PRINCETON, NJ -- Renowned designer and architect Michael Graves, founder of Michael Graves Architecture & Design (MGA&D) passed away leaving behind a significant legacy in the design industry.  

A statement posted on the firm's website said that Graves passed away "suddenly and peacefully, of natural causes" at his home in Princeton, NJ on March 12. He was 80

MGA&D also acknowledged Grave's impact on the industry since founding his firm in 1964.

"Michael transformed the role of architects and designers, and even the place of design in our everyday lives. For those of us who had the opportunity to work closely with Michael, we knew him as an extraordinary designer, teacher, mentor and friend. For the countless students that he taught for more than 40 years, Michael was an inspiring professor who encouraged everyone to find their unique design voice," the company said.

In recent years, MGA&D ventured into healthcare furniture design with a parternship with Stryker Medical. The goal was to foster a better patient experience by creating "more functional and better looking furniture."

Also known for his housewares brands featured at Target, Graves launched a partnership with JC Penney to distribute his line of home organization systems, including closets, coat hangers and shelf dividers.

MGA&D, which celebrated 50 years in 2014, has designed more than 300 buildings globally. The highly recognized firm has received more than 200 awards, including an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal award for Graves as well as the National Medal of Arts from former President Bill Clinton.

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