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1929 Toronto

Frank O. Gehry

Born in Toronto in 1929, Frank Owen Gehry is one of the most celebrated living architects. A Canadian citizen, Frank O. Gehry studied at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles until 1954 before attending the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA, for a year. Frank O. Gehry worked for several architecture practices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, and Paris as both an architect and urban planner.
In 1962 he opened the practice Frank O. Gehry & Associates in Los Angeles. Frank O. Gehry became famous in 1972 for the "Easy Edges" line in furniture, consisting of fourteen different pieces designed to be low-cost and made of corrugated cardboard. These pieces of furniture were so successful that Frank O. Gehry stopped production after only three months because he was afraid that, as a famous product designer, he would no longer be taken seriously as an architect.
As an architect, however, Frank O. Gehry soon achieved international recognition for his Deconstructivist buildings, including the Mid-Atlantic Toyota office building in Glen Burnie (1978), Loyola Law School (1981-84), and the California Aerospace Museum (1983-84).
In 1983-84 Frank O. Gehry collaborated with the artist Claes Oldenburg on an architecture project for the Venice Biennale. Other important Frank O. Gehry buildings are the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein (1989), the stunning Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (1997), and the Neuer Zollhof in Düsseldorf (2000). Frank O. Gehry's buildings are on the cusp between Postmodernism and Deconstructivism.
In the 1980s Frank O. Gehry returned to furniture design, linking up with his early experimental designs in corrugated cardboard. The Gehry seat furniture "Experimental Edges" (1980) was now made in a limited edition by Vitra. These are extremely expressive art furnishings, which are aesthetically satisfying just because the material has been left in the raw state.
In 1992 Vitra reissued an edition of four "Easy Edges" models. For Knoll International, Frank O. Gehry designed the "Powerplay" chair series (1992), made of interwoven strips of bentwood, a design which was honored with an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York even before it was launched on the market.


 
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