Tags: michael graves | dies | architect | designer

Michael Graves Dies: Postmodern Architect and Designer Was 80

By    |   Friday, 13 Mar 2015 05:29 PM

Michael Graves, postmodern architect and well-known designer of household goods for Target, died Thursday at the age of 80.

His firm, Michael Graves Architecture and Design, announced on its website that Graves died “suddenly and peacefully, of natural causes” at his home in Princeton, New Jersey.

“As we go forward in our practice, we will continue to honor Michael’s humanistic design philosophy through our commitment to creating unique design solutions that transform people’s lives,” the site said.

Known internationally for his work that includes the Portland Building in Oregon, Graves was perhaps best known to the average person for his teakettle and peppermill designs. The sleek Alessi Stovetop teakettle, with a bird perched on its spout, is instantly recognizable to most people.



From the beginning of his career, Graves made a mark on architecture. First with New York Five, “a group of architects who achieved cult-like stature by helping to redefine modernism in the 1970s,” The New York Times wrote in his obituary.

It was in designing 2,000 household goods for Target, Alessi, Steuben, and Disney, the Times said, that Graves became a “household name,” although among architects, his work on buildings like the Humana headquarters in North Carolina exemplified his style and skill.

“In my estimation, Graves' Target work … represented better design and reached way more people,” wrote Karrie Jacobs in Architect Magazine. “The idea was born when Ron Johnson, then vice president of merchandising for Target, began asking himself: ‘Why does good design have to be so expensive?’ In 1999, Johnson launched a line of Graves-designed housewares, initially consisting of 140 items. “

Graves, and the loss of his talent, was mourned online:



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Michael Graves, postmodern architect and well-known designer of household goods for Target, died Thursday at the age of 80.
michael graves, dies, architect, designer
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2015-29-13
Friday, 13 Mar 2015 05:29 PM
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