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Making even a Toaster Chic -Tribute to Michael Graves

Making even a Toaster Chic -Tribute to Michael Graves
March 15, 2015 SNH Editorial Team

Michael Graves was an iconic designer and architect.  Perhaps his most important legacy is his fluid cross-over from architecture to design of home goods.  He made utilitarian, every-day objects like your kitchen tea kettle fun and chic…..

Just last week, I gave his bottle opener as a gift. Among the many on the market , this one fits so nicely in your hand.  It’s motif is a parrot.  Birds appear frequently in Graves’ designs.  Previously, I blogged about one of his perhaps most famous pieces, the tea kettle, which I personally love (see also on right in photo above).

Graves’ Manila tower is among his most famous buildings.  The photo shows it in perhaps its most flattering view.  Having just visited it, the building stands as a modern tower, an architectural statement in sharp contrast to its surroundings.  The building sits at one end of Escolta, a famous and formerly powerful street in Manila, which today appears almost abandoned in favor of new sections like Makati City.

“Design of everything” characterizes Michael Graves.  When he  became wheelchair bound Graves naturally expanded into health care design introducing color to hospital rooms, for example.  He once commented that a hospital room is there to bring a “smile (to your face) and make you think life is not as bad as that operation you had.”

Michael Graves leaves behind ‘large shoes to fill.’ His love for design of all things – small and large is infectious. Even though some may argue postmodernist architecture came and went, perhaps his biggest and lasting impact is Michael Graves’ transformation of utilitarian, everyday objects into designed pieces. Both designers and everyday consumers will miss his imprimatur!

Blessings to he and his family!