Q+A> Michael Graves On His J.C. Penney Collection

National, Newsletter, Product
Monday, June 10, 2013
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Michael Graves (left) and the toaster he designed for J.C. Penney (right).

Michael Graves (left) and the toaster he designed for J.C. Penney (right).

At J.C. Penney’s recent rebranding launch party, AN spoke with architect and product designer Michael Graves about his new collection for the company and some career highlights. He even offers advice for aspiring architects and designers and talks about some current design work.

How did designing a collection for JCPenney come about?

I’ve known some of the people at Penney’s since my Target days, so when this opportunity came around we were looking for a way to slow down our commitment to Target at that time. When Penney’s offered what they did to us, we grabbed it in a second. It was such a good deal in terms of having a shop within a store.

For me, that’s the game changer. If we were close friends and you told me you had to do some shopping for a relative or something like that, I’d tell you to go to our shop in Penney’s. It’s all there and that’s what excites me.

Continue reading after the jump.

Führer Furor: Is Hitler Hiding in Michael Graves’ Teapot?

J.C. Penney's Teapot by Michael Graves.

J.C. Penney’s Teapot by Michael Graves.

Depending on your tendencies toward miracles and/or conspiracies, you may have done a double-take if you saw J.C. Penney’s photographs of its Michael Graves-designed Stainless Steel Teapot. An online opinion that the kettle’s profile evoked Adolf Hitler saluting caught fire… and the now-backordered kettle will be available again on August 28.

Michael Graves Appointed to Federal Post on Accessibility in the Built Environment

National
Friday, March 1, 2013
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Michael Graves. (Barry Johnson / Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates)

Michael Graves. (Barry Johnson / Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates)

President Obama’s second-term White House is still in transition, with Ray LaHood out and rumors of an NTSB replacement, Sally Jewell likely in as Secretary of Interior. Among the non-Cabinet-level appointments, the President appointed Michael Graves to a member of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, an agency “devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities.” Graves, who uses a wheelchair after an illness-induced partial paralysis, has been a leader in promoting accessibility in architecture, recently designing prototype houses for wounded and disabled veterans.

This month, Graves will also be launching a new line of more than 300 products at retailer J.C. Penney, including kitchen appliances, candlesticks, and a toaster shaped like a piece of toast. The Indianapolis-born architect will return to his hometown on March 28 to give a lecture at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and he recently spoke with the Indy Star about delivering papers for the publication as a child, architecture, and the new product line. An exhibition of Graves’ work, From Towers to Teakettles, is also on display at the Virginia Center for Architecture through March 31.

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