Design-o-Rama

A comprehensive A-Z guide of 'Who's Who' and 'What's What' in the design world. Our design-o-rama guide looks at the work of modern and traditional, artists and designers alike.

A Aalto, Hugo Alvar Henrik (1976)

Alvar Aalto, the Father of Nordic Modernism, was both the pre-eminent Finnish architect of the 20th century but also one of the most influential designers of furniture and glassware. He graduated i...

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Aarnio, Eero (1932)

The Finnish interior designer, who was educated at the Institute of Industrial Artsin Helsinki, established his own studio in 1962, experimenting with plastics andbright colours....

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Adnet, Jaques (1901 -1984)

Jaques Adnet was a French art deco modernist designer, architect and interior designer. He was known for his Art Deco Modernist designs and was an icon of French Modernism. Distinctivly avant garde...

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Albini, Franco (1905-1977)

Born near Milan, Albini was probably the most important of the Italian "Neo-Rationalist" architects and designers. He studied at Milan Polytechnic and began his career in the stu...

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Ashbee, Charles Robert (1863 – 1942)

Ashbee, an English designer and entrepreneur, was a key figure of the Arts and Crafts movement. Son to a businessman, who was also known to be a lover of erotic books, and a Jewi...

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Back to TopB Bacerra, Ralph (1938–2008)

Looking at Bacerra’s work one may feel like they have just followed a white rabbit with a waistcoat and a watch down a hole and ended up sat at a table with the Mad Hatter ...

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Baekeland, Leo Heindrick (1863-1944)

A Belgian-born American Chemist who discovered one of the first claimed synthetic plastics, phenol formaldehyde in 1907.  From an early age Baekeland showed academic brilliance despite being t...

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Baughman, Milo (1923-2003)

Milo Ray Baughman Jr. was one of the leading modern furniture designers of the second half of the 20th century. His uniquely American designs were forward thinking and distinctive, yet unprete...

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Baxter, Geoffrey (1922 – 1995)

Baxter was an extraordinary British glass designer of the post-war period. He worked with the glass manufacturer, Whitefriars Glass, from 1954 till 1980 designing a wide range of...

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Bellini, Mario (1935 – Present)

World renowned Italian architect and designer, Bellini studied architecture at the Milan Polytechnic College until 1959. From 1961 until 1963 Bellini was director of design at th...

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Benney, Gerald (1930 – 2008)

Benney was one of the most extraordinary and influential British Goldsmiths of the late 1900s. Throughout his 50 years in the industry Benney became the first British craftsman to hold four Royal W...

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Bertoia, Harry (1915 – 1978)

Italian-born, Bertoia moved to Detroit at the early age of fifteen where he chose to stay and study art and design. Throughout the years he spent in America he became a behind th...

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Blaschka, Leopald and Rudolf (1822-1895 and 1857 – 1929)

Dresden Studio, a father and son company; produced a great number of beautifully intricate and innovative botanical glass models, in the 19th Century. The Blaschka’s have s...

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Breuer, Marcel Lajos (1902–1981)

A big daddy of Modernism, architect and designer Marcel Breuer was born 1902 in Pecs, Hungary and studied initially in Vienna, before moving in 1920 to become a student and subse...

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Back to TopC Castiglioni, Achille (1918 – 2002)

Inspired by everyday essentials and using minimal amounts of ordinary materials to create forms with an inspiring effect made Castiglioni a renowned industrial designer. Having s...

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Chihuly, Dale (1941)

With his definite character of style in glasswork Chihuly’s extraordinary designs have caused much debate in the art world as to whether his pieces should be classified as Art or Design. Orig...

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Chippendale, Thomas (1718 – 1779)

Born in Otley, a small market town in the Yorkshire Dales, Chippendale was a London cabinet maker and furniture designer in the mid-Georgian, English Rococo and Neoclassical styles.

Chippen...

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Cliff, Clarice 1899-1972

Clarice Cliff is known throughout the world as possibly the most significant Art Deco ceramic artists of the twentieth century. Influenced by her aunts who were hand paintresses ...

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Colombo, Joe (1930 – 1971)

Painter, sculptor and futuristic designer, Cesare "Joe" Colombo, was educated at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, the academy of fine arts in Milano and subsequently studied...

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Connick, Charles Jay (1875 – 1945)

Connick, best known for his work in stained glass in the Gothic revival style, was described upon his death, by The New York Times as ‘the world’s greatest artis...

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Back to TopD Day, Rob and Lucienne

Furniture designer Robin Day and his textile designer wife Lucienne established themselves as Britain’s most celebrated post-war couple, and have often been compared to their US contemporarie...

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Day, Robin (1925 – 2010)

Day is possibly the most influential British furniture designers of the 20th Century. His signature piece, the Polyprop chair is one of the greatest selling products and it is estimated that over 5...

