Eero Saarinen (Finland 1910-1961)
“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” Finnish American Eero Saarinen, born in 1910, was an architect and industrial designer known for the sculptural quality of his furniture designs and his use of simple, sweeping, arching curves paired with industrial rationalism. To Saarinen, architecture was a discipline and he identified with the fine arts, especially sculpture. Saariencalled himself a "form giver" and despite the rationality of so many of his buildings, the interiors generally contained more sculptural elements, dramatic sweeping staircases, curved entryways and moulded furniture designed by Saarinen. One of Saarinen’s most famous pieces is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States. As a teacher at Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Saarinen met Charles Eames. Experimenting with Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen co-developed new furniture forms and the first designs for furniture of molded laminated wood. Saarinen designed severalpieces of furniture that were critically acclaimed, commercially successful and still popular today. Some of Saarinen’s most famous pieces include the “Womb” chair and ottoman (1948) and the “Tulip” or “Pedestal” group (1956), including the famous Tulip chair and table designed to abolish the "miserable maze of legs". In his own time, Saarinen has been criticized for having no identifiable style but he was adept at adapting his modernist outlook to each individual project and client. Because of the malleability of Saarinen's body of work, his pieces fit very well with today’s pluralistic style putting his furniture in high demand.