Alexander Girard (1907-1993) designed vast volumes of textiles, wall paper, furniture, and interior architectural details that brought together color and function to enhance quality of life. His confident use of vibrant colors and playful patterns defined a generation, and still remain relevant today.
|Miller House and Garden. Interior designed by Alexander Girard in 1953. Girard's design included custom furniture, seasonally rotating textiles, chair cushions, and rugs.|
An Italian-American born in New York, Girard spent his childhood in Florence. He studied architecture in London and Rome before moving back to New York City in 1932. Though formally trained in architecture, Girard is best known for his textiles, which incorporate rich colors and folk-art references.
|Alexander Girard at Herman Miller|
In 1937, Girard opened a second studio in Detroit. His involvement in the Detroit Institute for Art "For Modern Living" exhibition introduced him to Charles and Ray Eames's, who were exhibiting their molded plywood chair. With Charles Eames' influence, Girard became the founding director of the Herman Miller Textile Division in 1952. He served as its director until 1973, producing more than 300 vibrantly hued fabric and wallpaper designs in that time.
|Braniff International aircrafts featuring Alexander Girard's color design.|
|Braniff Airlines Aircraft Interior|
|Ottomans by Girard for Braniff Airlines. Featured in the "Alexander Girard : An Uncommon Vision" Exhibit in New York May of 2014. Photo courtesy of Herman Miller.|
|"Alexander Girard : An Uncommon Vision" showcases textiles, furniture and other objects that Girard designed as head of Herman Miller's textile division and for other private clients. Photo courtesy of Herman Miller.|
As Architectural colorists, we share Girard's vision of a world that uses color to articulate form and energize function. His approach to design was whimsical, and yet practical. He produced spaces that people wanted to be in, using bright colors and folk art reference to create comfortable and welcoming environments.