American Design 15 September 2016

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Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen

storage units for the Organic Design Competition

Red Lion Furniture Company
USA, 1941
90 w x 72 d x 57 h in (229 x 183 x 145 cm)

result: $23,750

estimate: $10,000–15,000

Lot includes three benches and ten moveable cabinets; three cabinets feature four drawers, two cabinets feature two adjustable shelves, three cabinets feature a single drawer and one adjustable shelf and two cabinets feature five drawers.

literature: Organic Designs in Home Furnishings, Noyes, ppg. 26-29

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Organic Design Competition

The MoMA's groundbreaking exhibition

In 1940, the Museum of Modern Art in New York inaugurated the groundbreaking Organic Design competition to “discover good designers and engage them in the task of creating a better environment for today’s living.” The museum collaborated with several manufacturers and department stores to produce and distribute the winning designs.

Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen submitted collections to two categories – seating for a living room and other furniture for a living room – and won first prize for both. Their use of innovative technologies and new manufacturing processes set the works by Eames and Saarinen apart from their competitors. Their designs dramatically influenced modern movements in the field and directly influenced the future direction both designers would take in their careers. 

Organic Design Competition exhibition view featuring this form.