Art, Design and Burgers

In celebration of  this week’s “Salone del Mobile” (the international design expo and furniture fair that takes over Milan each year in an explosive display of imagination and creative energy), I’d like to honor the hamburger, which I’ve decided is a design classic.

According to the authoritative 3 volume set by Phaidon, the definition of a “design classic” is:

Industrially manufactured objects of aesthetic value and timeless quality: 1. definitive models of lasting influence and enduring significance; 2. objects that are innovative in their use of new materials and unite technological advances with beautiful design; 3. objects characterized by simplicity, balance, and purity of form; 4. objects that are perfect in their design and have remained unchanged since their creation.

There are few foods as iconic as the hamburger. That pure beef patty sandwiched between a white sesame seed bun has become the global symbol for America, and can be found in its original version the whole world over.

“The hamburger has resisted absorption nearly everywhere it goes, and a hundred years after its invention, it remains essentially the same object. Once that ground patty of browned beef was laid on a bun for the first time, the hamburger shimmered into existence philosophically. Because the burger has a kind of inevitability to it; it is a gastronomic endpoint, like sashimi or a baked potato. Its basic design cannot be improved upon.”

~ Josh Ozersky from The Hamburger: A History

So, in celebration of my self-proclaimed International Burger Design Week, I’ll be hosting an Authentic Texan-Style Hamburger lesson in collaboration with Laboratorio Cingoli this Friday, April 16th at 6:30 pm. It is free and open to the public, and will be held at the showroom of Sub-Zero & Wolf in Piazza Diaz, Milan, so stop on by if you’re in the area!

I’ve also been collecting some funny (and sometimes upsetting) examples of hamburgers represented in the art and design world, send me links to your own bizarre hamburger finds and I’ll include them in the post!

Andy Warhol: Hamburger, 1985-1986

Hamburger Dress
Burger ring Hamburger cupcakes
Lego burger
Aussie Burger Pillow

Handmade Burger Earrings

“Two Cheeseburgers, with Everything” Sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, 1961

Hamburger Harley:
see below for video on this guy…

Fast Food Hamburger iPhone Case Fabric burger and fries

Burger Tank Top

Burger Bed

The somewhat disturbing Hamburger museum:

…and last but not least, Andy Warhol eating a Hamburger:


from Vicky: The hamburger phone… … as seen in Juno


  • Yum…I can still recite the McDonald’s commercial for Big Mac.
    “2 all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”. The power of advertising in the ’70’s.

  • nice! i just grilled venison burgers on my new bbq this weekend. love the warhols!

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