For design historians, check out an upcoming talk at Bird & Beckett Books, 653 Chenery St., San Francisco:
User-experience design is all the rage these days, but way before it became such a hot field in the age of connected devices, there was Eva Zeisel, a pioneer in designing for the masses, and one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century.
Zeisel's field was ceramics. Her design is known for its 'playful beauty.' (If you watched Mad Men, then you've seen some of her designs. As TED put it, "In the American postwar period, Zeisel's work simply defined the era.')
Come and hear about the extraordinary life, work and times of Eva Zeisel, who emigrated to the United States after a stint in solitary confinement in Russia after she was accused of plotting to assassinate Joseph Stalin.
Despite her experiences in the USSR, Zeisel possessed a wicked sense of humor, which often manifested itself through her designs. For example, in response to the increasing popularity for "high ball" drinks, she once designed a line of glassware she called the "Low Ball." These glasses were created at one per minute at one point.
Zeisel's remarkable career spanned more than eight decades. She first started designing in 1926, and she was still designing, and her new work was still being produced in 2011 when she died at the age of 105.
Pat Moore, one of Eva's biggest admirers, a personal friend, and a collector, will give a presentation on the significance of Eva's work and life. Moore, who's known Zeisel for decades, is herself a lively and witty raconteur and repository of anecdotes about Eva's work.
Moore is the co-author of a stunning new book that was 10 years in the making: "Eva Zeisel: Life, Design, and Beauty." http://www.chroniclebooks.com/titles/eva-zeisel-life-design-and-beauty.html
You can find out more background about Zeisel and her work through these links:https://www.ted.com/talks/eva_zeisel_on_the_playful_search_for_beauty#t-48599http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/arts/design/eva-zeisel-ceramic-artist-and-designer-dies-at-105.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1987/04/13/1987_04_13_036_TNY_CARDS_000345268http://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/article/Eva-Zeisel-makes-beautiful-things-She-s-been-at-2659015.php