Who Was Michael Graves?

Few are credited with spearheading a single design movement; Michael Graves, well known throughout the world for design excellence, led three.

In the 1980s, Michael redirected the architectural conversation away from abstract modernism toward a more humanistic approach to architecture and urban planning, that among other things, brought color and art back into the experience of architecture. In the 1990s, his partnership with Target defined America's expectation that great design should be available to everyone. And design became a corporate strategy. Over his past decade, Michael became a passionate advocate for the disabled and used the power of design to improve healthcare experiences for patients, families and clinicians. Michael Graves transformed the role of the architect in society and left the world a better place than he found it.


 Black and white photo of Michael Graves


MichaelGravesDesign.com is run by three of Michael’s longtime design and business partners who are dedicated to extending his legacy into the future.

When Michael Graves became paralyzed in 2003, he and his partners who provided him friendship, caregiving, and design collaboration, gained new expertise and insight into how people live and work, whether mobility challenged or not. Michael became determined to improve people's healthcare experiences. Michael Graves Design has been poised to drive transformative change in healthcare and in the lifestyle of the aging and physically disabled population, as well as the people who care for them.

One of our first initiatives on this quest was forming a design partnership with one of the world's great medical technology companies, Stryker Medical, to address "the last frontier in healthcare design, the patient room." The two companies worked together to conduct months of ethnographic research, studying the environment and the way current furniture is being used. The first result of this joint venture is a suite of patient room furniture which demonstrates that objects in healthcare environments can have a symbolic and a pragmatic function, with straightforward solutions that combine simple utility, functional innovation and elevated aesthetics.


 Innovative seating products


The design of the furniture helps to save lives and improve the quality of life for a patients and nurses by contributing to three major problems facing hospitals today:  spread of infection, patient falls, and clinician injuries.  The design solutions are simple, straightforward, and enhance the healing experiences of patients and their families, nurses and doctors, and other hospital staff.


We also partnered with Stryker Medical on the design and engineering of a revolutionary new transport wheel chair.  The chair, known as "Prime TC," was introduced to the market in the spring of 2013 and is the first wheelchair designed for the specific needs of the hospital setting.  Meant to replace the standard "X" frame wheelchair that has been a fixture in hospitals for 80 years, the design for Prime TC was driven by three main concerns: comfort, safety and mobility - for the patient, the caregiver and the patient escort. Prime TC addresses all three main concerns by incorporating great design with revolutionary new technology. The result is a transport chair that brings to the hospital setting significant innovation aimed at keeping every patient safe and comfortable, as well as providing every caregiver with ergonomic features designed to afford uninhibited patient access and eliminate back strain.

All of these products are sold directly to hospitals and co-branded Stryker-Michael Graves.

Stryker-Michael Graves wheelchairs   


To learn more about Michael, start here.



The Michael Graves Design consumer brand exists to create moments of joy that enhance people's lives by offering products that are delightful, purposeful, pioneering, and extraordinary. As the first design brand to partner with Target, Michael Graves Design is famous for pioneering the Design for All movement and is credited with establishing America’s expectation that great design should be available to everyone. To date, Michael Graves Design has sold more than $1 billion at retail. Michael Graves Design makes the world a more enjoyable place to live, work, learn and play. For further information, visit MichaelGravesDesign.com.