The Designs of Hugh Acton

Hugh Acton had a prodigious career as an industrial designer, creating many works for schools, homes, libraries and offices, bringing an American craft ethos and a Scandinavian mind for simplicity to everyday spaces. From his home studio in Michigan, Acton created numerous iconic and accessible modernist designs over the course of five decades. 

It has been my guiding principle, to simplify until everything is eliminated except the necessary.

Hugh Acton

Hugh Acton

Hugh Acton was an artist and designer, based primarily in Kalamazoo, Michigan, working in a style that blended the best of the American craft tradition and Scandinavian mid-century design. He is most known for his pioneering Acton Stacker (the first stackable chair with arms) and his epochal wood and metal slat bench.

Acton was born in 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri and soon after adopted by a family who owned a farm and ranch in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. From a young age, he showed a penchant for building things and his time spent on the farm would influence his design ethos of simplicity in form and material.

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