Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies on March 27, 1886 in Germany. He was commonly referred to as Mies. He changed his name to reflect a higher societal standing. He is considered one of the pioneers of modernist design in both architecture and furnishings. Early in his career he worked in his father’s stone carving shop and several design firms. Then, moving to Berlin, he worked alongside Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. He was director of the famed Bauhaus, an influential school of modern design. But in 1932 fled Germany and the Nazi regime, along with their opposition to modernism, by moving to the United States and Chicago specifically where he headed the architecture school at the Armour Institute of Technology now the Illinois Institute of Technology. Some of his famed architectural designs are the Barcelona Pavilion, 1929; Villa Tugendhat, 1930; Crown Hall on the IIT campus; IBM Plaza, Chicago; 860-880 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago; the Farnsworth House; and many more. He is credited with the design of the Barcelona chair and table, the Brno Chair, and the Tugendhat chair. Mies died after a successful career on August 17, 1969.

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