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MHD Interior Designer Network
Designer of the Week: Eero Saarinen!
We’ve talked a
lot about Eero Saarinen but today we’re going real deep into the history of
this prolific Finnish-American designer, marking every period of his very
interesting life with a particular piece of artwork.
But first and
foremost, a little history: Saarinen was born in 1910 to genius architect and
designer Eliel Saarinen, already a prominent figure in the American (and
European) art circles of the time. His mother was Loja Gesellius, a very famous
Womb Chair and
Womb Chair Replica
footsteps of his father, Eero began studying at the Cranbrook Academy of Arts
in Michigan. There he became friends with many designers, including Harry
Bertoia, the Eames couple, and Florence Knoll. The last one would give him the
idea (and inspiration) for his worldwide-acclaimed Womb chair.
around 1948, the Womb chair was born from Saarinen’s notion that people in
general “hadn’t been truly comfortable since they left the womb.” He was drawn
to this conclusion by Florence Knoll’s request of a chair that was “like a
basket full of pillows,” something that was infinitely more comfortable than
the regular lounge chairs that existed at the time.
Tulip Table (and
continued to evolve as he delved further into architecture. Many buildings
currently bear his designs, and many others were born from plans that he drew.
However, he did not venture far from home design.
In 1955, Eero
began thinking about chairs and tables. He’d designed lots of them and he
seemed to despise them, in a way. He expressed his desire to make those
elements “one thing” once again, and began experimenting with single-base chair
and table designs.
Tulip Table Replica
The idea of a
tulip flower, a rose-like bulb that springs from a narrow stem, like a
wineglass. From these ideas rose the Tulip table and Tulip chair designs. They
were futuristic but also naturalistic. Simple, yet solid. They can greatly
change a dining space, making it more flexible and sophisticated.
Saarinen died in
1961, at 51 years old. His last job was a certain return to form while also a
return to family values (and maybe a bit of a trip down memory lane). Already a
famous figure, he set out to design a new structure for the North Christian
Church in Indiana (Columbus, Bartholomew County). His father Eliel had designed
an older sister building, the First Christian Church in Columbus.
was completed posthumously in 1964 and is currently without maintenance because
of a lack of funding by the Christian Church. The Indiana Landmarks
organization recently attempted to raise awareness of this issue by putting it
on their 10 Most Endangered list of structures.
Mid-century modern furniture is more than just a design comeback. It’s one of the most south-after styles for luxury-loving people all over the world.
Eero Saarinen designed the Womb Chair in 1946 after a brief meeting with Florence Knoll at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.
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