Ten Iconic Designers: Designers You Should Know

What designer would you say is an icon? What makes them iconic?

Design Within Reach lists these designers as iconic…

1. Le Corbusier
2. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
3. George Nelson
4. Charles and Ray Eames
5. Arne Jacobsen

6. Hans Wegner
7. Eero Saarinen
8. Marcel Breuer
9. Verner Panton
10. Charlotte Perriand

1. Le Corbusier
Switzerland (1887-1965)

Le Corbusier wanted to connect architecture with technology and had a fascination with machines. He co-designed furniture with his cousin and Charlotte Perriand to create the LC series of tubular steel furniture including the iconic LC4 Chaise Lounge.

2. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Germany (1886-1969)

The iconic Barcelona Chair was born after Mies and Lilly Reich were asked to design something for the Barcelona International Exposition. After moving to the United States, his career was devoted to developing modernist architecture which resulted in the creation of the Seagram Building, which he and Phillip Johnson designed, among other buildings.

3. George Nelson
U.S. (1908-1986)

Nelson had became the Director of Design for Herman Miller in 1945 and held that position for 28 years. He believed that designers should be cognizant of how their designs will affect everyone that uses it.

4. Charles and Ray Eames
U.S. (1907-1978;1912-1988)

Their sophisticated designs which included the molded plywood chairs created a fresh outlook on design during the 1940s. Their designs became synonymous wit midcentury modern, that are still being used today.

5. Arne Jacobsen
Denmark (1902-1971)

Jacobsen was influenced by Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and embraced a functional approach to design. One of his integrated projects, SAS Royal Hotel had produced his iconic Egg and Swan chairs.

6. Hans Wegner
Denmark (1914-2007)

Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, and two other designers were masters of 20th Century Danish Modernism. In the 1960s Wegner worked alongside other artists to develop and create his own furniture collections.

7. Eero Saarinen
Finland (1910-1961)

Being the son of another architect, Eliel Saarinen, creating structures was natural to Eero. He moved to the United States with his family and made his mark with various buildings and structures. He was the man behind the Gateway Arch in St Louis, the main terminal at Dulles National Airport, and Kresge Auditorium at MIT.

8. Marcel Breuer
Denmark (1926-1998)

Breuer was fascinated with bicycle handlebars and began to consider metal as a good material for mass production. He believed that his designs were “were essential for modern living.” His Wassily Chair is an example of furniture that stands the test of time.

9. Verner Panton
Denmark (1926-1998)

He worked with Arne Jacobsen and helped with the production of the Ant Chair. Panton’s designs which included vibrant colors and extravagant forms were noticed by the design community and made him an icon.

10. Charlotte Perriand
Italy (1903-1999)

Perriand worked with Le Corbusier and his cousin to create furniture, the most famous piece being the LC4 Chaise. After working with Le Corbusier she began to work on her own. DWR calls her “one of the most remarkable figures in the development of modernist design.”























Le Corbusier, LC4 Chaise Lounge; Eero Saarinen, Tulip Chair; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Chair; Marcel Breuer, Wassily Chair; Charles and Ray Eames, Eames Lounge and Ottoman; George Nelson, Marshmallow Sofa; Hans Wegner, Wishbone Chair; Verner Panton, Panton Chair; Arne Jacobsen, Egg Chair; Charlotte Perriand, LC7 Lounge Chair


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