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De Lamerie, Paul (1688 – 1751)

De Lamerie was one of the greatest silversmiths working in England in the 18th Century. A Hugenot, he came to London with his parents after fleeing persecution in France. His fat...

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Dresser, Christopher (1834 – 1904)

One of the most influential designers of 19th Century Britain, he helped reform design of modern manufacture. Born in Glasgow, Dresser was from a young age exceptional in his mind for design. At on...

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Back to TopE Eames, Charles (1907-1978)

Charles Eames was born in 1907 in Saint Louis, Missouri and married his eminently important second wife Ray in 1941. As a couple they became one of the most important design teams of the 20th centu...

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Elkins, Frances (1882 – 1949)

Prominent among the legendary decorators of the 20th century, Frances Elkins was renowned for her inspired designs. She was one of the first designers in the 20th century to use ...

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Back to TopF Fornasetti, Piero (1913-1988)

This highly original, eclectic and frighteningly prolific Italian designer, engraver, decorator, painter, sculptor and curator was predominantly based in Milan, creating some 11,...

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Frankl, Paul (1886-1958)

Born in Vienna, a seminal American Art Deco furniture designer who emigrated to the United States in 1914, following graduation from the architectural department of Berlin Polytechnic. He based him...

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Back to TopG Games, Abram OBE, RDI (1914 – 1996)

Some of the most memorable graphic images of mid-20th century Britain were the work of Abram Games.  Born Abram Gamse in Whitechapel, London on the day World War I began in 1914, he was the so...

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Godwin, Edward (1833 – 1886)

Godwin was an English architect/designer who was amongst the introduction of gothic architectural revival in Britain. Having grown up in Bristol where he studied architecture and...

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Gray, Eileen (1878-1976)

Born into an aristocratic Irish family, Gray was simply one of the most innovative furniture designers and architects of the first half of the 20th century. She studied in Paris from 1906 and becam...

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Gropius, Walter (1883-1969)

Berlin-born Walter Gropius was instrumental in defining the vocabulary and principles of 20th century Modernist architecture and design. Hailing from a line of successful German ...

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Guardi, Francesco (1712 - 1793)

Francesco Guardi was, after Canaletto, the main painter of views of Venice in the 18th century. His early figurative paintings were carried out in association with his brother Gian Antonio, bu...

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Back to TopH Heal, Ambrose (1872 - 1959)

An English furniture designer and great-grandson of the founder of the Heal and Sons retailing business in Tottenham Court Road, London, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and subsequently ...

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Hepplewhite, George (1727-1786)

 

George Hepplewhite was a cabinet and chair maker. He is regarded as having been one of the "big three" English furniture makers of the 18th century, along with Thomas Sheraton and Th...

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Hoffmann, Josef (1870 – 1956)

The Austrian architect and designer Josef Hoffmann studied in Brno in the Czech Republic and subsequently at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Art Nouveau guru Otto Wagner, who profoundly in...

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Hunzinger, George (1835 – 1898)

Hunzinger was one of the only furniture makers in the Victorian era whose designs did not follow the traditional influences of historical styles and fashions. Instead he was part...

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Back to TopJ Jacobsen, Arne (1902-1971)

Born in Copenhagen and based there most of his life, Jacobsen was an apprentice bricklayer before studying architecture and subsequently became probably the most influential architect and designer ...

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Back to TopK Knoll, Florence (1917 – )

Born in Saginaw, Michigan as Florence Schust, she graduated from the Kingswood School – part of the famous Canbrook Academy of Art – she became the protégée of school pres...

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Kuramata, Shiro (1934 – 1991)

Kuramata is one of Japan’s most important designers of the 20th century. Kuramata was mainly known for his use of industrial materials such as wire steel mesh, corrugated aluminium and lucite...

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Back to TopL Lalique, René (1860 - 1945)

Born in Ay in Champagne, Rene Jules Lalique was a French glass and jewellery designer regarded as one of the finest of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco generation. He apprenticed wit...

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Le Corbusier (1887-1965)

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, who chose the pseudonym Le Corbusier in the 1920s, was a Swiss born largely self-taught architect, urban planner, designer, writer, sculptor and painter. He i...

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Loos, Adolf (1870-1933)

Loos was a Moravian-born Austrian architect, who was well known for his contribution to the world of Modernist Architecture. This new movement focused on a belief of a new era of...

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Back to TopM Mackintosh, Charles Rennie (1868-1928)

Mackintosh was born and grew up in Glasgow to become one of the most influential Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau architects and designers of the early part of the 20th century. In 1884, following...

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Majorelle, Louis (1859 – 1926)

The French furniture designer Louis Majorelle was born in Toul, near Nancy, in 1859. His father, Auguste, who also designed elegant furniture in the 18th-century style, had his o...

