January 27, 2010
Sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi and George Nelson, Herman Miller’s first director of design, were long-time friends. Once, Nelson wandered into Noguchi’s studio just off Washington Square in New York City. He found the designer hard at work on a birthday present for his sister. Nelson liked the organic shape that Noguchi had cut from a piece of scavenged glass for a top, and the table base—two identical pieces of wood fitted together by a single pin. Nelson suggested that they take the design to Herman Miller, which has been producing the table for over 50 years.
January 26, 2010
Charles and Ray Eames used a little magic, a whole lot of work, and a bicycle pump to perfect their plywood molding technique. In the early 1940s, they worked through the evenings in their small Los Angeles apartment molding plywood in what they called the “Kazam! Machine.” It was a hinged two-by-four frame that held a plaster mold with heating elements against which a membrane (inflated by a bicycle pump) pushed thin sheets of glued veneer. That humble technology allowed the Eameses to design a chair Time magazine named the Best Design of the 20th Century.