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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    Pierre Paulin (1927 – 2009) French furniture designer

    He was active in research for the government-sponsored Mobilier International. His first plastic object was the 1953 Chair 157 in polyester, ABS, and elastomers produced by Artifort of Maastricht. Around 1955, he was one of the first to work in elasticised fabrics for Thonet and subsequently for Artifort.Read More →

  • Richard Peduzzi (b.1943) French Set and Furniture Designer

    Richard Peduzzi (b.1943) French Set and Furniture Designer

    Richard Peduzzi (b.1943) is a French painter and scenic furniture designer. Education He studied drawingRead More →

  • Longines – Elegance is an Attitude – Masters Collection

    Long experience meets vast expertise. Longines has created outstanding timepieces as a traditional watchmaker sinceRead More →

  • Furniture – Tracking the trends – 3 retro looks

    Furniture is always moving in new directions, captured here in three fresh looks for the living room.Read More →

  • Shiro Kuramata (1934 – 1991) Japanese interior designer

    Shiro Kuramata (1934 – 1991) Japanese interior designer

    He has created almost 300 stores and restaurants since 1965. Despite designing furniture for Aoshima and Ishimaru, he is best known for his 1970 Furniture in Irregular Forms collection for Fijiko. Cappellini International Interiors’ 1970 wavy 18-drawer chests garnered him accolades while exhibiting his odd and surreal sense of humour.Read More →

  • Jean Heiberg (1884 – 1976) – Bakelite Telephone

    Jean Heiberg (1884 – 1976) – Bakelite Telephone

    Norwegian painter Jean Heiberg (1884–1976), who later studied with Matisse in Paris, is credited with designing the first “modern” telephone—certainly the one that is most well-known to consumers.Read More →

  • Brian Anthony Asquith (1930 – 2008) British silversmit

    Brian Anthony Asquith (1930 – 2008) British silversmit

    Brian Asquith (1930 – 2008) was one of the principal figures in British silversmithing during the 20th century, now regarded as the industry’s heroic age. Read More →

  • Benno Premsela (1920 – 1997) Dutch textile and exhibition designer

    Benno Premsela (1920 – 1997) Dutch textile and exhibition designer

    Benno Premsela (1920 – 1997) was a Dutch textile and exhibition designer. He studied interior design at the Nieuwe Kunstschool, Amsterdam. Read More →

  • John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) British social critic and writer.

    John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) British social critic and writer.

    John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) was a British social critic and writer. His influential books The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849) and The Stones of Venice (1851—53) show his interest in architecture, particularly the Gothic style. Read More →

  • Fabio Lenci (b.1935) Italian Designer

    Fabio Lenci (b.1935) Italian Designer

    Fabio Lenci (1935 – ) is an Italian Designer. He received his design education in Rome. He began his professional career in 1966. He set up a shop for contemporary furniture in Rome. Read More →

  • Charles James inspiration for ski clothing

    Charles James was one of the first American fashion designers to gain recognition abroad. He created sculptural, moulded clothing using wire and padding. James designed a white satin jacket in 1938 that had channels filled with eiderdown padding.Read More →

  • Block front furniture a American Classic

    Block front furniture was a popular style and some of the best American furniture of the 18th century. Three blocks formed the contours on the front of the cases. The drawer front is carved from a single piece of wood, which originally needed to be very thick to accommodate the curves.Read More →

  • Giovanni Gianotti (1873-1928) Italian Decorator, Designer

    Giovanni Battista Gianotti (1873-1928) was an Italian painter, decorator, and designer. He specialised in the liberty and art deco styles. His fashion sense has been contrasted with that of Alban Chambon. In 1928, he perished at sea while sailing from Italy to Argentina.Read More →

  • Edvard Hald (1883-1980) Swedish Sculptor

    Edward Hald (17 September 1883 – 4 July 1980) was a Swedish sculptor. His work was part of the art competitions at the 1932 Summer Olympics and the 1936 Summer Olympics.Read More →

