(Austria, 1885 - Sweden, 1967)
Architect, designer, and theorist, his work is closely identified with the Swedish Modern aesthetic that emerged in 1930s and was widely admired in the decades following the Second World War. Educated in Vienna he worked on architecture and interiors and after the war he entered academic life, becoming Professor of Building Design at the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule in 1919, a post he held until 1925. From 1921 to 1924 he worked alongside Peter Behrens, Josef Hoffmann, Oskar Straad, and Oskar Wlach on the design of Viennese apartment buildings and, in the following year, founded the Haus und Garten interior design firm.
But Frank fell from grace when he emerged as a forceful critic of the extremes of modern architecture and design during the early 1930s. Dismissing the demands for a unified modern style, Frank insisted that it was pluralism, not uniformity, that most characterized life in the new machine age. He called instead for a more humane modernism, one that responded to people's everyday needs and left room for sentimentality and historical influences.
In 1932 he made contact with Estrid Ericson, the founder of Stockholm furnishings firm Svenskt Tenn, and two years later emigrated to Sweden where he would work as a chief designer for the company until his death 33 years later. His work came to define Swedish (or Scandinavian) modern design, producing colorful, cozy, and eclectic designs that provided a refreshing alternative to the architectural mainstream of the day and presaged the coming revolt against modernism in the 1960s. Source.
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