It is hard to know the best design magazine with so many from which to choose. One of my favorites is Contract.

Harry Bertoia Diamond chair 1952. Steel rod and Naugahyde seat pad. Mfg. Knoll International, USA MOMA

In the current issue, the article by Jan Lakin about the Cranbrook Art Academy and Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, inspired me to write about the special schooling for designers, among whom are Ray and Charles Eames, Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, among many, who were student collaborators with figurehead designer and architect, Eliel Saarinen. Professionals that helped to define art and design for decades.

The Cranbrook Educational Community, a National Historic Landmark, was founded in the early 20th century by newspaper mogul George Gough Booth.

Eliel Saarinen, fresh from Germany and involvement with the Bauhaus,  had firm ideas of what an art school must be. He was commissioned to design and then teach at the campus of Cranbrook Educational Community in 1925. According to the article, the Academy is renowned for the masterful campus planning and architecture by Eliel, complete with studios, classrooms, workshops, a library, and art museum-that would foster craft, the intense study of the arts, and a spirit of discovery. The school was intended as an American Equivalent to the early 20th century now defunct Bauhaus in Germany. The Bauhaus (scroll to “Grand Stand” blog) was the icon of art schools followed by Cranbrook.

Saarinen became president of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1932. He  influenced subsequent furniture design. Saarinen also designed the museum at Cranbrook, now being renovated.

Cranbrook Art Museum - Wikipedia

About Cranbrook Art Museum
Cranbrook Art Museum is a contemporary art museum, and an integral part of Cranbrook Academy of Art, a community of Artists-in-Residence and graduate-level students of art, design and architecture. The Art Museum, which was established in 1930 and opened at its current site in 1942, is Eliel Saarinen’s final masterwork at Cranbrook. Today, the Art Museum presents original exhibitions and educational programming on modern and contemporary architecture, art, and design, as well as traveling exhibitions, films, workshops, travel tours, and lectures by renowned artists, designers, artists, and critics throughout the year. In 2011, the Art Museum completed a three-year $22 million construction project that included both the restoration of the Saarinen-design building and a new state-of-the-art Collections Wing addition. For more information, visit www.cranbrook.edu.

To see the article, click Contract and scroll to see on the left of the page, “Cranbrook Art Museum.”

Next week, we’ll take a look at Eero Saarinen. A powerful influence and world renowned designer and architect, the son of Eliel Saarinen.

Do you believe there is such a thing as “good design?” Do you believe in special schooling to become a designer? If you wanted to be a designer, art, graphic, interior, what considerations would you give to your training? If you hire a designer, do you ask about credentials?

 

 

 

 

 

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