Synchronistically, the day I received the chair in the mail, I had just bought the charming ABC of Design by Lynn Gordon. The book contains a clever play on the alphabet while featuring drawings of tables and chairs by such international designers as Isamu Noguchi, Otto Wagner, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, among others and including Saarinen.
When you open the book, it features a drawing of the same Saarinen chair!
The son of a sculptor and world-renowned architect Eliel Saarinen, Finnish-born architect Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) won first prize in a matchstick design contest when he was twelve. During his study at Yale in the 1920s, Eero absorbed the most modern European trends, as well as the ideas of his teacher, color theorist Josef Albers. The effect of this education is embodied in his declaration of the three fundamental principles of modern design: “function, structure, and being part of our time.” Working out of Michigan, he designed the TWA Terminal at New York’s Kennedy Airport as a huge bird to evoke “the drama and specialness and excitement of travel.” Saarinen developed the Pedestal Chairs (1956) with his pedestal table in an effort to “clear out the slum of legs. I wanted to make the air all one thing again.”
For Eero Saarinen
--after his "Pedestal Chair"
"The slum of
red to see
so clearly air