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Michael Graves

Michael Graves, 1934-2015, is one of the most prominent postmodern architects of the 20th century. He produced a prolific body of work which spanned office building, retail spaces, hospitals, and houseware products. It is noted he designed during his career more than 350 buildings and over 2500 products. He was born in Indiana; and in 1958 obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati with a master’s degree from Harvard in 1959. He received the “Rome Prize” in 1960 and spent the next two years studying architecture at the American Academy in Rome. In 1962 upon his return to the U.S. he began a 39-year architecture professorship at Princeton University. In 1964 he founded his own architectural firm, Michael Graves & Associates. He is known as one of the “New York Five” a group of young architects that championed a new and pure form of modernism. And in the 1980s Graves helped to shift the architectural conversation from pure forms to a new language of hybrid Postmodern design and was invited by Italian architect Ettore Sottsass to join his artistic collective Memphis. Mr. Graves designed products for the likes of Alessi, Dansk, Disney, JC Penney, Swid Powell, and even Target. After an illness that left him paralyzed from the waist down, he became an advocate for health-oriented design. He won multiple prestigious awards during his career and passed away at the age of 80 renowned and beloved in 2015.

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