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Piet Zwart

Piet Zwart (Zaandijk, 28 May 1885 – Wassenaar, 24 September 1977) was a Dutch photographer, typographer, and industrial designer. Eventhough he did not adhere to traditional typography rules, he used the basic principles of Russian constructivism and “De Stijl” in his commercial work. His work can be recognized by its primary colors, geometrical shapes, repeated word patterns and an early use of photomontage. In the 1920s, when Piet Zwart began to work for the progressive Nederlandsche Kabelfabriek In Delft (a cable company in the Netherlands), he was able for the first time to experiment with upper and lower case, lines, circles and screens. He used alliteration, the visual reworking of letter shapes, repetition and combinations of figures and letters, creating his own unique new style that still has great influence today. He created a total of 275 designs in 10 years for the NKF Company , almost all typographical works. He resigned in 1933 to become an interior, industrial and furniture designer.

Piet Zwart preferred to call himself a form engineer or form technician rather than a designer. He believed in functionality, standardisation and machine production, and profiled himself as one of the first industrial designers in the Netherlands. In his eyes, a design must take account both of ergonomics and user-friendliness, and of the demands of mass production. The kitchen he designed for Bruynzeel in 1938 is a good example. It was highly progressive for its time. This was the first time that domestic appliances like a refrigerator and stove could be integrated in the design in a practical way. All the elements were designed with logical proportions, and customers could combine them as they wished. Handy details like glass containers, a pull-out bread board and storage racks made the kitchen a textbook example of comfort and efficiency.


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Paul Laffoley

Paul Laffoley (born August 14, 1940) is a U.S. artist and architect. As an architect, Laffoley worked for 18 months on design for the World Trade Center Tower II. As a painter, his work is usually classified as visionary art or outsider art. Most of Laffoley’s pieces are painted on large canvases and combine words and imagery to depict a spiritual architecture of explanation, tackling concepts like dimensionality, time travel through hacking relativity, connecting conceptual threads shared by philosophers through the millennia, and theories about the cosmic origins of mankind.

Paul Laffoley began a highly original approach to the construction of the painted surface. Based on extensive hand written journals documenting his research, diagrams, and footnoted predecessors to various theoretical developments, Laffoley began to first organize his ideas in a format related to eastern mandalas that had captivated his interest in the spiritual. This format quickly developed into Laffoley’s three sub-groupings of work: operating Systems, psychotronic devices and lucid dreams related to them. Conceived of as “structured singularities”, Laffoley never works in series, but rather approached each project freshly, and individually.


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