Eliot Noyes – Understanding a Pioneer of Modern Design
February 23, 2017 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am |
Eliot Noyes was a remarkable figure in 20th Century Design. He was the first of the so-called “Harvard Five” to settle in New Canaan, CT, a group that included Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, John Johansen and Philip Johnson. Each developed stellar careers, based in part from the worldwide recognition of their modernist homes for themselves and influential clients. New Canaan is known as the East Coast’s epicenter in the development of midcentury modern architecture.
Noyes began his career working in the office of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. In 1939, he became the first Director of Industrial Design at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, a position in which he met many other leading design thinkers of the day, including Alexander Calder, Eero Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames. All became close, lifelong friends.
Noyes’ career then became tri-part. Besides developing into a first tier architect, he became an equally accomplished industrial designer, for instance designing the famous IBM Selectric typewriter. In the third leg of his career, Noyes brought design thinking to major corporations. Consulting to the corporations of IBM, Westinghouse, Mobil Oil and Cummins Engines, he introduced comprehensive design programs throughout the breadth of each company, an influence still felt in today’s corporate world.
In his presentation, Frederick Noyes, FAIA, architect and son of Eliot Noyes, will outline the development of his father’s remarkable career, then explore his father’s principles by showing progressive examples of his father’s architectural works.
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