In honor of our 85th anniversary, take a journey through the past nine decades of design by swiping through the cards below. Stay tuned for new additions each month!
1930: The Merchandise Mart, designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, debuts in Chicago.
1930: New York’s Chrysler Building, designed by William Van Alen, is—briefly—the world’s tallest.
1930: Jean Prouvé designs a steel chair.
1931: Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye is finished near Paris.
1931: The Empire State Building by Shreve, Lamb, & Harmon is now the world’s tallest.
1931: Edward Wormley begins working for Dunbar Furniture—an association that will endure until 1968.
1932: Alvar Aalto designs the Paimio chair.
1932: The Decorator’s Digest debuts.
1932: The Cranbrook Academy of Art opens in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
1932: Marcel Breuer Associates builds a house in Wiesbaden, Germany.
1932: The first class arrives at Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s new school in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
1933: With Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the last director, Germany’s Bauhaus is closed by the Nazis.
1933: Herman Miller shows its first modern furniture collection, designed by Gilbert Rohde, at the Century of Progress world’s fair in Chicago.
1934: The Vitra furniture company is founded in Switzerland by Willi Fehlbaum.
1934: Gerrit Rietveld designs his ZigZag chair.
1934: The Rainbow Room opens on the top floor of the RCA Building in New York’s Rockefeller Center.
1935: Dorothy Draper & Co. redecorates the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco.
1935: The ocean liner Normandie, its interiors designed by Jean Dunand and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, among others, takes its maiden voyage.
1935: Gerald Summers comes out with a tea trolly.
1936: In Racine, Wisconsin, Frank Lloyd Wright completes the Johnson Wax building, home to this desk.
1936: In Como, Italy, Guiseppe Terragni designs the Casa del Fascio and its interiors.
1936: The Decorator’s Digest features a Hedrich Blessing photograph of the stairway at a Frazier & Rafferty residence in Lake Forest, Illinois.
1937: Solomon R. Guggenheim establishes an eponymous foundation, setting his museum in motion.
1937: Nelson and Mary Rockefeller move into their New York apartment, designed by Jean-Michel Frank.
1937: Arne Jacobsen wins a competition for the design of the town hall in Aarhus, Denmark.
1938: Hans Knoll establishes a furniture company in New York.
1938: Henry Dreyfuss designs railway car interiors for the Twentieth Century Limited, and Raymond Loewy for the Broadway Limited.
1938: Nylon and Teflon are both developed by DuPont.
1939: Franco Albini designs this desk for himself, two decades before it goes into production for Knoll.
1939: Frank Lloyd Wright completes Fallingwater in Bear Run, Pennsylvania.
1939: Sculptor Isamu Noguchi designs a table with a free-form glass top for the house of Museum of Modern Art president A. Conger Goodyear.
1940: Dorothy Draper & Co. redesigns the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., and Dorothy Draper herself begins broadcasting the radio show Lines About Living.
1940: Achille Castiglioni designs the Leonardo table base for Zanotta.
1941: The December issue of Wifijerez and Decoration spotlights a Joseph Mullen residence.
1941: New York’s Museum of Modern Art holds a design competition and showcases the winners—including Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Harry Weese, and Bernard Rudofsky—in "Organic Design in Home Furnishings".
1942: The Pentagon, at 6.5 million square feet, is the largest office building in the world.
1942: Earl Tupper develops a technique for the injection molding of polyethylene; Tupperware parties will follow.
1943: Before marrying Hans Knoll, Florence "Shu" Schust introduces her first furniture designs, for Knoll.
1943: Hans Wegner leaves the architecture and design firm of Arne Jacobsen and opens his own office.
1943: John Entenza has the California-based Arts and Architecture redesigned by Alvin Lustig and begins publishing a series of "Case Study Houses" that will become famous.
1944: Bruno Mathsson’s father’s company, Karl Mathsson, unveils a lounge chair.
1944: Amancio Williams builds a house atop a bridge at Mar del Plata, Argentina.
1945: George Nelson and Henry Wright publish the best-selling Tomorrow’s House in 1945.
1945: Isamu Noguchi begins designing his Akari paper lanterns; he will eventually design more than 150 different shapes, and more than 100 will still be in production at the end of the century.
1946: Charles and Ray Eames design the LCM chair, picked up by Herman Miller three years later.
1946: Ward Bennett and Ben Baldwin of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill design Cincinnati’s Terrace Plaza Hotel.
1946: MoMA curator Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., follows up with "Modern Rooms of the Last 50 Years" in 1946.
1947: Alvar Aalto begins building the Massachusetts Institute of Technology dormitory shown in this floor plan.
1947: Pierre Chareau designs the studio of painter Robert Motherwell in the shell of a war-era Quonset hut.
1948: Luis Barragán moves into his house in Mexico City.
1948: Knoll launches Eero Saarinen’s Womb chair.
1949: Philip Johnson’s Glass House comes to New Canaan, Connecticut.
1949: George Nelson & Associates’s model room appears in "An Exhibition for Modern Living" at the Detroit Institute of Art.
1949: Marcel Breuer’s prototype house is installed in MoMA’s garden.
1949: The Eames house and studio opens in Pacific Palisades, California.