Eliot Noyes

 Eliot Noyes (1910-1977) designed the IBM Selectric typewriter.
Noyes probably doesn't pop into your head when thinking about modern architecture and design heroes —
even though he was actually a major figure in the modern design movement. He defined the NY MoMA's design program 
in the 1940's —hactually created the definition for "Good Design" and produced some of the most important 
 exhibitions relating to modern design, like Organic Design in Home FurnishingHe also brought Paul Rand and the 
Eames (along with several other major figures) to IBM. He was the father of corporate design identity 
in modern America, first with IBM, then with Westinghouse and Mobil. Basicaly, he was a big deal.
Image: Rowe


Noyes was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus, which is not surprising since he studied architecture at Harvard under Bauhaus 
founder Walter Gropius. Josef Albers and Marcel Breuer were also teaching at Harvard during that time.  In fact, Noyes 
worked for Breuer and Gropius' architecture firm shortly after graduating. 

This photo is a reflection of Eliot and his wife at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in 1939. There were on a cross-country 

trip funded  by a Wheelwright Travelling Fellowship he received from Harvard. This was the vacation home
built for Edgar Kaufmann Sr.  His son, Edgar Kaufamn Jr. would be a strong supporter of Noyes and the design program at MoMA.  
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim

Noyes was the first Director of Industrial Design at MoMA in 1939. He held that position until 1946.
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim


Noyes was responsible for the first-ever design exhibition at MoMA,  “Useful Objects of American Design Under $10”
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim


 The definition of "Good Design" Eliot Noyes created for the “Useful Objects of American Design Under $10”
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim


MoMA Organic Design Competition, 1941


Eames and Saarinen won for the "seating," and "other furniture" in the living room categories.


1942 Christmas card from Chalres and Ray to Eliot talking about "compound curve" wood splints. "They are good looking in a way."
The Noyes and Eames would be lifelong friends. He was one of the few people who owned a Eames splint sculpture. 
More about that here

Image: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim


"There is no need to qualify the statement. Charles Eames has designed and produced the most
important group of furniture ever developed in this country. His achievement is a compound of
aesthetic brilliance and technical inventiveness. He has not only produced the finest chairs of
modern design, but through borrowing, improvising, and inventing techniques, he has for the first
time exploited the possibilities of mass production methods for the manufacture of furniture."

Eliot Noyes, "Charles Eames," Arts & Architecture (September 1946)


Kniffen House, New Canaan, CT, Marcel Breuer and Eliot Noyes, 1949  
Photo: Wayne Andrews via trimoca

Family Ski House, Sherburne, VT, Eliot Noyes, 1961. This is one of several houses Noyes designed for his family over the years.
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim





In 1956, after seeing the comprehensive and slick deign of Olivetti on a trip to Italy, IBM CEO and President  Thomas Watson Jr. hired Noyes as as the company's design consultant. His task was to "…oversee the redesign of the corporation’s products and buildings in order to convert a technologically unified ‘family’ into a visually unified one” Noyes: “In a sense, a corporation should be like a good painting; everything visible should contribute to the correct total statement; nothing visible should detract” 
To do this, Noyes put together a team of consultants.  This group included Paul Rand, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Edgar Kaufman Jr., Alexander Calder and Isamu Noguchi. Not a bad team at all.
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim

Noyes hired the Eames to handle exhibitions and films for IBM.
(Also see the 1964 World's Fair IBM Pavilion)


 Powers of Ten and IBM Mathematics Peep Show (Mathematica) were Eames films made for IBM. 


Noguchi designed the gardens for the IBM Headquarters in Armonk, New York, 1964
Image: Modern Design

Alexander Calder / IBM Building, New York City
Image: Bruce Coleman

George Nelson / Study for a computer processing flight booking and ticketing system for IBM, 1957 
Source: George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher 



IBM Dictating Machine Stand by William Plumb of the Eliot Noyes office.
Source: Wright

Noyes designed the IBM Aerospace building in Los Angeles, 1963. 
A Quincy Jones and Frederick Emmons were associate architects on the project. 
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim

Noyes made a mock up of the punch card window at his own house in Connecticut

Noyes also went on to manage Westinghouse's corporate identity. Paul Rand did that logo too.
Here is Noyes with his model for the Westinghouse Pavilion at the 1964 New York World'd Fair.  It was never built.  
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim

 The model is now in the SFMoMA's collection.
Source: SFMoMA


Remember these Mobil stations? Yep, those are by Noyes too. 
Source: Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim

When Noyes needed his personal design work in 1959, he again went to Paul Rand.
Source: Paul Rand


The cover of Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernsim (which is
a really good book) is the perfect illustration of how central he was in the making of modern America.

CSH 20 / Neutra

Arts & Architecture Case Study House 20 / Bailey House for Dr. Stuart Bailey by Richard Neutra, 1948
There are actually two CSH 20's. The other is the Saul Bass House by Buff and Hensmen, 1958

The house is on a private drive off Chautauqua Boulevard/ AKA Case Study House Central
CSH 8 (Eames House) ,9 (Eames/Saarinen Entenza House), 20 and 18 (Rodney Walker's West House)  are all neighbors. 
All the land once belonged to Arts & Architecture owner and editor, John Entenza. He purchased the property in 1945.
Neutra designed two additions to the house, one in 1950 and the other in 1958.
 
Photo: Julius Shulman  
Source: Getty Research Institute

Photo: Julius Shulman  
Source: Getty Research Institute

Photo: Julius Shulman  
Source: Getty Research Institute

Source: Neutra. Complete Works by Barbara Lamprecht, Julius Shulman, Peter Gössel

That's a nice set up: Eames, Alan Gould, Jens Risom.  Part of being part of the Case Study Program was that the client received 
discounts on the furniture and building materials from the sponsors. Frank Bros. helped out with the interior furniture here.

Photo: Julius Shulman  
Source: Getty Research Institute

Photo: Julius Shulman  
Source: Neutra. Complete Works by Barbara Lamprecht, Julius Shulman, Peter Gössel

George Nelson / 105

George Nelson would have been 105 today.


George Nelson presents a history of weapon technology... 
Which is also "..a scathing commentary on the arms race during the Cold War."
It's not really the cheeriest video for his birthday, but interesting nonetheless.

Eames House / CSH 8

Yeah, another Eames House post.









You can help support the Eames House at EamesHouse250

More on the house: here, here and here

Important Design / Wright

It doesn't get much more important than this, an Eames / Saarinen chair from 
the 1940 MoMA Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition, 1940.
Image: Wright

Detail
Image: Wright


Isamu Noguchi IN-22 "rudder" dining set for Herman Miller
Image: Wright

Stools
Image: Wright

Really, the first time ever?  What about this? I guess technically that set was in separate lots, 
but come on, it's the same exact set.

Image: Wright

One of many great Natzlers in the sale.
Image: Wright

Here's another. This is a pretty unusual form and glaze for a Natzler.
Image: Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright lamp
Image: Wright

Marcel Breuer tapestry, for the haus
Image: Wright