The What:

As a brief summary, I created a wooden trinket box that I felt would’ve been displayed in a traditional mid-century modern room. Abstract shape, design, raw wood, and muted tones yet vibrant and fun. The box was inspired obviously by mid-century modern design, specifically furniture.

While the entire series of mid-century modern furniture influenced my work, I looked closely at the work of 3 specific designers who were pivotal leaders of change during this art movement. These three designer include furniture designers, architects, and innovators; Jens Risom, Eero Saarinen and Charlotte Perriand. All of which are from various parts of the world as well. Through my research, I found it so interested how there works had overlaps in so many various ways, yet were all unique and one of a kind.

Let’s get started talking about Jen Risom. Risom has actually been closely covered in class recently with our discussion on chairs. Jens Risom, a furniture designer from Copenhagen, Denmark. He is most commonly know for bring Scandinavian furniture design to the mainstream (Jens Risom furniture from Rocket London). Risom kickstarted his career at Knoll (Design Within Reach.2019) in 1941. Risom popularized what we know today as Eurocentric furniture. As a tribute to the great work Jens Risom, Knoll has curated a collection titled ‘The Jens Risom Collection’ that included some of Risom’s most iconic silhouettes.

Up next is the infamous Eero Saarinen, a Finnish architect an d furniture designer. I was unaware of this until doing a deeper dive on Saarinen’s personal life, but his parents are well known designers and artist themselves, the Cranbrook Academy of Art director Eliel Saarinen and textile artist Loja Saarinen (Knoll Designer Bios). Similar to Risom, Saarinen created some of Knoll’s most recognizable and popular collections. Saarinen was most noted for one of his first public projects which was entered into MoMA-sponsored 1940 Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition. This project was created along side of friend of Saarinen, Charles Eames. The project consisted of molded plywood chairs, which ultimately put these two designer at the forefront of  modern furniture design at the time (Knoll Designer Bios). Above all of Saarinen’s artwork and achievements, he is the designer and architect of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis! Which is pretty fascinating!

Last but not least, Charlotte Perriand. Perriand being one of few female designers of this time in a very male dominate era, I was really invested in her work and life. Perriand is a French born artist. She initially started her career as an interior designer, then as a photographer, and then eventually getting a gig as an advisor on industrial design to the Japanese government (who knew that was a job) (Foundation Louis Vuitton.2020). Perriand is most famously (or not because know one really knows the connection between the work and artist), the Maison de la Tunisie, chambre d’étudiant. An abstract, asymmetrical shelf with color blocking, pictures below:

Through the various works of the these three designers, I have worked on making a jewelry box that was influenced by the color blocking of Perriand, the abstract shape from Saarinen’s work, and the raw wooden look from Risom. Below is my video from my video critique. Thanks!

“Jens Risom.” Design Within Reach,

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