Inventors are inspirational. Anne Tyng was an inventor, architect, and professor. She is remembered for her work as an architect, specifically for her collaboration with Louis I. Kahn. However, when she was just 27, she used her skills for design to invent the Tyng Toy. This construction set for children allowed pieces to be combined in a variety of ways to make furniture.
Anne Tyng was born on July 14, 1920 in Lushan, Jiangxi, China. Her parents were from the United States, but were living in China as missionaries at the time. They moved back to the United States. In 1942, Tyng received her bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College. She then studied at the architecture school at Harvard University. She graduated from there in 1944. She took the architecture licensing exam in 1949. Later, in 1975, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Anne Tyng is known for space frame architecture where interlocking geometric patterns are used to create light-filled spaces. In 1945, she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and went to work at Stonorov and Kahn. She influenced the design of the Trenton Bath House, the triangular ceiling of the Yale Art Gallery, the Eserhick Studio, and Bryn Mawr’s Erdman Hall. In 1965, she received a grant from the Graham Foundation for her work in architecture. She designed the Four-Poster House in Mount Desert Island, Maine as well.
Tyng and Louis I. Kahn were architecture partners and coupled. They had a nine-year relationship before she had their daughter in the early 1950s. In 1964, she left his architecture firm. She was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania for 27 years. She was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and part of the National Academy of Design. Be inspired! Have a bright day!