It was with deep sadness that we at GRShop and Gabriel Ross heard the news that architect and designer Michael Graves, had passed away on March 12, 2015, suddenly, peacefully and of natural causes. He was 80 years old.
Michael Graves was born in Indiana in 1934. He trained to be an architect at Harvard, earning a master’s degree in 1959.
Since founding the firm of Michael Graves Architecture and Design in 1964, Michael transformed the role of architects and designers and even the place of design in our everyday lives. He was an extraordinary designer, teacher and mentor. Michael Graves’ humanistic design philosophy and commitment to creating unique design solutions that transform people’s lives will continue.
In 1980, Michael Graves received an invitation from Alessi to participate in a promotional project known as the “Coffee and Tea Piazza.” Of all the sets, Michael Graves’ design sold best.
Graves was then asked to design the now famous whistling bird kettle that became a timeless design icon. This led to a decades-long design collaboration with Alessi that produced more than 150 products.
After he began using a wheelchair, Mr. Graves became internationally recognized as an advocate of health care design. In a 2011 interview, he explained why he tended to use color in designing hospital rooms. “It’s not there to get you well,” he said, “but make you smile and make you think life is not as bad as that operation you had.”
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