alexander girard: an uncommon vision
446 west 14th street (meatpacking district)
now on – closes may 28th, 2014
11:00 – 18:00


to mark the release of the first collection of archival furniture and screen printed fabric panels by alexander girard, herman miller and maharam are celebrating his life and work with a public showcase in new york’s meatpacking district. alexander girard: an uncommon vision opened at 446 west 14th street on may 17, and remains open to the public until tomorrow – may 28 at 6PM.


visitors to the gallery are invited to relax and read from a selection of material curated by the girard family while enjoying a complimentary coffee from soho’s la colombe. a selection of officially licensed girard designs and products are available for purchase, including books, blankets, posters, dolls, and a selection of special-edition pillows from maharam.


a carefully curated exhibit of archival designs and ephemera exposes visitors to the unique vision and diverse abilities girard brought to herman miller during his tenure as design director of the textiles program (1952-1973), while newly reissued products and fabrics serve as the backbone of a girard-inspired living room.










uncommon furniture
though girard focused his abilities at herman miller on its textile program, he had a long history of designing furniture for other projects and clients. for braniff international airlines this included sofas, lounge chairs, cafe seating, and tables for its airport lounges. in 1967, these designs were commercialized into the girard group—his only collection of furniture for herman miller. the new hexagonal table, splayed leg table, and color wheel ottoman represent the company’s first archival reproduction of girard furniture and were co-developed with vitra, the authorized manufacturer and distributor of girard designs in europe and the middle east, while herman miller holds rights to these designs elsewhere around the world.









hexagonal table
with this small, sculptural table girard offers an ode to the geometry of the hexagon—a shape that he experimented with in multiple mediums, from textiles and graphics, to interiors and furniture. a composition of 216 inscribed triangles makes up the jewel-like, polished aluminum top of this exquisite table.



splayed leg table
this small table’s elegant materials and expressive form make it an ideal fit for a variety of residential and commercial applications—from bedside table to boardroom accent piece. available in luxurious black or white marble set atop polished die-cast aluminum legs, the splayed leg table offers a modernist take on old world charm.



color wheel ottoman
playful, colorful, and graphic, the color wheel ottoman is unmistakably the work of alexander girard. available in an array of bold colors, or two distinctive stripes, this low upholstered piece serves equally well as a footrest, coffee table, extra seat, or conversation starter.










enriching the built environment
in 1972, girard developed 40 decorative silkscreen designs to add an element of ‘aesthetic functionalism’ to corporate spaces. unlike his printed textiles, the panels consisted of single, stand-alone images that ranged from abstract patterns to figurative pictograms. herman miller is now making 12 of these decorative silkscreen designs available once again. playful and bold, the environmental enrichment panels served as an exclamation point for girard’s long tenure with herman miller.


the girard throw is a further ode to the designer’s work with a signature client. the richly hued throw blanket he originally created for braniff was one of an astounding 17,543 items—from logo to logo to furniture to bag tags—he created for the airline. recreated today by pendleton (whose blankets girard avidly collected), the reissued blankets are naturally breathable, wrinkle resistant, and crafted from 82 percent wool and 18 percent cotton. the girard throw is offered in a palette of bold plaids, including natural/white, white/black, orange/fuchsia, and teal/aqua.









a legacy lives on
working closely with the girard studio, herman miller and maharam are honored to be authorized and authentic producers of alexander girard designs. in once again making available his remarkable range of furnishings, objects, screen-printed panels, and woven textiles, in collaboration with the girard family, the partnership will faithfully preserve and promote the design legacy and archive of alexander girard.








about alexander girard
trained as an architect, but proficient in all manner of activities, alexander girard was introduced to herman miller through charles eames and george nelson, established the textile division in 1952, and served as its director of design until 1973. from his outpost in santa fe, new mexico, he designed over 300 textiles in multitudes of colorways, multiple collections of wallpaper, decorative prints and wall hangings, an expansive group of furniture, and both decorative and useful objects. his passion for international folk art led him around the globe as he amassed a collection of roughly 106,000 pieces, and his many corporate and freelance assignments engendered lavish praise for his diverse skills and unique vision. unhampered by contemporary dictums of style and taste, over the course of his 21-year tenure at herman miller girard explored wildly different approaches to production method, yarn content, pattern, texture, color, and mood. the resulting body of work is not only staggering in sheer volume and creativity, but due to its fundamental qualities of beauty and usefulness, remains completely relevant today.







on our recent trip to new york city, designboom visited the show of alexander girard and met his grandson kori girard. see designboom’s exclusive interview with artist kori girard and sam grawe, the editorial director of herman miller!


sam grawe (left) and artist kori girard (right)
portrait © designboom