A view of the "Michael Graves: Past as Prologue" 50th anniversary exhibition at the Grounds For Sculpture in Princeton, N.J., which runs through April 5.
Alessi A view of the "Michael Graves: Past as Prologue" 50th anniversary exhibition at the Grounds For Sculpture in Princeton, N.J., which runs through April 5.

Architect Michael Graves, who died Thursday at the age of 80, is perhaps best known for Postmodern projects such as the Portland Building (1982) and the Denver Public Library (1990). But his design legacy goes beyond structures. Graves also led a robust product-design practice whose work for mainstream consumer retailer Target, in addition to a suite of luxury home-goods brands including Alessi, brought high design to the masses.

In 2011, he spoke with the The New York Times about his Target partnership. “I always wanted to do what Josef Hoffmann, Wiener Werkstätte and the Bauhaus wanted to do, which they never got to do because they designed in a craft mode,” he said. “We have behind us all this mass production, so why not take advantage and bring the price down for everybody? … I figured, if it’s going to get designed, let’s do it well.” His collaboration with Target ended in 2012 after 13 years.

His scope of work also included healthcare. In 2003, an infection left Graves paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair-bound. He told The Times in the same interview that the experience inspired him to rethink the design of patient-care spaces and the products used to outfit them, resulting in the development of new patient furniture for Stryker, among other work.

Below, we recap a selection of Graves’s celebrated industrial design work.


Alessi

Graves's "whistling bird" teakettle for Alessi, 1985.

Target

A collection of kitchen accessories designed for Target.

Michael Graves Design Group

Michael Graves Design Toaster for J.C. Penney, 2012. The product won a 2014 Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

Jeremy Frechette

Among the products Graves designed for Stryker is the Prime TC Hospital Transport Chair.

Ilex Architectural Lighting

The Table Top sconce in polished brass from Graves' luminaire collection for Ilex Architectural Lighting.

Herb Booth

Stream, one of two drain covers designed for QuickDrain USA.

Skyline Design

The 5+ Collection of architectural glass for Skyline Design.