Don Albinson (1921- 2008) – American furniture designer

Albinson Chair by Don Albinson
Don Albinson stacking chair

Don Albinson (1921 -2008) was an American Furniture Designer.

Education

He studied in Sweden, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Yale University.

Biography

Don Albinson black and white photo
Don Albinson black and white photo

He took Charles Eames’ industrial and product design courses at Cranbrook. In 1946, he joined the Eames Office and worked on the moulded plywood series of chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames. The Eameses treated him like a son, and he stayed with them in their Los Angeles apartment for six months. Albinson was instrumental in creating many of the furniture items produced for Herman Miller as a critical member of staff at the Eames Office, especially the Aluminium Group chairs of 1958. Many of the technological and design advances in furniture produced by the Eameses can be attributed to Albinson’s knowledge of manufacturing processes and engineering. Albinson quit the Eames Office in 1959 after 13 years and was hired as Knoll International’s director of design production in 1964. His first project for Knoll was the hugely popular Albinson chair in die-cast aluminium and polypropylene, which debuted in 1965.

Stacking chair

Knoll’s 1965 stacking Albinson chair was similar to British Designer’s Robin Day trendy chair for Hille, although Albinson’s was more sophisticated. They stack, hook together side by side and are comfortable to sit in. After Knoll, he became a consultant designer to Westinghouse on office seating and furniture systems.

Albinson said that the essential consideration in the design of his chair was to go farther than previous designers did in fitting chairs to persons of different dimensions.

Knoll International Graphic Program: The Albinson Chair 1967
Knoll International Graphic Program: The Albinson Chair 1967

Exhibitions

Chairs shown in 1968 ‘Les Assises du siège contemporain’ exhibition, Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Received the 1967 American Architectural Design Award and 1967 AID award.

Toward the end of his career, Don Albinson believed that now that American production and design expertise had achieved the ultimate goal of everything for everyone. It was time for design to solve real problems like affordable shelter, efficient mass transportation and delivery of goods without wasteful packaging.

Sources

Boston Book and Art. (1971). Modern Chairs, 1918-1970. Retrieved from https://amzn.to/3CQhEfV.

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Fiell, C., & Fiell, P. (2021). Design of the 20th Century. Taschen. Retrieved from https://amzn.to/3CRYDd6.

Kirkham, P., Eames, C., & Eames, R. (1998). Charles and Ray Eames designers of the Twentieth Century. MIT Press. Retrieved from https://amzn.to/3nTMFva.

Meikle, J. L. (2014). Design in the USA. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://amzn.to/3FRNVW5.

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    Charles Pfister (1938 – 1990) was an American interior and furniture designer

    Charles Pfister (1939 to 1990) was an American interior and furniture designer and architect. He was professionally active in San Francisco.Read More →

  • Rodolfo Dordoni (b.1954) Italian Architect and Designer

    Rodolfo Dordoni (b.1954) Italian Architect and Designer

    he was artistic director of Cappellini International Interiors and in charge of corporate image and communications; from 1982, he was consultant designer for several firms on pavilions, shops, and exhibition stands.Read More →

  • Léon Jallot (1874 – 1967) French designer and artisan.

    Léon Jallot (1874 – 1967) French designer and artisan.

    Léon Jallot (1874­1967), a scion of the French Art Nouveau, stood out within the movement as an ébéniste, or cabinet maker.Read More →

  • Alberto Rosselli (1921-76) Italian architect and industrial designer

    Alberto Rosselli (1921-76) Italian architect and industrial designer

    Alberto Rosselli (1921-76) Italian architect and industrial designer. He was born in Palermo. He was professionally active in Milan. Read More →

  • Helen Abson Australian Architect and Fabric Designer

    Helen Abson Australian Architect and Fabric Designer

    Helen Abson, who trained as an architect, is an Australian designer. She pursued architecture for five years; founded ZAB Design where she designed fabrics that exhibited a preoccupation for texture achieved through pattern and colour.Read More →

