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Rohe, Ludwig Mies van der

Carroll Gantz
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Mies van der Rohe image

Architect, furniture designer and educator, Mies is one of the four great "form givers" of the 20th century. Famed for his quote "Less is more", and for his steel and glass "International Style" modern architecture, now known as "Miesian". He was born in Germany, trained as a stonemason in his father's shop, and apprenticed with furniture designer Bruno Paul from 1905 to 1907. Mies trained with Peter Behrens 1908-1912 and established his own Berlin office in 1912, which he maintained until 1938. He was a member of the Deutsche Werkbund from 1921. He designed the glass and steel German pavilion and his famous "Barcelona" chairs for the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1927. That same year he planned a major modern home design exhibition called the Weissenhof Siedlung (Weissenhof Estate) which included his designs for a model apartment as well as for tubular cantilever steel chairs. He designed a private home for the Tugendhat family in Brno, Czechoslovakia, and the furniture for it. He was the third and last director of the Bauhaus from 1930 at Dessau, and then in Berlin until 1933, when it was closed by the Nazis. He emigrated to the US in 1938, designed buildings (including Crown Hall) starting 1940 for the Illinois Institute of Technology (Armour Institute until 1940) and became its Director of Architecture in 1948. Mies designed the Farnsworth House in Plano IL in 1950 and the Seagram Building in New York in 1958 in collaboration with Philip Johnson. He died in Chicago.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.
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