Name: Sam Grawe, @grawesome
Bio: Musician. Former Editor-in-Chief at Dwell.
Sam Grawe (@grawesome), the former editor-in-chief at Dwell, has an eye for modern design and architecture. His photos give you a peek into the world of someone fascinated by the way design shapes the world around us. In addition to design, Sam is also interested in music: when he’s not snapping photos of his favorite buildings and furniture, he’s recording music as Hatchback — so you can expect to see photos of records and synths too!
Back in 2009 Dwell hosted a party at Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House #22 perched high above Sunset Boulevard. Julius Schulman’s photographs turned this house into an icon and helped propagate the boundless optimism of postwar Modernism—that vision of two beautiful women in their white dresses floating above Los Angeles in a glass and steel castle pretty much sums up the entire movement. Watching the sunset here, Los Angeles’ lighted grid slowly emerging from the haze of the day, was something special.
The more I learned about architecture, the less I could comprehend Frank Lloyd Wright (and especially his unflagging popularity). He just doesn’t seem to fit into the continuum. But then if you start to think about him as a kind of strange vestige of the 19th century, who somehow lived well beyond his time (which is essentially the case) it all begins to fall into place. In a sense, Frank Lloyd Wright should really be thought of alongside Jules Verne or HG Wells rather than other architects. The 1962 Marin County Civic center—where I took this photo after completing jury duty—was one of his last designs and was completed after his death. In this day and age it’s unbelievable to consider that tax-paying Americans would actually approve of and build this piece of 19th century science fiction.
The Tandem Sling Seating is a classic Eames design from 1962 that was originated for Eero Saarinen’s design for Dulles Airport and CF Murphy’s design for O’Hare. Sadly some fifty years later most airports are little more than shopping malls with added security, but at least some still have the good sense to hang onto their Eames chairs.