June 9, 2012

Genius Saturday

Industrial designer extraordinaire  – RAYMOND LOEWY (November 5, 1893 – July 14, 1986)

We have always loved Raymond Loewy – a designers designer. Loewy was a true visionary – categorized as an Industrial designer he was so much more. Born and educated in Paris, he received a degree in engineering and in 1919 emigrated to the US. He started out creating windows for Macy’s and Saks which lead to a successful career as a fashion illustrator for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Saks and Bonwit Teller. Ten years after his move to the US Lowey received his first commission utilizing his engineering skills which enabled him to start his own firm in 1930. During his lifetime he designed, created, developed and styled everything from cars, ships and planes to buildings, appliances, furniture, pens and toothbrushes.

Two of Loewy’s designs from the 1960s have always fascinated us both since childhood - the Avanti and the DF-2000 cabinet. We recently completed a project in New York City where we channeled a bit of Loewy in two bedrooms. In a blue bedroom we designed a chest called Circle Drawer which is an homage to the Avanti – it utilizes the graphic power of 2 circles on a color field. In a green bedroom we used one of Loewys DF-2000 chests – the orange/red color gradation on the drawers served as inspiration for the floor to ceiling gradated head-board  designed using painted wood, plexi-glass and fabric.  

The Avanti designed in 1961. It was only in production for 2 years (1962 and 1963) plagued with numerous production problems - they created less than 5,600 of these cars.

Doug and Gene Meyer interior featuring Circle Drawer chest designed as an homage to Raymond Loewy's Avanti.
New York Design Hunting, Summer 2012
Photo: Douglas Friedman

Circle Drawer chest designed by Doug and Gene Meyer.
Photo: Mark Roskams

Interior of the Avanti.

Doug and Gene Meyer Bulls Eye wall clocks, 2012 - circles within cirlces. 
Another homage to Raymond Loewy's Avanti, 1962.

The DF-2000 cabinet designed by Raymond Loewy for Doubinsky Freres, Paris in 1965. The DF-2000 Collection was offered in various shapes from end tables to tall cabinets and came in a variety of color combinations.

Doug and Gene Meyer interior featuring the DF-2000 chest. 
New York Design Hunting, Summer 2012
Photo: Douglas Friedman

Another favorite of ours is Raymond Loewy's radio designed in 1968 - Nordmende Spectra Futura. It came in several color combinations including blue and navy.

Raymond Loewy's Palm Springs residence. (Loewy standing in shorts).

Another view of Loewy's Palm Springs residence.

Raymond and Viola Loewy in Palm Springs with Custom Car designed by Loewy.

Saturday inspiration from a Genius -
Thanks Raymond!

Doug and Gene

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