  • Gruppo 9999 Italian Architecture and Design Group

    Gruppo 9999 Italian Architecture and Design Group

    Gruppo 9999 was a group of radical architects founded in Florence in 1968 by Giorgio Birelli, Carlo Caldini, Fabrizio Fiumi and Paolo Galli. Read More →

  • Jules Cheret (1836 – 1932) – The Father of Modern Poster Art

    Jules Cheret (1836 – 1932) – The Father of Modern Poster Art

    Jules Cheret was a French painter who became a master of Belle Epoque poster art. Over the course of his long life, Cheret produced more than 1000 posters. His extravagantly colourful designs were used to regularly promote upcoming theatre productions. He is regarded as the father of the modern poster.Read More →

  • Mission Furniture – Design Dictionary Term

    Mission Furniture – Design Dictionary Term

    The term mission furniture was first popularized by Joseph P. McHugh of New York, a furniture manufacturer and retailer. The word mission references the Spanish missions throughout colonial California. The style became increasingly popular following the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo.Read More →

  • Glyphs – Road to International Understanding

    Glyphs – Road to International Understanding

    Glyphs are graphical symbols that are more or less universally used. The Ancient Greeks had a word for most of today’s needs,  the glyph is a Greek word meaning carving. Glyphs should carve a road to international communication by breaking down language barriers.Read More →

  • Murrine ancient glass technique – design dictionary

    When a glass cane is cut into thin cross-sections, coloured patterns or images created in the cane are revealed as murrine. One well-known design is the flower or star shape, which is known as millefiori when used in large quantities.Read 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 →

  • Shirley Craven (b.1934) British Textile Designer

    Shirley Craven (b.1934) British Textile Designer

    Shirley Craven (b.1934) was a British textile designer. She studied at Kingston upon Hull and the Royal College of Art, London. Craven ‘pioneered an aesthetic more akin to painting than textiles’, breaking ‘all the rules’.Read More →

  • Dan Friedman (1945 – 1995) American Graphic Designer

    Dan Friedman (1945 – 1995) American Graphic Designer

    Dan Friedman (1945–1995) was a prolific graphic and furniture designer, artist, writer, and educator. Friedman’s work posed a radical challenge to tradition and commodification in design practice. His work is held in the collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.Read More →

  • International Silver Company (ISC) American Silversmiths

    International Silver Company (ISC) American Silversmiths

    The International Silver Company was founded in 1898 by a group of independent silversmiths from New England. Ashbil Griswold, who established his pewter shop in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1808, is credited with starting the early records of this industry.Read More →

  • Max Ingrand (1908 – 1969) French artist and decorator

    Max Ingrand (1908 – 1969) French artist and decorator

    Maurice Max-Ingrand (1908–1969) was a French artist and stained glass artist. He was captured by the Nazis during World War II but returned to France in 1945. In 1968, he established Verre Lumière, one of the first businesses to manufacture halogen lamps.Read More →

  • Milan Triennial XII (1960) – School and Home

    Milan Triennial XII (1960) – School and Home

    On May 5th, 1959, the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) authorised the Milan Triennial XII. The Palazzo dell’Arte served as its location, and it lasted from July 16th to November 4th, 1960. School and Home was the theme.Read More →

  • Moquette – fabric for public transport

    Moquette – fabric for public transport

    Moquette is a tough woollen fabric used for upholstery on public transportation all over the world. The fabric is typically composed of 85% wool and 15% nylon and is created using the weaving method known as jacquard. It has excellent thermal characteristics, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.Read More →

  • Marion Dorn (1896 – 1964) American Textile Designer

    Marion Dorn (1896 – 1964) American Textile Designer

    American textile designer Marion Dorn (1896–1964) is best known for creating wall hangings, carpeting, and rugs, but she is also known to have created wallpaper, graphics, and illustrations.Read More →

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