  • Cristian Cirici (b.1941) Spanish Architect and Designer

    Cristian Cirici (b.1941) Spanish Architect and Designer

    Between 1962-65, he worked in the office of architects Frederic Correa and Alfonso Mila and, in 1962, in the office of architects James Cubitt and Partners, London. In 1964 (with Pep Bonet, Lluis Clotet, and Oscar Tusquets Blanca), he founded the Studio PER. Read More →

  • Antti Aarre Nurmesniemi – Finnish Interior & Industrial Designer

    Antti Aarre Nurmesniemi – Finnish Interior & Industrial Designer

    Between 1949-50, he was a furniture designer at the Stockmann design office, Helsinki; 1951—56, he was furniture and interior designer in the Viljo Revell architecture office, HelsinkiRead More →

  • John Makepeace (b.1939) British Furniture Designer

    John Makepeace (b.1939) British Furniture Designer

    He started designing furniture in 1961. In 1964, he set up a workshop in Farnsborough Barn, Banbury, moving in 1976 to Parnham House in Dorset. He established the Parnham Trust and School for Craftsmen in Wood in 1977.Read More →

  • Mario Botta (b.1943) Swiss Architect and Designer

    Mario Botta (b.1943) Swiss Architect and Designer

    While the space arrangements in this structure are inconsistent, its relationship to its site, separation of living from service spaces, and deep window recesses echo his stark, robust and towering style. Read More →

  • Clément Mère (1861 – 1940) French painter, tabletier, designer and furniture maker

    Clément Mère (1861 – 1940) French painter, tabletier, designer and furniture maker

    Clément Mère was born in Bayonne and active in Paris. He was a French painter, table-builder, artist and furniture builder. He studied painting with Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.Read More →

  • Paul McCobb (1917 – 1969) American furniture designer

    Paul McCobb (1917 – 1969) American furniture designer

    One of the leading designers of the American design movement from the mid-20th centuryRead More →

  • René-André Coulon (1908 – 1997) furniture with tempered glass

    René-André Coulon (1908 – 1997)  furniture with tempered glass

    René-André Coulon was a furniture designer from France. He did architectural studies until 1937. In his work, Coulon integrated tempered glass, some of which Hagnauer, Vienna, made. He designed the interior furniture of Adnet for Saint-Gobain.Read More →

  • Ray and Charles Eames a partnership

    Ray and Charles Eames a partnership

    They were full collaborators as husband and wife. Design is infrequently a solitary endeavour, and husband-and-wife teams are not uncommon. The collaborative nature of the Eames work, on the other hand, was easily obscured by Charles’s widespread public recognition as an individual designer and thinker.Read More →

  • Daniel Mack ( b.1947) American furniture designer

    Daniel Mack ( b.1947) American furniture designer

    Daniel Mack creates fine custom furniture, architectural detail, and decoration from wood as close to its natural form and texture as possible, frequently incorporating glass, metal, or stone.Read More →

  • Sir Terence Conran (1931 – 2020) British Interior Designer

    Sir Terence Conran (1931 – 2020) British Interior Designer

    From cl950, he worked for Rayon Centre, London, and, 1951— 52, as an interior designer for Dennis Lennon; designed 1955 ‘The Orrery’ coffee-bar, London in the late 1950s, as a freelance designer. Read More →

  • Hélène de Mandrot (1867 – 1948) Swiss Designer and Arts patron

    Hélène de Mandrot (1867 – 1948) Swiss Designer and Arts patron

    She was a wealthy lady with cultural aspirations, who spent her time travelling between the great cultural centres and fashionable holiday resorts of Europe, and who liked to gather artists and authors around her. Read More →

  • Andreas Hansen (b.1936) Danish Furniture Designer

    Andreas Hansen (b.1936) Danish Furniture Designer

    He studied at the Kunsthåndvaerkerskolen, Copenhagen, to 1962 and Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademiets Møbelskole, Copenhagen to 1963.Read More →

