09 MAR 2017
In The Shade - Lilly Reich
Utilitarian and fearless, Lilly Reich's designs made her mark on the future of modernism.
Words by Phoebe Houston Lowe
While the early 20th century was a time of burgeoning innovation within design and architecture, attitudes towards women, were unfortunately not quite as forward thinking. Many of the most celebrated and cutting edge designs during this period were by women, and in most cases credit was not quite given where credit was due. Too often overshadowed by their male counterparts or collaborators, these modernist pioneers did not enjoy the same fame or recognition.
So in honour of International Women’s Day this week, and just because women rule, we wanted to share one of the most influential female designers of the early 20th century and some of her contributions to modernist design.
Berlin born designer and architect, Lilly Reich was the master of the austere. In true Bauhaus fashion she utilised industrial materials like steel tubing to advocate superior design and craftsmanship within mass-produced goods. In retrospect it is easy to see how her utilitarian minimalism informed much of the later mid century pieces we love today.
Her famous male collaborator Mies Van Der Rohe, with whom she shared a close working relationship, has claimed authorship of many of their collaborations through his fame. For example the illustrious Barcelona chair and daybed, which is still marketed by Knoll as Mies’ design even though records show Reich’s design contributions.
Crous apartments - Berlin
The Barcelona Ottoman.
Reich's original daybed design for the interior of the Crous apartments in Berlin - the first model of a daybed on tubular steel feet.
So next time you see a Barcelona chair think of Lilly Reich, and the countless other woman overlooked by male-centric historical accounts.
More inspiration you might like
Composite Collection – Opens May 20
Composite, a new collection from Mr. Bigglesworthy, explores the dynamic possibilites of mid-century design furniture. By highlighting the raw materials and rich textures of these high end modernist pieces, their innate beauty is exposed.READ MORE
A love Affair With Coffee Tables
Our top ten favourite coffee tables from the 50's and 60's – in no particular orderREAD MORE
Vanished Delft – Exhibition at Pah Homestead
Mr. Bigglesworthy is proud to be associated with Vanished Delft – Handmade Material Culture, the current exhibition at Pah Homestead.READ MORE
New Brands Debut in New Zealand
Exclusive brands debut in New Zealand as design store launches.READ MORE