Alexander Girard

Alexander Girard. Vitra Dolls. 1963. Wood and Paint.
Alexander Girard. Vitra Dolls. 1963. Wood and Paint.

Alexander Girard (May 24, 1907 – 1993) was an American architect and textile designer. Girard is widely known through his work for Herman Miller (1952 to 1975), where he created fabrics for the designs of George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames. He was greatly inspired by folk art, popular art, toys, and textiles.

Alongside Charles and Ray Eames as well as George Nelson, Alexander Girard was one of the decisive figures in post-War American design. The focus of his broad oeuvre was on textile design, and a key source of inspiration for him was the popular art of South America, Asia and East Europe. The Wooden Dolls, which Girard created for his own home in Santa Fe and made himself, are likewise inspired by his own extensive collection of works of popular art. Half decorative element, half toy, the Wooden Dolls were originally intended only for personal use. Based on originals found in the Girard Estate held by the Vitra Design Museum, the partly joyful, partly grim-looking company of dolls is now coming out as a charming enhancement to any interior. Collection Vitra Design Museum.

Alexander Girard. Puzzle. Wood and Paint.

This wooden animal puzzle was based on a Girard carpet design found in the project archive of Saarinen’s Miller House in Columbus, Indiana. The design was never used in the landmark home, but has been repurposed as a children’s puzzle.

Alexander Girard. Memory Game. Wood and Paint.
Alexander Girard. Memory Game. Wood and Paint.

 Girard originally created these images for his environmental enrichment panels that he designed to spice up Herman Miller’s Action Office plan. Each game comes with 72 pieces and a limited-edition wooden box.

[Text largely adapted from Alexander Girard for House Industries]

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