March 8, 2018
Why Hem Founder Petrus Palmér Loves Josef Frank’s Monster Carpet
Frank showed that minimalism and quality design could be colorful and wild in ways that challenged the idea of good taste in an almost Postmodern way.
Josef Frank, the Swedish-Austrian architect, artist, and designer, had an enormous impact on the history of Swedish design, as well as on my own view of design. He showed that minimalism and quality design could be colorful and wild in ways that challenged the idea of good taste in an almost Postmodern way—in the 1950s!
During that time Frank designed several carpets with the purpose of replacing real animal skins. The fearsome beast of the Monster Carpet, designed in 1950, was intended as a counterpart to the ancient Medusa head, which the Romans frequently placed at the entrance of their homes so evil wouldn’t cross the threshold. I love everything about this design. It’s just a random monster he came up with, without any resemblance to a real animal or hide. And yet he very elegantly played with contrasting colors and fluid shapes.
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