Irving Harper

A few days ago, Irving Harper, one of my new found design heroes, died at 99, in his home in Rye, New York - surrounded by a lifetimes worth of work from his hands; and his house was, quite literally, filled with something that interests this blog particularly - his fantastic paper sculptures and model experiments.

Not many people in Denmark know of Irving Harper. I discovered him by chance, browsing around on mid-century modern Pinterest boards. In US he has become the widely acclaimed designer of that particular era, that he deserves to be - and now I am going to pay him a little tribute as well, and here's hoping that some of you feel like getting to know this abundant, wonderful design mind a bit better. 

He was the man behind lots of iconic designs from the era, mainly as an employee for George Nelson and Herman Miller (many of these have just lately become credited to him), but he worked for other manufacturers as well, and in many fields of design. He did lamps, furniture, kitchenware, textile design and graphic design. He made Herman Millers logo and had great impact as an design director for the company

He loved modelling in paper, he found paper to be a versatile, inexpensive, quick medium to work in, and one that only required a knife and some glue. And his work in paper - which filled his house to the brim - was simply amazing. It leaves me breathless. 

Here is a little taste. I will end the post with some nice links, also to a couple of very fine YouTube videos, if you have gotten curious. 

Images for this post are very hard to credit - they seem to have been reposted over and over again.
Some are by Leslie Williams, some are from Elle Decoration, some unknown by me. 

Some may be from this 2013 book: Irving Harper: Works in Paper.

Here are two fine videos from YouTube:

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