Famous Furniture Designers to Learn From

As we become one of today’s most talked about furniture design stores, we are well aware of the powerful and influential roots that have helped our brand flourish and grow. At Viesso, we honor the many extraordinary artists who paved the way for exquisitely styled, utilitarian and modernist pieces, paying tribute to them through our own foray into what is possible and exciting in the industry.

Here are a few of our inspirations:

Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon? 1959 -?Born in Tunisia and later moving to England, Tom Dixon is known for his welded salvage furniture. As head of design at the Habitat chain of furniture stores and as part of the Finnish furniture manufacturer Artek, he is also known for creating the extraordinary S-Chair.

Ray and Charles Eames?Ray, 1912 – 1988, Charles, 1907- 1978

As two of the most important designers of our century, this husband and wife team made a huge contribution in both the architectural and furniture world. With their unique perspective on industrial and graphic design, they were also involved in fine art and film, adding a highly educated touch to their creations. Almost everyone is aware of the famous Eames Lounge Chair created in the 1950’s and looking as modern today as it did back then. With its sitting angle at 15 degrees, it is one of the most comfortable chairs for sitting back with a book or staying cool and collected in conversation. With its companion piece made with the same seat as the chair, the large ottoman adds to its exceptional comfort. Other prominent pieces made by the Eameses include their fiberglass and molded plastic chairs along with their Tandem Sling Seating, designed for Dulles and O’Hare airports in the 50’s and still as popular as ever.

Fritz Hansen ?1914 – 1996

Fritz Hansen founded his Danish furniture design studio to introduce innovative artists who became some of the most revered modernist icons of the time. Designers like Arne Jacobsen, Hans J, Wegner, and Piet Hein worked for Hansen, with Jacobson producing the famed Egg chair, which looks like it was created only yesterday.

Florence Knoll? 1917 – 1955

Studying under two master designers, Mies van der Rohe and Elie Saarinen, Florence Knoll is known for founding Knoll Associates in Pennsylvania along with her husband, Hans. Their innovative furniture factory was home to many of the greatest designers of the century who created pieces that are still in use today. Under Knoll’s minimalist vision, chairs, sofas, tables, and bureaus were created for function, simplicity of line and modern approaches to construction. Some of her signature pieces include storage units mixing wood, metal and laminates. Square dressers and desks, hanging cabinets with glass shelving, sliding doors, and drop down fronts to be used as bars are quintessential examples of the Knoll’s vision. Today we can see Florence Knoll’s perspective in the Knoll office furniture line, so popular with those who have a good eye for design in corporate settings.

Herman Miller,?Founded company: 1905

Known for both his home and office furniture, Herman Miller was one of the first manufacturers to produce truly modern pieces. Motivated by his design director, George Nelson, his showroom featured such classics as the Equa chair, the Aeron chair, the Noguchi table, the Marshmallow sofa, and the Eames Lounge Chair. Miller himself actually invented the concept of the office cubicle, which in 1968 was dubbed the “action office.” Because he was so generous in cultivating the talents of contemporary designers of the time, he is justifiably revered as an icon of modernist taste.

Le Corbusier? 1887 – 1965

Before he named himself Le Corbusier, this brilliant creator was known as Charles-Edouard Jeanneret. A designer, architect, and writer, he had an incredibly long career as a visionary, creating the model for single family homes in his quest to help develop and nurture suburban life. Additionally, he saw the city as a mecca for modern living, and his wide scope included designs for skyscrapers and major transport hubs. He began to experiment with furniture in 1928, creating what he called “human limb objects,” with the idea that furniture is an extension of our limbs designed to hold us with organic appeal. In this spirit he created three chrome- plated tubular chairs that are now considered the apotheosis of modern design.

Isamu Noguchi ?1904 – 1988

It is impossible to talk about modern, minimalist design without talking about Noguchi. The Japanese-American artist worked for over six decades designing furniture, creating his signature lamps, and providing extraordinary stage sets for the modern dance choreographer, Martha Graham. The famed Noguchi table needs no introduction, nor does his signature red cube in front of the HSBC building in Manhattan. The Noguchi Museum in New York City is a testimonial to his importance as one of the most influential artists of his time.

Verner Panton

1926 – 1998?Innovative and with a definite eye to the future, Verner Paton worked mostly in vibrantly colored plastic. Also known for his unique take on interior design, the Danish designer is best known for his Cone chair, made in 1958, and his 1960 Panton S chair, both of which remain contemporary and as full of fun as anything today.

Philippe Starck

1949 -?The ubiquitous French designer, Philippe Starck, is famous for his hotel interiors. Go to the Royalton in NYC, the Delano Hotel on Miami Beach, the Mondrian in LA, or the St. Martins Hotel in London and you’ll see the thread between them all in his whimsical approach to design. Some of his most famous furniture include the Louis Ghost chair, the Bubble Club sofa and armchair, the La Boheme stool, and the Dr. No chair, a traditional club chair made of injection molded plastic. Toying with paradox, contradiction, and a great sense of play, Starck is always surprising and deliciously subversive in his intelligent approach to creation. His reworking of everyday objects like his leggy chrome juice squeezer, is a perfect example of his wit and sense of style.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe ?1886 – 1969

Mies van der Rohe is known as one of the great pioneers of modern architecture. Born in Germany, he settled in Chicago, Illinois where he created numerous structures that are still considered some of the most impressive and cohesive examples of modernism that exist today. Think of Alumni Hall, the S.R. Crown Hall, the Farnsworth House just outside of the city, and of course the magnificent Seagram Building, and it is easy to understand his stature as a master. Using new industrial technology, van der Rohe created exceptional furniture, such as the Barcelona chair and table, the Brno chair, and the Tugendhat chair. His extraordinary vision and craftsmanship included use of exquisite fabrics, as well as leather and chrome combinations.

With a style that mirrored modern life, he used materials like industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces, and it is through his rational and “skin and bones” attitude towards design that he is associated with the concept of “less is more.”

Hans J. Wegner ?1914 – 2007

A Danish designer who created over 500 unique chairs, many of which are still in production, Wegner is known for a sense of function along with wonderful lines that has made him an undisputed design icon.

To see how Viesso has learned and benefitted from these harbingers of taste, please browse our original furniture designs at viesso.com, or contact us via our online form or by calling 877.8.VIESSO.

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