This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
FOCUS: Mid Century Design by Mandy Knapp of www.mandyknapp.co.uk


There has been a lot of talk about ‘retro’ and ‘vintage’ in the interior design


arena in recent years. So what is it all about?


For me, it’s certainly not about ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ (enough already!), but it is about looking at Mid Century designers and learning from their mastery. Mid Century Modern, broadly speaking, looks at items produced between the 1930’s and 1960’s by master craftsmen and women in architecture, interior, product and graphic design.


Personal favourites of mine include


Eero Saarinen’s


Tulip Table (1956), Achille Castiglione’s Arco lamp


34 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2012


(1960), the Wishbone Chair by Hans Wegner (1950) and the Eames Lounger and Ottoman (1956) by Charles and Ray Eames.


All are absolute masters of their craft and truly innovative, combining function and form beautifully. And, of course, my favourites would be furniture as it is ‘interiors’ that feeds my practice as a printmaker.


An early example of truly great Mid Century design is Robert Dudley Best’s ‘Bestlite’, which he developed in 1930. He had been inspired by the work of Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, and went to Paris to study design. The end result was


the Bestlite, which he put in to


production at his father’s factory. Being such a functional light, it started off being used at car repair shops so sales were slow to start. When it was exposed to a group of architects, it


finally found a following. But it was Winston Churchill who put it on his desk - and on the design map. Today, we are seeing designers reference Mid Century designs and a very good example is Liam Treanor whose bookcase and chair designs have a strong Mid Century vibe. In my own practice as a printmaker, I celebrate iconic pieces of furniture, like my beloved Eames lounge chair and ottoman.


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