Alexander Girard by Todd Oldham and Kiera Coffee

One of the most prolific mid-20th century designers, Girard's work spanned many disciplines, including textile design, graphic design, typography, illustration, furniture design, interior design, product design, exhibit design, and architecture. 
The international lifestyle of Alexander Girard began in 1907, when his American mother and Italian father travelled from their home in Italy to New York City so that he would be granted U.S. citizenship. Girard was then raised in Florence and educated throughout Europe, attending the Royal Institute of British Architects in London and the Royal School of Architecture in Rome.

Girard was already a practicing architect and interior designer by the late 1920s. In 1932, Girard returned to the U.S., opening an office in New York City. By 1937 he had moved on to Detroit, Michigan where he was really to begin making a name for himself.

In 1949, Girard was selected to design the Detroit Institute of Art’s “For Modern Living.” The show focused on the design of everyday things, which happened to include the first public presentation of the molded plywood chairs of Charles and Ray Eames.