Thursday, January 7, 2010

Design Research Exhibit, Cambridge

 A Design Research exhibit has temporarily moved into the old Design Research building in Brattle Square that Crate & Barrel was most recently occupying.  The exhibit marks the 40th anniversary of Design Research {1969-2009}.

The information accompanying the exhibit reads:

What was Design Research?  Before lifestyle was a buzzword, architect Benjamin Thompson (1918-2002) sold it - his version of the most up-to-date way to live - from a Brattle St. store called Design Research.  What it sold was a warm, eclectic, colorful, and international version of modernism, one that mixed folk art with designer products. 

D/R pioneered the idea of one-stop shopping for tools to eat, to sleep, to dress, and even party in a beautiful way.  D/R became an everyday statement of Ben's philosophy of life; comfort for the body, beauty for the senses, and power for the imagination.

At the time there was nothing like D/R - a store that invited customers to celebrate the 'art in everyday life'.  D/R would eventually add eleven more locations across the US, and extend and extend the design approach to other communities.

This unique retrospective represents the forward-looking furnishings, products, fabrics and fashions introduced to the American marketplace by Design Research International from 1953 through 1978.





The exhibit has the usual suspects including Marimekko, Iittalia, Aalto and Knoll.  All in all, I think the exhibit is worth visiting if you are in the area.  I love the overabundance of lanterns in the first photo and the simplicity of the different areas that is livened up by the addition of the Marimekko fabrics and other textiles.

The last picture has a lot of glare in it but I couldn't resist adding in a picture with the wooden rocking horse {deer?}.

{all photos: jeanine}


  1. Since the exhibit only allows you to look from outside, I'll just put in a plug for Didriks, down the street at 190 Concord Ave. We sell the whole line of iittala glass and other home accessories. We love the fact that the exhibit is there in the Square. Jane Thompson, Nancy Hemenway and their team did a great job. Head a little further away to Huron Village and there is a Marimekko concept store there as well.

  2. jeanine! so good to find another practicing, blogging interior designer. where do you work? i am working contract with an architect in somerville. i moved here in the best economy ever:)


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