Designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, respectively
Youth culture appears to be caught in what pop culture critic Simon Reynolds refers to as “Retromania” – an addiction to pop culture’s past that’s steadily streaming into the modern conversation.
It’s evident in all forms of culture and entertainment. TV fans are hooked on ‘Mad Men’ and its 60s-centric style, Hollywood is obsessed with remakes and even musicians considered hip and innovative, such as Best Coast, Vampire Weekend, and even Lady Gaga, have been unmasked as historians and collagists, not innovators.
Does this mean anything to us in the design world? Well, yes and no.
Mid-Century Modern Design reached its peak as America became a rat race. When skyscrapers rose above Manhattan and office workers poured in from the suburbs, architects such as Wright, Mies and Saarinen were reshaping the modern skyline to fit the changing tides of modern life and culture. The post-war era brought grand cultural and technological innovations, which in turn changed the way people interacted with their space.
We’ve always been loyal to mid-century masterpieces, and our primary objective, as designers, is to further that conversation by merging the geometric simplicity and spatial harmony of these classic designs to fit the new hustle and bustle of modern life. We follow in their footsteps through both our designs and our philosophy.
The mid-century modern designers believed form follows function. Well, function changes. How we use our furniture changes with the way people live.
For example, when the housing market crashed, people started downsizing and flocking to smaller residences. We realized that the impermanence of their living situation had truly dawned upon many residents of the American Northeast. To answer this dramatic shift in the movements of urban and suburban consumers, we used our freestanding furniture to give consumers great furniture options that could be easily transported between residences.
Design answers people’s needs. Like our mid-century predecessors, we live in times of drastic change. Advanced telecommunications have revolutionized the way people live, and yet again how they interact with space at home and in business. While we revive the style of mid-century modern furniture, with it, we’ve revived the attitude which dictates that furniture is meant to be used. We design furniture for the here and now, and tomorrow, we’ll design for the there and then.
Falling Waters House Photo Credit: Serinde
Washington Dulles Airport Photo Credit: Joe Ravi