Eliot Noyes


1910, Boston, Massachusetts
1977, New Canaan, Connecticut


In both his architectural projects and his industrial designs, Eliot Noyes advocated simple forms and the truthful use of materials. His work is firmly grounded in the tradition of his modernist contemporaries, including Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Le Corbusier.

In 1932 Noyes earned his Master of Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he studied under Gropius and Breuer. He then joined their firm located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

From 1939 to 1946, with a break for service in World War II, Noyes was Director of the Department of Industrial Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and in 1947 he founded his own architectural and industrial design practice, Eliot Noyes & Associates.

In his designs for private houses Noyes employed open interior spaces and clear geometry, often using a free-standing fireplace to divide the living and dining "rooms." His designs for public buildings, such as the IBM Building (1963) in Garden City, New York, are more severe but remain unpretentious.

Noyes is also credited with establishing new standards of design for corporations, particularly IBM, where as Consultant Director of Design he famously designed the Selectric typewriter.

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