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Michael Graves born the summer or 1934 in Indianapolis knew he wanted to be an artist by the age of six Encouraged by his mother to seek a more practical career Graves choose architecture After studying at the University of Connecticut he got his masters degree at Harvard University After finishing school in 1959 he moved to New York City where he worked at the office of George Nelson While working in New York Graves received a fellowship to study at American Academy in Rome Italy Graves studied the classical architecture which inspires much of his work It was his time in Rome that allowed him to make the connection between ancient and modern architecture In 1962 Graves started teaching architecture at Princeton University He designed buildings upon commission but not until 1977 did his work become nationally know Graves received a commission for a cultural center spanning the Red River on the MinnesotaNorth Dakota border Although lack of funding never allowed his design to be built he gained a lot of attention Graves next project the Portland Building is a fifteen story postmodernist skyscraper It can be defined this way because of its unusual use of color There is also a reference to Greek columns on the facade of the building As more commissions followed Graves began his own design studio in Princeton As a privileged member of the designers at this studio I can witness the process of Graves design His firm is split into teams of designers There are the interior and architectural designers in one building and the industrial designers in a separate studio Michael and the team leaders primarily plan each project out The teams then develop the project Computer drawings are then sent to the modelers and painters The atmosphere at the Graves studio is extremely laid back but professional For example there are several dogs roaming around the studios but the conference rooms double as display rooms for
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