A Closer Look: Eva Zeisel On Design

 “Beauty is not appreciated through reason – it is enjoyed through feelings.  There is no objective beauty, it goes right to the heart.” – Eva Zeisel

I’m reading a great book right now: On Design: The Magical Language of Things by Eva Zeisel.  Zeisel is a famous ceramicist and industrial designer whose work is in major museums all over the world.  As it turns out, she’s also a great writer, and anyone interested in the process of design would benefit from reading this book.


A large portion of the book focuses on Zeisel’s design philosophy rather than her work.  She sets herself apart from modernism as she rejects its tenets one by one.  Specifically, Zeisel is against the way in which modernism tried to silence historical references and the ability of design to communicate emotion.  

She argues that the early 20th century was a time when geometric forms replaced natural and historic ones, resulting in objects that lacked what she calls the “magical language of design.” 

Zeisel’s philosophy struck a cord with me because it is not that different from how we work at Design Lines.  Sure, we’re often drawn to the beautiful simplicity of moderism, but our eyes are always looking for something more.  

In all of our work, you’ll find us trying to create designs that communicate and evoke emotion.  According to Zeisel, all great design must be “pleasurable, comfortable, and elegant.”  For us, those are words to live by.


images:1, 4, 6, & 7: swanklighting.com 2:  formedwithart.com  3: amazon.com 5: nearanddear.wordpress.com