don Freeman and text by Michael Gotkin. Here we look at the homes of Russel Wright, Paolo Soleri, and George Nakashima.
May 5, 2011
kbis 2011 part 3

KBIS 2011: Part 3

Here we are with our final report from the 2011 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, held this year in Las Vegas (it's heading back to Chicago in 2012). In this slideshow, we take a peek inside Toto's Integrated Power Eco Faucet, look at Moen's multipurpose universal designs, and explore the history of True's residential undercounter fridge drawers.
May 3, 2011
Crap equals good

Crap = Good

This morning I came across a terrific new design blog with a clean, if quirky, aesthetic. Crap = Good is rather a strange name for a blog, and I confess that I can't totally fathom their mission statement. It could be a rough translation into English, or perhaps I'm too far gone from my college days reading abstract philosophy, nodding along in half-comprehension. "In today's over-designed, visual culture," the blog's description reads, "a counter-flow is appearing. With the title 'Crap is good' we name a common thought, and a sence (sic) of aesthetics." I don't know as I can quite parse it, but let me assure you that Crap is indeed good.
May 3, 2011
hexmat

A Trivet Trove

May 3, 2011
KBIS 2011 part 2

KBIS 2011: Part 2

Our second update from the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the 2011 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show includes outdoor kitchens, hybrid gas-charcoal grills, and a $6,400 toilet that will open when you enter the bathroom, warm your feet while you sit, and play your iPod through its built-in speakers.
May 2, 2011
Miller House in Columbus, Indiana

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen’s legendary Miller House opened to the public in May 2011 for the first time. Leslie Williamson gives us an intimate tour of this Columbus, Indiana, treasure.  
May 2, 2011
cahdhaus thumb

Furniture by Chadhaus

I recently discovered the work of Chadhaus, a four-year-old Seattle-based company that builds beautiful modern furniture from hardwoods and recycled steel sourced mostly in the Pacific Northwest. Founded by Chad and Emily Robertson, the company combines the couple's backgrounds in art, construction, furniture, and architecture. According to their website, Chadhaus is "part laboratory, part workshop, and part design studio—building furniture and designing spaces for life and activity." Says designer Dinah Dimalanta: "We work at multiple scales and use environmentally responsible materials and techniques. Our team works creatively to reach simple, durable and elegant solutions. Inspired by craft, good design and their capacity to be both sustainable and sustaining, we are excited to have more people learn about Chadhaus and our work." Here's a glimpse at some of their recent work.
April 29, 2011
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