A Tribute to Michael Graves

By chris

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The design community has recently lost one of its greats; Michael Graves of Michael Graves Architecture and Design passed away this month at his home in New Jersey. Michael has been an unstoppable force in our midst for decades. He was a visionary architect, an inspiring speaker/teacher, an advocate for healthcare design reform and a product designer that brought great design and whimsy to the masses. Graves is famous for having designed over 350 buildings worldwide but was more commonly known for his designs, accessible for use in everyday households. His late 20th century postmodernist designs captivated the world and resulted in countless awards, medals, and honors.

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One of his dearest projects, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital-Omaha Location, will be supported by all contributions made in memory of Michael.  Graves was passionate about Madonnas use of innovative technology to research and provide specialized care for every patient.  The funds will go toward building this hospital as he designed it and provide a permanent naming opportunity in his honor. For information on the design project visit www.madonna.org.  In honor of Michael Graves, Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ will extend a large portion of the current Michael Graves exhibition, Past as Prologue, for the public to enjoy through April 12, 2015.  25% of all admission fees collected at Grounds For Sculpture on April 12 will be donated to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in his memory.   Information on Grounds for Sculpture can be found at http://www.groundsforsculpture.org/

For those of us lucky enough to have collaborated on a project or even just to have heard him speak about the power of design, the loss is great.  I personally got a chance to work with him for a recent lighting collection he created for Ilex. He was the consummate professional and design leader with every stroke of his pen.  Thank you Michael for all you have done for our industry and for your lasting gifts that we can continue to enjoy in our personal and public spaces.

memorial service will be held in his honor at 1 p.m. April 12, 2015 in Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium.  You can find information regarding the memorial as well as RSVP for the service at http://michaelgraves.com/.

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