a teapot by Michael Graves. It is based on old Bauhaus designs, using simple geometry in the basic form of a cone, but it supplements it with plastic appendages in bright colours. They look like children’s toys. They challenge the puritan aesthetic of Modernism; they’re saying that design doesn’t have to be functional, it can just be fun. There is no attempt to justify them with functionalism
Postmodernism actively celebrates kitsch (a German term for cheap, tacky artefacts) because it is a language that everyone can understand. For example, the Disney Corporation has been hiring famous postmodernist architects for the last few decades. The Eisner Building was designed by Michael Graves.
In 1985, Michael Graves made his mark at Atlanta's Emory University by transforming the Henry Hornbostel-designed Old Law School Building into the Museum of Art and Archaeology. He has since returned to design a major $8.25 million expansion and renovation that triples the size of the facility to roughly 45,000 sq. ft.
Not since Philip Johnson built his Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, in the late 1940s, has there been a building in America that has attracted as much attention as Michael Grave's so-called "Portland Building' in Portland, Oregon. Long before ground was broken, drawings for it had graced the covers of magazines, been exhibited in galleries, and sold as Works of Art.
Grave's work ranges from mighty to minute, encompassing projects that involve architecture, interior design, furniture design, and even table-top accessories. Graves has done furniture collections for Atelier International. Arkitektura and Dunbar; several carpet, lighting and flooring manufacturers carry his designs as well.
Graves once again transformed how people viewed everyday products. He has created over 800 designs for Target, ranging from a tea kettle (of course) to toilet brushes. His collections (plus the Philippe Stark, Isaac Mizrahi, and other high-design Target collections that followed) have also pushed competitors like Wal-Mart to sign similar deals with British designer George Davies or Kohls to ink deals with upscale beauty lines like Est?e Lauder.
As an architect and designer, Michael Graves is famous for combining purpose with wit and beauty, from the Swan and Dolphin hotels in Walt Disney World to the Humana Building in Louisville to his martini shakers for Target.
As an architect, Michael Graves is well known for designing many prize-winning buildings, from The Humana Building in Louisville, Ky., to the Disney headquarters in Burbank, Calif. But it's in his design of household products that he has made the biggest impact -- he has revolutionized the way the world views something as simple as a tea kettle
Architect and designer Michael Graves received his architectural training at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard University. A 1960 winner of the Rome Prize in Architecture, he has studied at the American Academy in Rome, of which he is now a trustee.
Michael Graves, (born July 9, 1934, Indianapolis, Ind., U.S.), Portland Public Service Building [Credit: © Peter Aaron/ESTO]American architect and designer, one of the principal figures in the postmodernist movement.