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Eero Saarinen


Eero Saarinen (*in 1910 in Kirkkonummi/Finland, † September 1, 1961 Ann Arbor/USA), the son of the architect Eliel Saarinen, studied sculpture in 1929 and 1930 at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris before studying architecture at Yale University in New Haven until 1934. A Yale fellowship enabled him to travel to Europe. In 1936, he returned to the USA and worked in his father's architectural practice and also taught at Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills. It was here that Eero Saarinen met Charles Eames. Together they experimented on new furniture forms and produced the first designs for furniture made from moulded plywood. In 1940, they submitted a joint entry - Organic Chair, also known as Conversation Chair - to the "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Although Eero Saarinen designed numerous iconic furniture pieces, he was principally an architect. The TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York is considered to be his architectural masterpiece, but he was also, for example, responsible for the US Embassy in London, the Gateway Arch in St.Louis and was working on the building of Dulles International Airport in Washington at the time of his death in 1961. Saarinen also served on the jury for the Sydney Opera House commission and was instrumental in the final decision.




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smow Blog Design Calender: May 17th 1955 - Charles Eames Granted US Patent 2,708,476 for Furniture Frame Construction

...And at the moment Ray Kaiser arrived in Bloomfield Hills was busy, alongside Eero Saarinen, with the development of an entry for the MoMA New York's Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition: a competition seeking works which represented "a fresh approach to what our way of living calls for in furniture, fabrics and lighting"2, and a project to which Ray Kaiser contributed, at least a little, or in her own (possibly over modest) words, "I didn't work - I was like a hand"3, a hand that also prepared the accompanying presentation drawings... First patented in the 1930s, fibreglass had found a widespread use in context of the War, largely in conjunction with the aircraft industry, and post-War was starting to make inroads into furniture design, not least in the form, pun intended, of Eero Saarinen's 1948 Womb Chair for Knoll...

smow blog Design Calendar: August 20th 1873 – Happy Birthday Eliel Saarinen!

...Essentially conceived by Booth as a location where America's brightest architecture, art and design talents could study in peace and depth in America rather than having to travel to Europe, the Cranbrook Academy of Art was to nurture some of the most important talents of post-war American creativity, including, amongst others, Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, Ray Kaiser and Florence Schust, the future Florence Knoll... In addition to his work at Cranbrook Eliel Saarinen's years in America were defined by constructions such as the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa and Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis, works he often completed in partnership with Eero Saarinen...

(smow) blog Design Calendar: April 22nd 1964 - New York World's Fair Opens

...As an alternative celebration of an event that perhaps more than any other both helped us prepare for a brave, new, computer based future and which released the untameable Mustang of global commercialism upon an unsuspecting world, we present here "IBM at the Fair", a film made by Charles and Ray Eames documenting the daily hurly-burly in the from Eames and Eero Saarinen designed, constructed and curated IBM Pavilion...

Lost Furniture Design Classics: Case Furniture by Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames

...We know what you're thinking, lost furniture designs from Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames... In 1940 the Museum of Modern Art New York staged their "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition, a design competition that has of course gone down in history as the first time the chair design work of Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames was presented to a wider public...

DSR, RAR, DAW, ETC... The plastic chairs of Charles and Ray Eames

...Charles had, together with his friend and mentor Eero Saarinen created the Organic Chair, also known as the Conversation Chair, for the 1940 "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMa)...


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