Architect Michael Graves designed kitchenware and decorative accessories that were carried by mass retail chains Target and JCPenney as well as home goods for high-end labels. His iconic bird teakettle, which was created for the Italian manufacturer Alessi, became the line's best-selling product.
Graves designed cleaning products, kitchen accessories, and for Target, he created wood patio furniture and garden accessories, including planters, watering cans and gloves. He also created a line of domestic products, such as toasters, colanders and kitchen gadgets. For JCPenney, Graves designed cast-iron cookware, small appliances and furnishings.
The architect turned his design skills to creating health care products after suffering a spinal cord infection that left him paralyzed below the waist. From his wheelchair, Graves designed walking sticks and other personal aid products designed to improve the lives of people with limited mobility.
The recipient of a gold medal from the American Institute of Architects, Graves was also awarded the National Medal of Arts by Bill Clinton. His architectural designs include the Disney Studios in Burbank, the Portland Municipal Building, the Denver Central Library and the Humana tower in Louisville, Kentucky. A pioneer of postmodern design, Graves designed more than 350 buildings around the globe. Graves died in 2015 at the age of 80.