Design Research

Before Crate & Barrel, there was Design Research, the emporium run by architect Ben Thompson and I.D. magazine editor Jane Thompson and now remembered in Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes.

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Courtesy of Chronicle Books

Before Crate & Barrel, there was Design Research, the emporium run by architect Ben Thompson and I.D. magazine editor Jane Thompson and now remembered in Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes (Chronicle Books, $50). From their Cambridge, Massachusetts, flagship, the Thompsons showed customers how to mix Wegner chairs and Noguchi tables with Finnish pottery and Mexican glassware. Because the chain of stores closed in 1978, few grasp its impact (Design Within Reach was founded as a tribute), but this pictorial history (vintage ads, iconic furniture, inspiring store vignettes) gives credit where it's long overdue.

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