  • Jörgen Kastholm (b.1931) Danish Architect and Furniture Designer

    Jörgen Kastholm (b.1931) Danish Architect and Furniture Designer

    Kastholm was apprenticed as a boy to a blacksmith and worked at that trade for five years in the United States before returning to Copenhagen to study design. Between 1954 – 1958 he studied at the Bygingsteknisk Skole, Frederick, under Arne Jacobsen. In 1959 the Grafisk Høskole. After graduation, he practised architecture and furniture design in Beirut.Read More →

  • Gordon Russell (1892 – 1980) British furniture maker and designer

    Gordon Russell (1892 – 1980) British furniture maker and designer

    He began working at his father’s modest antiques restoration workshop in 1908, where he learned various crafts and oversaw repairs. In 1910, he began designing furniture. After World War I, he manufactured furniture in the style of Ernest Gimson. Read More →

  • Roberto Pamio (b.1937) Italian Architect and Designer

    Roberto Pamio (b.1937) Italian Architect and Designer

    He became active in 1961 as an architect and furniture and industrial designer; (with Renato Tosso) collaborated on furniture and lighting; had clients including Zanussi-Rex, Peguri, Stilwood, Arclinea, Cidue, FAI, Leucos, and Arflex.Read More →

  • Oscar Tusquets Blanca – Spanish painter, architect and designer

    Oscar Tusquets Blanca – Spanish painter, architect and designer

    Oscar Tusquets Blanca is a Spanish painter, architect and designer. He was born and is professionally active in Barcelona, Spain.Read More →

  • Alison Milner – British Designer in Eclectic Materials

    Alison Milner – British Designer in Eclectic Materials

    Her aesthetic is clean and clear – reducing, simplifying and uncovering underlying patterns. She prefers to inject gentle humour, visual poetry, narrative and a sense of place into her work.Read More →

  • Kisho Kurokawa (b.1934) Japanese Architect and Furniture Designer

    Kisho Kurokawa (b.1934) Japanese Architect and Furniture Designer

    In 1960, at the age of 26, he made his debut into the world as one of the founders of the Metabolism Movement.  Read More →

  • Arne Jacobsen (1902 – 1971) Danish architect and furniture designer

    Arne Jacobsen (1902 – 1971) Danish architect and furniture designer

    In 1927, Jacobsen established his practice in Hellerup. He was Denmark’s first exponent of Functionalism, influenced by Modern architecture of the 1930s, such as Le Corbusier, Gunnar Asplund, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. His first significant assignment was the Bellavista housing complex in Copenhagen, which he completed between 1930 and 1934.Read More →

  • Margareta Aberg (b.1929) Swedish Designer

    Margareta Aberg (b.1929) Swedish Designer

    In 1956, she opened her own architecture studio with her husband Rolf Aberg; designed the Salabim cupboard of 1986 produced by Swedfun (Sweden). She specialized in interior architecture and designed hospitals, hotels, and schools including the Bracke Osterjard Hospital, Gothenburg, for handicapped children.Read More →

  • Kay Bojensen (1886 – 1958) Danish silversmith and toy designer

    Kay Bojensen (1886  – 1958) Danish silversmith and toy designer

    Kay Bojesen (1886-1958) was a Danish silversmith and designer. Most notably, his monkey, displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from the 1950s to the 1960s, is widely accepted as a design classic.Read More →

  • Mart Stam (1899 – 1986) Dutch architect and designer

    Mart Stam (1899 – 1986) Dutch architect and designer

    His design approach has been categorised as New Objectivity, a counter-movement and outgrowth of Expressionism that emerged during the Great Depression in Germany in the 1920s.Read More →

  • Danielle Quarante ( b.1938 ) French Furniture Designer

    Danielle Quarante ( b.1938 ) French Furniture Designer

    She began her professional career as a graphic designer, specialising in exhibition design. In 1966 she worked on product design (children’s furniture, hi-fi systems).Read More →

  • Wilhelm Wagenfeld (1900 – 1990) German architect and industrial designer

    Wilhelm Wagenfeld (1900 – 1990) German architect and industrial designer

    He was an assistant lecturer at the Bauhaus in Weimar from 1922 to 1929, where he primarily designed lighting fixtures. Read More →

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