JOHN CALDWELL

By definition, design is never finished. You can always improve a design.

My first break as a freelance furniture designer was in Los Angeles in the late 1950s for Brown Jordan. Brown Jordan’s first furniture products were Army cots built during World War II. It was after that that they became known as a high quality outdoor furniture company. Primarily known for contemporary designs by Walter Lamb (who salvaged bronze tubing from sunken battleships off Hawaii for his pieces), Van-Keppel Green, Hall Bradley and myself. Van- Keppel Green’s furniture was used notably in John Entenza's “Arts and Architecture” case study homes. John Entenza also selected one of our early custom desk designs, which he showed in an issue of “Arts and Architecture” magazine. One of my first designs, Mai Tai, for Brown Jordan was produced in 1957; I was 18 and still a student. Our office has designed outdoor furniture, office furniture and accessories, umbrellas, lighting, and ceiling fans for the United States and world markets. I also have taught and lectured on design for 20 years at various California colleges, including Long Beach State, Pasadena City College and the Art Center College of Design. We have always been interested in using the latest light-weight, durable, and easy to clean materials for our outdoor lines. Aluminum has probably been my favorite material to work in. The Mai Tai design was one of the first furniture lines to incorporate extruded aluminum and vinyl lacing. We have also worked in teak, all-weather wicker, as well as dye cast aluminum and molded plastics.