[DESIGN.LIGHT] Eileen Gray

The DESIGN.LIGHT series is a Ledge-Mag specific showcase of the most of influential designers and artists that have inspired, and are inspiring.

For some, it will be about the stuff you already know about and yet for others, it will be an introduction to the commentary of unstructured layers that lie beneath the everyday routine of life as we know it, exposing the people who best describe the everyday routine of life as we know it, in that indefinable manner that best represent their work.

The 1st in the series of DESIGN.LIGHT is architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray.


Eileen Gray in her rue de Bonaparte apartment with the Brick Screen in 1970

Regarded as one of the most influential female designers of the early 20th century, Irish architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray lived for nearly a century as one of the most overlooked geniuses within her industry and of her time. Her work inspired what we recognize as Modernism and the Art Deco period while she stoically remained void of any preconceived “movement” that was the order of the day amongst the elitist male-dominated industry of her time.

Even as one of the first women accepted to study at the prestigious Slade School of Art in 1898, Gray continued to be excluded from the seemingly boys-only design and architecture movements that formed many of the design processes that existed in the early 20th century.

As an interior decorator she was prolific in decorating some of the most iconic homes in Europe and as a furniture designer, the two best-loved and most recognizable pieces of furniture she contributed to design was her innovative Bibendum Chair and the unmistakable E-1027 circular table.


E-1027 Side Table



The Bibendum Chair

Gray is also a pioneer in the field of lacquer design, wandering into the then unknown and delicate art form after a visit to a lacquer repair shop in Soho in London. Her geometric lacquer screens have transcended effortlessly over all periods and remains in a place all it’s own, with no other designer following after her or having as much impact on design in the field of lacquer design as Eileen Gray did.

Gray continued her life in Paris and worked well into her 90s and sadly it is said that the first time she ever garnered a radio broadcast was only to announce her demise.

Here, we celebrate some of Eileen Gray’s greatest contributions to the world of Architecture and Furniture Design.


Brick Screen



e1027 House Interiors

e1027 House Interiors

Images via ARAM and Segolene Artsvisuels