In honor of their 40th Anniversary, VSA Partners created an insightful, playful video series exploring the power of design in all its forms. They asked their team to share brief videos of products, places, brands, and experiences that have inspired their creativity and careers. The PRINT staff is celebrating with them by sharing some of these moments that remind us that real, lasting impact starts with putting people at the center of design.
There’s been a booming resurgence of love for midcentury modern design and aesthetics over the last decade or so, and with good reason. Sure, some of the credit can go to the popularity of Mad Men and its stunning set and production design, but the masterful design of midcentury modern furniture demands obsession on its own. AnnaKate Auten, a designer out of VSA Partners’ Chicago office, couldn’t agree more. For her entry in the agency’s “Design That Changed Us” series, Auten names midcentury modern furniture for its ability to blend beauty and function.
In Auten’s video, she gestures toward a wooden chest of drawers behind her. “This is a vintage, mid century modern Broyhill Brasilia,” she says. “Pieces like this teach us that design can be both beautiful and functional.” The handles of the Broyhill Brasilia are a perfect example of that, she continues. The curvaceous panels on the doors are a gorgeous decor element, but simultaneously serve as the handles to open the piece. Auten explains that as a brand designer, it’s her job to find this sweet spot in her own work too.