Folks: if you let me know who you want to write about I'll add your name by that person, so you don't all end up writing about the same person.
Here, again, is your paper assignment:
Research Paper: choose one of the following architects/ designers/furniture makers/ sculptors as the subject of your three-page paper. You may choose a different designer/sculptor after looking up some of these names, but you must get my approval for your choice.
Charles and Ray Eames Kathryn Hetzner
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Greene and Greene Chris Hofer
Frank Lloyd Wright
Czech Cubists: Pavel Janak, Josef Chocol
Michael Thonet claimed by Chris Gruenholz
Shaker Furniture claimed by Andrew Hedges
Martin Puryear Nancy Sevier
Ursula Von Rydingsvard
The paper must be a minimum of 1000 words, which is equivalent to three pages at 10 point font, double spaced. You may include Xeroxed or printed images in addition to the 1000 words, if you wish.
Bibliography: you must cite at least three sources, two of which must be books. The other could be a periodical or a web source. Proper bibliographical form can be found at this address:
Keep biographical information about the designer or sculptor (where they were born, where they went to school, what their fathers did for a living) to an absolute minimum, unless a certain event in the designer or sculptor’s life is relevant to his or her design philosophy.
Please address each of the following issues in your paper:
• What are the distinguishing characteristics of the furniture designed by this designer (or sculptor?)
• Whose work influenced this designer (or sculptor) and how did the designer build on or move beyond this influence? Is there any noticeable influence of historical forms of furniture?
• How does the designer/sculptor integrate his/her material into the furniture/sculpture designs? Why are his/her material choices crucial to the success of the design?
• How are structure, connections and/or joinery involved in the design process? Are they irrelevant, or do they deeply inform the designer’s design solutions? (for example, in bent plywood chairs the form is inseparable from the process that produces it.)
• Did the designer fabricate his/her own furniture, or at least prototypes? Was the fabrication aspect of designing important to the designer? If your artist is a sculptor, does he or she fabricate his or her own work, or “farm it out”?
• What is the designer’s “design philosophy”? Was he or she fighting a prevalent attitude about aesthetics, or trying to promote a new way of thinking with his or her designs? How would you explain this new way of thinking? (Example: William Morris and the other architects of the Arts and Crafts Movement endorsed a return to traditional values and the self-respect inherent in skilled-artisanship, in a backlash against mass-production and the factory system that accompanied it.)
• If the designer was an architect, how did his/her furniture designs fit into the greater scheme of his/her architecture?
• What features of the designer’s/ sculptor’s work specifically interest you? What aspects of his/her style would you like to work into your own furniture designs (sculpture?) (materials choice, technique, joinery methods, stylistic qualities like sleekness, minimalism, simplicity, solidity, etc.)