Did you know American Modernism was born in Michigan? To celebrate this iconic design legacy of our region, TOM GIBBS STUDIO partners with NEXT:SPACE for a year-long program focusing on the past, present and future of furniture and object design in Michigan.
Michigan Design Icons is a celebration of our design history, but also a platform for shaping the future of furniture and object design in Michigan.
Michigan Design Icons is a celebration and a dialogue for everyone – to foster awareness, pride and support for the important furniture design born in our region.
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JAN.09 | Naked Icons: Beneath The Surface of the Womb Chair
Learn about the history and fabrication of the iconic Womb Chair. Designed by Eero Saarinen and released by Knoll in 1948, the organic lounge chair is an enduring symbol of Michigan’s history of innovative furniture design. 5-9p @ TGS
FEB.06 | The Anatomy of ‘Eames’
Discover the complete catalogue of infamous husband and wife design duo Charles and Ray Eames from a leg splint to the iconic 670 Lounge Chair. 5:30-8p @ TGS
MAR.06 | Foreign Exchange: International Influence and Michigan
The legacy of Michigan design goes beyond, well, Michigan. Throughout the 20th century international design influence has gone in and out of Michigan, from the influence of the German Bauhaus and Mies van der Rohe on Michigan Modernism to to the influence of Michigan designers on the rest of the world. 5:30-8p @ TGS
APR.10 | A Story of Gilbert and George: The Legacy of Herman Miller
Herman Miller, the Zeeland, MI – based manufacturer of office furniture and home furnishings produced some of the most innovative designs of the 20th century and made icons out of architects, engineers and designers. Learn about two Herman Miller directors that helped change the face of furniture design and manufacturing in the mid 20th century, Gilbert Rodhe and George Nelson. 5:30-8p @ TGS
MAY.15 | Florence Knoll: A Woman of Her Own Design
In honor of Florence Knoll’s 101st birthday, we will discuss the life and achievements of the first lady of mid century modern innovation and design – who just so happens to be from Saginaw, MI. 6:30-9p @ TGS
JUN-AUG | Topics in Contemporary Design
Beginning in June 2018, MDI Design Talks will shift emphasis to examine contemporary design, especially focusing on designers working in and around Detroit, MI. Dates for the summer program will be announced in late-February.
The culmination of Michigan Design Icons will be a juried exhibition of mid century and contemporary design. The exhibition, Shape: An Ongoing Legacy of Michigan Design, will feature a curated selection of original mid century masterpieces and furniture from contemporary Michigan designers. Shape will open in September 2018 as part of the Detroit Design Festival and examine design innovation throughout time, paying special attention to form, materials and concept. Design talks will continue through 2018 with an emphasis on the content of Shape.