Ferdinand Kramer (1898 – 1985) German Architect and Designer

Ferdinand kramer products
Ferdinand kramer products

Ferdinand Kramer (1898 – 1985) was a German architect and functionalist designer.

Biography

Kramer’s father was the owner of the most well-known of Frankfurt hat shops. In 1916, immediately after school, Kramer was drawn into military service and remained a soldier through the end of the First World War. The following year he trained at the Bauhaus for a few months before quitting, disillusioned with the technical level of the training, then began a three-year architectural study in Munich with Theodor Fischer. With the lack of architectural commissions during this period of inflation, he concentrated on furniture designs for Thonet and metal utensils, for example, his “Kramer Oven”, a sheet-metal furnace. Kramer returned to Frankfurt in 1922.

From 1925 through 1930, Kramer worked for an architect and civic planner, Ernst May, building and furnishing the housing projects of New Frankfurt and was a contributor to the second CIAM conference.

Social Housing in Germany

The creation of inexpensive housing was one of the main goals of architecture between the world wars. The goal was an apartment for minimum living standards in which everything would be inexpensive as possible. Kramer designed inexpensive and practical and household fittings and light fixtures and interchangeable plywood furniture for small rooms.

Move to the United States

After disputes with the Nazi regime and professional disqualification, Kramer emigrated to the United States in 1938 and worked on a variety of projects, including work with Norman bel Geddes on designs for the New York World’s Fair of 1939, designs for inexpensive “knock-down” furniture which anticipates today’s commercial “flat-pack” furniture, and commissions from his friend Theodor Adorno for the Institute for Social Research during its New York years. Kramer became a naturalized US citizen in 1945.

Return to Germany

On his return to Germany in 1952, Kramer taught and served as the director of building at the Goethe University Frankfurt until his retirement into private practice in 1964. Paul Friedrich Posenenske followed the architectural language introduced by Ferdinand Kramer at the university buildings. The university moves step by step to the new Poelzig/Westend and Nieder-Eschbach campuses, so many of the old buildings in Bockenheim will be sold or even torn down although they are landmarked buildings.

Recognition

From December 9, 1982, to January 23, 1983, a retrospective of Kramer’s work was shown at Bauhaus Archive in Berlin and Amerikahaus in Frankfurt. From June 5 to August 4, 1991, the Museum of Design, Zürich put on the retrospective exhibition “Ferdinand Kramer – Der Charme des Systematischen” which was also shown in Frankfurt at the Deutscher Werkbund (in cooperation with the DAM, Deutsches Architekturmuseum) and later at the Bauhaus Dessau. The Frankfurt University archive keeps examples of furniture Kramer explicitly designed for the university. Other museums such as the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, the Thonet Museum in Frankenberg as well as the Vitra Design Museum, in Weil am Rhein have examples of Kramer’s furniture.

Kramer’s door handle design and designs for several pieces of furniture have been re-released.

Ferdinand Kramer in our partner stores

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

Hauffe, T. (1998). Design. London: Laurence King. https://amzn.to/3y7vFWw

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, August 16). Ferdinand Kramer. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:25, December 30, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ferdinand_Kramer&oldid=973330782

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    Louis Rault (1847 – 1903) French sculptor, engraver and jewellery designer

    Louis Rault (1847 – 1903) was a French Sculptor, engraver, silversmith and jewellery designer.Between 1868 and 1875, Rault worked in the Boucheron workshop on the Place Vendôme in Paris. At the end of the nineteenth century, he set up a workshop where he produced silver and jewellery in the Art Nouveau style.Read More →

  • Gerhard Munthe (1855-1929) Norwegian textile, furniture, Interior Designer

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    Between 1877-82, he lived in Munich. As a pictorial artist, he brought about the break with historicism in Norway. Drawing on Norwegian folk art and poetry, he illustrated books and designed tapestries for firms including DNB (Det Norske Billedvaveri).Read More →

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    Design in Scandinavia travelling exhibition, 1954 – 1957

    Brilliant examples of contemporary home furnishings were shown from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden and exposed Americans to Scandinavian design, inspiring a shift towards mid-century design.Read More →

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    Frederick John Kiesler, an Austrian-American architect, theoretician, theatre designer, artist, and sculptor, was born Friedrich Jacob Kiesler in Czernowitz, Austria-Hungary Empire (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), in 1890. 1965 saw his passing.Read More →

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    At the X Milan Triennale exhibition in 1954, he met the furniture manufacturer, Dino Gavina, who subsequently invited Takahama to work for him in Italy. Takahama’s first design for Gavina was the geometrically severe Naeko sofa-bed (1957). Read More →

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  • Halogen bulbs revolutionised home lighting.

