The Life & Work of Industrial Designer Charles Harrison

Tag Archives: design

Black DIY Tradition

This Black History Month it’s good to remember that Do-It-Yourself did not begin with the Hipsters. African Americans have a long tradition of making the objects of everyday life stretching back to their first days in the Americas. Designing more than 100 home sewing machines in 10 years, the great African American industrial designer Charles […]

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Black American Thoreau

Joining historic Americans like Thoreau and Carver, leading African American and one of the greatest industrial designers of the 20th century, Charles ‘Chuck’ Harrison took much of his inspiration from nature for both fine art and function objects. His love of nature and natural forms is one of the pillars of his notion of ‘Honest […]

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Throw-Back Thursday

Celebrate Black History Month and Throw-Back Thursdays by remembering the styles of the 70’s and 80’s these iconic styling tools — created by African-American industrial designer, Charles ‘Chuck’ Harrison — helped us pull off!  A Life’s Design tells the hidden Black History behind these and hundreds of other objects that defined us from the mid-century and […]

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Sunday Sittings Tradition

Before there was brunch, these iconic table-top appliances and gadgets designed in the 1960s and 70s by famous African-American industrial designer Charles Harrison, remind us that after church and after work, visiting and ‘sitting’ were African-American family, neighborly and community traditions. This Black History Month, why not invite friends to just drop by and celebrate […]

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Beyond Madame CJ: Black presence in the beauty salon

This Black History Month, consider that Madame C. J. Walker is not the only African American business icon in the beauty salon. The chair you sit in, the curling iron you use to get ‘that look’ may have been designed by Charles ‘Chuck’ Harrison, one of the most prolific and creative industrial designers in American […]

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Segregated vs Sustainable

Segregated or Sustainable? In his book, A Life’s Design, world-renown African-American industrial designer Charles Harrison starts with his story of life in rural Louisiana and Texas under Jim Crow. “At Prairie View,” he says, “we were all African Americans, so there was no segregation. We saw white people only when they came to the hospital […]

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