Design Research was the store that brought modern living to American homes. Founded in 1953 by the architect Ben Thompson, Design Research – or D|R, after its striking logo – became known as American’s first “lifestyle store”, introducing to the United States markets now-prominent European design brands like Iittala, Artek and Marimekko. Fans included Julia Child, who frequently stopped by the striking concrete and glass flagship store that Thompson designed. D|R was about living – in color, comfort and style. Furniture and accessories were integral to D|R’s mission.
In the mid 1970’s Ben Olson worked for D|R, initially for a short time in sales and then moved quickly to the buying offices as assistant furniture buyer. It was there that Ben authored the D|R Furniture and Lighting Catalog and the D|R Fabric and Rug Catalog.
When new furniture products were introduced to the public, Ben Olson often did the front window display at the Design Research flagship store located at 48 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.