    Halogen bulbs revolutionised home lighting.

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    Marco Zotta (b.1945) Italian industrial designer

    He designed furniture and furnishings, lighting for clients including Fargas, Le Cose, Studio Grando, Stilnovo and Evoluzione. He became a member of ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale).Read More →

  • Christian Dell (1893 – 1974) German metalworker designer

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  • Edvard Kindt Larsen (1901 – 1982) Danish architect designer

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    Danish architect and furniture designer Edvard Kindt-Larsen (1901–1982) collaborated frequently with his wife Tove Kindt-Larsen (1906–1994). The couple worked in the fields of architecture, furniture design, silverware design, and textiles from the 1930s to the 1960s, ranking among Denmark’s leading designers.Read More →

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  • Khodi Feiz Iranian born Industrial Designer

    Khodi Feiz  Iranian born Industrial Designer

    Feiz’s work has received numerous awards and has been featured in exhibitions and publications worldwide. The overriding inspirations for Feiz’s work can be summed up by: Clarity, concept and context. Feiz has developed several project in collaboration with Artifort, including the Extens, Bras and Beso chair family.Read More →

  • One of America’s Most Historic Hotels – Mission Inn

    One of America’s Most Historic Hotels – Mission Inn

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  • Ikko Tanaka (1930 -2002) 🇯🇵 Graphic Design blend of East and West

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  • Pietro Chiesa (1892 – 1948) 🇮🇹 Italian furniture and glassware

    Pietro Chiesa (1892 – 1948) 🇮🇹 Italian furniture and glassware

    He was an apprentice in the studio of Giovan Battista Gianotti, painter, furniture designer, and decorator; in 1921, opened Bot- tega di Pietro Chiesa, Milan; in 1927, (with Gio Ponti, Michele Marelli, Tomaso Buzzi, Emilio Lancia, and Paolo Venini) founded Il Labirinto, which produced high-quality glassware. Read More →

  • Livio Castiglioni (1911 – 1979) 🇮🇹 Italian industrial designer

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  • Jean Dunand (1877 – 1942) 🇨🇭 Swiss sculptor, metalworker, artisan

    Jean Dunand (1877 – 1942) 🇨🇭 Swiss sculptor, metalworker, artisan

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  • Lucienne Day (1917 – 2010) influential 🇬🇧 textile designer

    Lucienne Day (1917 – 2010) influential  🇬🇧 textile designer

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  • Boris-Jean Lacroix (1902-1984) 🇫🇷 French Lighting Designer

    Boris-Jean Lacroix (1902-1984) 🇫🇷 French Lighting Designer

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  • Philco famous 🇺🇸 American electronics firm

    Philco famous 🇺🇸 American electronics firm

    Philco was founded in Philadelphia in 1892. In 1929, using assembly-line techniques, the firm produced the first truly low-priced radios. The firm became a leading manufacturer of audio products, adding domestic stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners, and other appliances to its line. In the 1950s, it produced a series of television set housings in historicist cabinets with technologically advanced features and large screens.Read More →

  • Jaromir Krejcar (1895-1949) Czech architect and furniture designer

    Jaromir Krejcar (1895-1949) Czech architect and furniture designer

    From 1922 to its close in 1931, he was a member of the Devétsil group and editor of the compendium Zivot II and journal Disk; in 1922, he worked in the office of architect Josef Gocar. In 1923, he set up his own office in Prague; was the Bauhaus representative in Czechoslovakia. He was a friend of Teige and the leading architect of the Devétsil group.Read More →

  • Achilles Shield – Dictionary of Silverware

    Achilles Shield – Dictionary of Silverware

    A silver-gilt convex shield with a sizable central medallion depicting the shield of encrusted iron made by the god Hephaestus for Achilles at Troy, as it is described by Homer in Book 18 of the Iliad. The medallion, which depicts in high relief a figure of the Sun (Apollo) standing in a quadriga (a chariot drawn by four horses), is within a broad border decorated with a continuous frieze.Read More →

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