When I think of the sculptural teak of a Juhl or Wegner armchair, or the fluidity of Saarinen’s Tulip chair, or the organic curves of the Eames’ bent ply, I think of warmer stuff. I think of the rich sparkle generated by mid century typeface like Caledonia and Century Expanded.
With the now-scarce X202, or ‘Master’s’ chair, James Leonard brought Scandinavian Modernism into the post-war classroom, making perhaps one of the most under-recognised contributions to British 20th century design.
Eleanor Pritchard is at the forefront of contemporary woven Textile Design, with interior brands such as Heals and Margaret Howell procuring her home wares. Eleanor’s exquisitely woven textiles pay homage to the bold, graphic patterns of mid century design, with striking geometric lines and a beautifully considered colour palette.
One of the great Scandinavian Modernist designers, Tapio Wirkkala was driven by a deep love of Finnish flora and fauna, using this in his glassware designs.
Although Irish Modern design was slow to take hold, Dublin furniture designer Brendan Dunne created a new Modernist aesthetic in the 1950s.
If you happen to be looking for things to do in Palm Springs, you will find Robert Imber’s Palm Springs Modern Tours at the top of the list. Imogen Adams spoke to Robert Imber about his own collection, his thoughts on mid-century design, and his dream commission.
The designs of Sheila Bownas were utilised by the big high street brands in the 1950s and ‘60s – M&S, Liberty and Crown among them – but you’d be forgiven for not having heard of this prolific artist. As she wasn’t credited for her work, Sheila’s talent remained under the radar for decades, that is before Chelsea Cefai bought up her 200-strong collection of designs seven years ago and set about reintroducing the bold and beautiful patterns to the art and design world.
It is hard to believe that it was only this year that staple British 1960s pattern Verdure was reprinted for the first time in decades by vintage fabric retailer Winter’s Moon. With the design held as part of the textile archive at the V&A, this is great news for anyone who loves a mid-century design classic! We catch up with shop founder Julia Grant to bring you her story of personal determination and a very lucky break.
Last summer, returning from a stay in Yorkshire, we broke our journey in the heart of the Peak District, with a stop at the David Mellor Design Museum and factory. Situated near the stunning Hope Valley, this architectural idyll is far from what you’d imagine a metalwork factory to look like. But when you understand a little more about David Mellor Design, the beautiful working environment begins to make sense.
It’s been a year since I caught the Welsh tapestry bug from Blodwen General Stores founder Denise Lewis, and the Caernarfon blanket now proudly draped over my own settee is a constant reminder of the infectious enthusiasm she exudes for her country’s heritage crafts.
Recently I was lucky enough to visit MOMA, New York, and there I saw the Danish family of wooden animals by Kay Bojesen, a simple toy with so much soul.
We have long been fans of contemporary pattern design duo Mini Moderns. Mark Hampshire and Keith Stephenson began developing their wallpaper and textile collection in their South London studio in 2006. We catch up with the pair to talk about the influences and inspirations behind their patterns and to gain some insight into the design process.