The Herman Miller Company boasts more than a century-long legacy of design excellence. With an enduring reputation as a longtime leader in modern furniture, furnishings and design, Herman Miller has introduced iconic statement makers at every turn of its almost 11-decade reign. Standouts include the seminal lounge chairs of Charles and Ray Eames and the massively influential Noguchi table by Isamu Noguchi. Among the well-decorated and publicly venerated works of Herman Miller designers appear the unforgettable colors, patterns and figures of Alexander Girard.
In 1952 Girard was hired to direct the fabric and textile division of Herman Miller, where he worked with a team of prestigious designers for more than 20 years. During this time, Girard rose as an enthusiastic and vibrant leader of postwar design, focusing on the creation of vivid textiles that rebelled against the neutral landscape of the time. Though distinctly modern, his fabrics, models and graphics pushed back against the notion that modernity was to be the single source of influence for work in his field. He instead drew from variegated sources, compelled to bring out the beauty of different cultures, including the rich history of folk art from Latin America.
Out of Girard's prolific design portfolio emerge a few immediately recognizable pieces.
Included in his Environmental Enrichment Panel project of 1972 is Girard's Eyes. The piece was crafted a mere year before Girard completed his two-decade tenure with the company, and is one of his most enduring contributions. True to Girard's abiding vision of clean and visually powerful design, Eyes includes a deliberate arrangement of geometric strokes and a purposeful focus on three colors: white, medium blue and black.
Girard created his Arabesque collection in 1954, two years after he began working with the Herman Miller Company. Available in numerous color variations, this image shows the pink and orange version. The fabric is predominantly cotton with nylon and wool blended in.
Girard's Mother Fish & Child set was developed in 1952. Now recognized as distinct figures in Girard's sweeping series of wooden dolls, these unusual horizontal objects are simple and crisply designed. Girard began developing these dolls for his Santa Fe home, though the legacy of these objects are carried on by meticulous craftsmen.
The striking and colorful creations of Alexander Girard are poised to endure, and Troy Lighting looks forward to illuminating his iconic works with monochromatic pendants that match Girard's basic yet distinct color palettes. Dynamic yet minimal, Tides and Impulse are ideal selects for a Girard-inspired interior.
Tides features sophisticated simplicity, uniting straight, geometric elements with curved angles. Its delicate bends, formed of handworked iron and finished in textured white, give it a sense of motion that draws the viewer in. Its deliberate design and single-tone appearance make it a worthwhile inclusion in a modern home.
Impulse is formed of handcrafted iron that is cut into flat strips and bent to create a cage-like saucer shape. It maintains the smooth feel of a circle and the symmetric edge of geometric angles. With a spoke-like exterior, opal diffuser and striking impression, it proves modern and versatile.
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