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Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision for New York Design Week 2014

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    Design Design May 23, 2014 03:53 PM EDT

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    A retrospective on the life and works of Alexander Girard is currently highlighted through a pop-up exhibit at 446 West 14th Street in NY’s Meatpacking District as a part of New York Design Week 2014. The exhibit runs through May 28.  

    The showcase entitled “Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision” celebrates Girard in three different aspects. The first being Girard as an architect and fabric designer and his great contribution to the industry as the design director of the textiles department at Herman Miller from 1952 to 1973. Second is Gerard as a product designer, with his lounge pieces as well as the 17,000+ items that he designed and produced in the late 60s for Braniff Airlines. And third is as an interior designer with an installation of a living room with the distinct characteristics of Girard in bright, vivid colors and period affect.

    The exhibit also provides an exploration of Girard’s influence on the interiors of American offices in the late midcentury when he injected domestic and decorative touches to sterile corporate interiors.

    Sam Grawe, editorial director of Herman Miller said, “In 1970, when Herman Miller produced Action Office- a series of decorative panels for office spaces- it fundamentally transformed from being a company that manufactured domestic furnishing and focused on the production of contract furnishing for the workplaces.

    Aside from showcasing his works in the past, the exhibit is also a venue for reissuing several designs by Girard from Maharam and Herman Miller such as the Splayed Leg Table in marble top, the Hexagonal table, and the Color Wheel Ottoman.

    Grawe explained why these pieces are rare, “The furniture that Girard designed for Braniff Airlines was manufactured by Herman Miller on a contract basis. It became the origin of the Girard Group in 1967. This is the first time any of these pieces have been reproduced, so they’ve become rare collectibles because they were produced only for that one year, 1967.”

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