Interiors & Sources Highlights the Growth of MGA&D
Interiors + Sources Magazine’s recent issue debuted at NeoCon and featured a deep dive into the rich history of Michael Graves Architecture & Design. The feature story entitled Evolution, took an in-depth look a fifty-plus year chronological view of MGA&D, highlighting how the firm’s breadth and depth of experience now informs the direction of current and future projects.
“MICHAEL WAS AN ANOMALY OF AN ARCHITECT. THROUGH HIS OWN EXPERIENCES, THE FIRM FOUND SUCCESS IN SOLUTION-BASED PRODUCT DESIGN GEARED TO MEET THE EVERYDAY NEEDS OF MOST PEOPLE.”
– JENNA LIPPIN, I+S
The article also highlights the firm’s forward-thinking approach to the democratization of design. There is no rational in having smart and beautiful design that is not accessible to everyone. Michael’s enthusiasm for design at every scale paved the way for the firm. His approach to designing “the house and everything in it’ gave his architects and designers the unique opportunity to appreciate and cross-design in various disciplines. Starting with a rug for V’Soske, creating the famous Alessi Tea Kettle and later a line of products for Target, MGA&D’s branded icon has been marked on the masses.
Though it wasn’t until 2003 when Graves was stricken with paralysis that he had a hand in designing healthcare projects. Michael reluctantly spent a great deal of time checking in and out of healthcare facilities. He often remarked on his time spent in these locations, stating “I told them we better get to work because it is far too ugly for me to die here.” Between the lack of aesthetics and his new-found difficulty preforming everyday tasks Michael and the firm shifted attention to improving products for health and accessibility – never looking back.
Many of the principals who work at the firm today worked with Michael for many years. Karen Nichols, Principal, has been with the practice for 40 years. “We have a very close, sort of family-like relationship,” she says about the firm. Today the firm’s product design practice is hard at work conceptualizing several accessibility products, bringing high quality design to the home healthcare market.