Michael Graves Design Monthly Delight Feature: Meet Donlyn

Meet Donlyn Image: Donlyn talking to a group of visitors to The Sea Ranch

We had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with Donlyn for our Michael Graves Design Monthly Delight Feature! Read on to find out more about Donlyn’s story and what led him to Michael Graves Design.

Tell us about yourself, what’s your story?

Donlyn Lyndon has been an architect and professor of Architecture for his entire professional career – at University of California Berkeley, University of Oregon, MIT and finally again at Berkeley, now Emeritus. In each of these universities he served as Chair or Head of Department. He has also been a partner in firms practicing architecture: MLTW, Lyndon Associates, Lyndon Buchanan, and Donlyn Lyndon FAIA.

He has been an author or co-author of four books, including The Place of Houses, Chambers for a Memory Palace, The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Landscape, Place and Community on the Northern California Coast, and Place at The Sea Ranch.

A Show At The Sea Ranch Lodge and a drawing of India and Caption

 What is one thing you’d like our readers to know? 

I founded, with William Porter, and was Editor for 20 some years of the print journal Places.

What led you to MGD?

Knowing Michael for some decades and recognizing the import of the organization he founded. The last time we talked, some years ago, I remember him saying “Well, Donlyn, We’re not kids anymore.” He was always thinking ahead.

What’s your favorite MGD Product?

The C Cane, which I have recently purchased in clay red and which I use now with great pleasure. I also enjoy having it stand in our room at the house I designed at The Sea Ranch - among an Eames lounge chair, an Aalto Tea Cart, an Eileen Gray chair, and a photo by my wife Alice Wingwall, of Chambord Chateau with her guide dog Joseph superimposed - all tied together by a red rug with a yellow temple, based on a drawing also by Alice Wingwall.

Image 1: Clay C-Grip Cane at the Sea Ranch, Image 2: Donlyn and wife Alice photo taken by Wall Street Journal

Anything else you’d like our readers to know? 

The range of MGD products is wide and useful. One of my friends who recently observed me using the cane observed that it was wonderful that an item, which must have existed since humans have walked, could also be found in a new, elegant form.

What do you love most about the company Michael Graves Design?

That it could do the above and with the continuing grace and inventiveness that Michael himself had always embodied.