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Frank O. Gehry

Biographies
Frank O. Gehry

*  1929 Toronto

Frank O. Gehry is one of the greatest living architects. Born in Toronto in 1929, Gehry studied at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles until 1954 before going on in 1955 to study architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA. Frank O. Gehry worked as an architect and urban planner in several architecture practices before opening his own, Frank O. Gehry & Associates, in Los Angeles in 1962. Ten years later, in 1972, Frank O. Gehry began to attract attention with his "Easy Edges" line in furniture. Comprising fourteen pieces made of layered, rough-textured corrugated cardboard, it was conceived as a low-cost line. "Easy Edges" was an immediate hit but Frank O. Gehry stopped production of it after only three months because he was afraid, if he became associated with furniture design, he would no longer be taken seriously as an architect. However, worldwide acclaim in architecture soon came to Frank O. Gehry for his Deconstructivist buildings, including the Mid-Atlantic Toyota office building in Glen Burnie (1978), Loyola Law School (1981-1984), and the California Aerospace Museum (1983/84). Other important buildings in Europe by Frank O. Gehry are the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein (1989), the spectacular Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (1997), and the Neue Zollhof in Düsseldorf (2000). Frank O. Gehry's buildings mark a transitional state somewhere between Postmodernism and Deconstructivism. In 1983/84 Frank O. Gehry collaborated with the artist Claes Oldenburg on an architecture project for the Venice Biennale. By the 1980s Frank O. Gehry no longer had any qualms about furniture design. He linked up with his early corrugated cardboard furniture. The Frank O. Gehry "Experimental Edges" (1980 for Vitra) seat furniture was produced in a limited edition. These pieces should be viewed more as art than as functional seating solutions. In 1992 Vitra also reissued four models from the early "Easy Edges" series. In 1992 Frank O. Gehry designed the "Powerplay" chair series for Knoll International. Made of interwoven strips of bentwood, these pieces were shown in an exhibition mounted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York even before they were launched commercially.