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Alexander Girard

Alexander Girard, (* 1907 in New York City/USA; † 1993), was, alongside his close friends George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames, one of the decisive figures of post-war American design. The focus of his broad oeuvre was on textile design: As head of the Herman Miller Company's textile division, Girard designed a multitude of textiles that reflect his love of festive colours and patterns. He favoured abstract and geometric forms, typically put together in bright constellations of colours. Alexander Girard's upholstery fabrics have lost none of their charm, and a range of classic Girard designs such as Quatrefoil, Names or Toostripe Orange are included in the Vitra and Maharam "Textiles of the 20th century" cushion collection. Having originally studied architecture, Girard made a name for himself over his long career in the fields of furniture, exhibition and interior design as well as in the graphic arts. On his extended travels, he avidly collected textiles from all over the world, which furnished him with a source of inspiration and ideas. In 1993, the final year of his life, he bequeathed these holdings to the Vitra Design Museum Collection along with the contents of his studio (hundreds of drawings, prototypes and textile samples).

More about 'Alexander Girard' in our blog

Lost Furniture Design Classics: La Fonda Bar Stool by Charles and Ray Eames

...In 1959 Alexander Girard was commissioned to design the interior of the New York restaurant La Fonda del Sol, a commission for which Charles and Ray Eames designed the seating... 4 And so La Fonda del Sol's operator, Restaurant Associates, a company founded in 1947, who in 1957 had opened their first themed restaurant5, The Forum of the Twelve Caesars, yes an Ancient Rome themed restaurant6, and a company who today are responsible for managing and running the dining and catering facilities at a great many museums and public buildings, but at no Roman Fora, commissioned Alexander Girard with the interior design: and thus a creative who, inarguably as no other at that period, or arguably since, had found his calling, and his passion, in the study of global folk art...

Eames Lighting Design... Or, A search for light in the Eames Universe...

...Galaxy made its debut, and as far as we are aware only public appearance, in context of Alexander Girard's An Exhibition for Modern Living staged at the Detroit Institute of the Arts in the autumn of 1949, an exhibition via which Girard sought to help a wider public "understand more about design - especially in terms of our own time"3, and that via a collection of some 2000 every day objects selected by Girard and his team on the basis of a series of physical, formal and aesthetic criteria4, and also six room installations, one each by Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson, George Nelson, Jens Risom, Florence Knoll & Charles and Ray Eames5... An opinion on the shortcomings and inadequacies of contemporary lamp design largely echoed by Alexander Girard in context of An Exhibition for Modern Living, also in 1949, and his belief that, "the decorative and clumsy lamps will inevitably be replaced by more efficient and honestly designed equipment...

Vitra Design Museum present Alexander Girard. A Designer's Universe

...Clearly vexed by a critical review in Architectural Forum of his friend Alexander Girard's Santa Fe house, Charles Eames wrote a short letter on December 26th 1956 to the magazine's editor Walter McQuade: "Alexander Girard is interested in the quality of everything and does not hesitate to act on this interest, personally and immediately... Also of some significance is the fact that he is part Magpie - and a Florentine one at that"1 Alexander Girard's interest in quality, total involvement and his magpie-esque tendencies can be explored in the Vitra Design Museum's exhibition Alexander Girard...

5 New Design Exhibitions for March 2016

...Alexander Girard... A Designer's Universe at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany Our first inkling that something was afoot came at Milan 2014, the Vitra stand and branding was all very much in the spirit of Alexander Girard...

Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat ... colour and fun from Alexander Girard

...Although Alexander Girard worked closely with Herman Miller and designers such as George Nelson or Charles and Ray Eames; Alexander Girard's speciality was not furniture but fabrics, folk art and colour... Born in America and raised in Italy Alexander Girard studied architecture in London before a lack of architectural openings saw him spend several years working as an exhibition and interior designer; most notably in Sweden where he worked in the design department of the Nordiska department store...

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