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McCobb, Paul (1917-1969)

Paul McCobb, designer of classic post-war furniture, was born in Medford City, Massachusetts. Knowing from a very early age that he wanted to be an artist, he studied art, drawin...

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Mellor, David (1930 - 2009)

A designer, manufacturer and brilliant craftsman, Mellor was well renowned for his modern adaptation to the traditional designs of British cutlery. As well as one-off pieces of furniture, bus shelt...

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Mendini, Alessandro (1931)

Italian born painter, writer and architect, Mendini, plays a huge part in the development of Italian design. As one of the top designers for the current era of post modern and co...

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Mollino, Carlo (1905-1973)

A fairly outrageous and versatile Italian designer, architect and photographer, born in Turin, who won the Pistono prize for architecture with one of his first designs for a hous...

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Back to TopN Nakashima, George (1905-1990)

Born in Spokane, Washington, he studied at the University of Washington, the École Américaine des Beaux Arts near Paris, before graduating from M.I.T. in Architecture in 1930. He spen...

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Nelson, George (1908-1986)

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Nelson studied Architecture at Yale University. While still an undergraduate student at Yale, Nelson met with some early recognition. He was published in ‘Penci...

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Noguchi, Isamu (1904-1988)

An American-Japanese sculptor, furniture and lighting designer and landscape architect, who originally trained at medical school, dropped out to study sculpture, winning the Gugg...

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Back to TopP Panton, Verner (1926 – 1998)

Considered as one of the most influential designers of the 20th Century, Panton helped to add the futuristic and fluid movement of ‘Pop’ into the design industry. Ori...

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Perriand, Charlotte (1903 – 1999)

Charlotte Perriand was a French architect and designer. Her work aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society. In her article L&rsquo...

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Ponti, Gio (1891-1979)

Born in Milan, the fabulous Gio Ponti was an architect, designer, painter, poet and the founding editor of the seminal design magazine, Domus. He studied architecture with a hiatus for the First Wa...

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Back to TopR Rietveld, Gerrit (1888-1964)

Born in Utrecht, Rietveld was a artist/designer and architect inextricably linked with the Dutch De Stijl movement, sometimes called Neo-plasticism to make it completely clear. He is best known for...

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Ruhlmann, Émile-Jacques (1879–1933)

An utterly incomparable French interior and furniture designer who is synonymous with the glamour and style of 1920s Art Deco. He founded his cabinet making business in 1919 with the builder Pierre...

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Back to TopS Saarinen, Eero (1910-1961)

Eero Saarinen was a hugely varied, adaptable and dynamic Finnish designer whose interests developed significantly following his emigration to the United States of America in 1923 at the age of 13. ...

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Sironi, Mario (1885-1961)

Sironi was an Italian modernist artist who was active as a painter, sculptor, illustrator and designer. His visions were always sombre and dramatic, characterised by blocky forms, stark oppositions...

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Smithson, Alison + Peter

The Smithson’s are often recognised as two of the most influential and yet controversial British architects from the mid-20th Century as well as playing a major part in the development o...

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Sottsass, Etore (1917 – 2007)

The extraordinary and peripatetic Austrian born Italian designer and architect Ettore Sottsass studied at the Polytechnic of Turin followed by a period working in an architectural studio. He establ...

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Spratling, William (1900 - 1967)

Spratling, known as “The Father of Mexican Silver”, founded an artistic and economic establishment which recognised the importance of the indigenous culture.  Bo...

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Stam, Mart (1899-1986)

Born in Purmerend, Stam was a hugely well connected and pioneering Dutch architect, urban planner, and chair designer. He studied at the Royal School for Advanced Studies in Amst...

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Back to TopT Tompion, Thomas (1639 – 1713)

Tompion, who is regularly considered to be the father of English clock making, designed watches and clocks throughout the late 1600s. His customers were the likes of King Charles II a...

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Back to TopV Van der Rohe, Ludwig Mies (1886-1969)

Born in Aachen, Germany, Mies van der Rohe’s extraordinary contribution to furniture design is inextricably and wholly justifiably inked with interior designer Lilly Reich ...

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Venini, Paolo (1895-1959)

The pre-eminent 20th century Venetian glass company was initially established in 1921 on Murano by a lawyer, Paolo Venini and an antiques dealer, Giacomo Cappellin. Becoming Veni...

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Volther, Poul (1923-2001)

Danish born Volther was a creative and insightful furniture designer that saw potential in many things that others could not. He belonged to a generation of architects and designers with solid root...

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Back to TopW Wright, Frank Lloyd (1867-1959)

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the most influential and prestigious architects of the 20th Century. As one of the founders of modern architecture, Wright embraced new materials, te...

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Wright, Russel (1904-1976)

Throughout his career Wright created a succession of artistically distinctive and commercially successful items that helped bring modern design to the general public. Despite try...

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