Industrial design  

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Olivetti Valentine, designed by Ettore Sottsass, first released on Valentine's Day 1969
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Olivetti Valentine, designed by Ettore Sottsass, first released on Valentine's Day 1969
A huge iron and glass building, The Crystal Palace was one of the wonders of, if not the world, Britain. A rebuilt and expanded version of the building that originally housed the Great Exhibition of 1851, it stood in Sydenham from 1854 until 1936, and attracted many thousands of visitors from all levels of society. The name "Crystal Palace" was coined by the satirical magazine Punch. Today, it symbolizes modern architecture, the rise of consumer culture and the start of industrial design.
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A huge iron and glass building, The Crystal Palace was one of the wonders of, if not the world, Britain. A rebuilt and expanded version of the building that originally housed the Great Exhibition of 1851, it stood in Sydenham from 1854 until 1936, and attracted many thousands of visitors from all levels of society. The name "Crystal Palace" was coined by the satirical magazine Punch. Today, it symbolizes modern architecture, the rise of consumer culture and the start of industrial design.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Industrial design is an applied art whereby the aesthetics and usability of products may be improved for marketability and production. The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions towards problems of engineering, marketing, brand development and sales.

The rise of industrial design is illustrated by The Crystal Palace (illustration, right).

Contents

History

The first use of the term "industrial design" is often attributed to the designer Joseph Claude Sinel in 1919 (although he himself denied this in interviews), but the discipline predates 1919 by at least a decade. Christopher Dresser is considered the world's first Industrial Designer. Industrial design's origins lie in the industrialization of consumer products. For instance the Deutscher Werkbund, founded in 1907 and a precursor to the Bauhaus, was a state-sponsored effort to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass-production techniques, to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the United States.

The earliest use of the term may have been in The Art Union, A monthly Journal of the Fine Arts, 1839.

“Dyce’s report to the Board of Trade on foreign schools of Design for Manufactures. Mr Dyces official visit to France, Prussia and Bavaria for the purpose of examining the state of schools of design in those countries will be fresh in the recollection of our readers. His report on this subject was ordered to be printed some few months since, on the motion of Mr Hume.”

“The school of St Peter, at Lyons was founded about 1750 for the instruction of draftsmen employed in preparing patterns for the silk manufacture. It has been much more successful than the Paris school and having been disorganized by the revolution, was restored by Napoleon and differently constituted, being then erected into an Academy of Fine Art: to which the study of design for silk manufacture was merely attached as a subordinate branch. It appears that all the students who entered the school commence as if they were intended for artists in the higher sense of the word and are not expected to decide as to whether they will devote themselves to the Fine Arts or to Industrial Design, until they have completed their exercises in drawing and painting of the figure from the antique and from the living model. It is for this reason, and from the fact that artists for industrial purposes are both well paid and highly considered (as being well instructed men) that so many individuals in France engage themselves in both pursuits.”

The practical draughtsman's book of industrial design: was printed in 1853

Examples of iconic industrial design

A number of industrial designers have made such a significant impact on culture and daily life that their work is documented by historians of social science. Alvar Aalto, renowned as an architect, also designed a significant number of household items, such as chairs, stools, lamps, a tea-cart, and vases. Raymond Loewy was a prolific American designer who is responsible for the Royal Dutch Shell corporate logo, the original BP logo (in use until 2000), the PRR S1 steam locomotive, the Studebaker Starlight (including the later iconic bulletnose), as well as Schick electric razors, Electrolux refrigerators, short-wave radios, Le Creuset French ovens, and a complete line of modern furniture, among many other items.

Richard A. Teague, who spent most of his career with the American Motor Company, originated the concept of using interchangeable body panels so as to create a wide array of different vehicles using the same stampings. He was responsible for such unique automotive designs as the Pacer, Gremlin, Matador coupe, Jeep Cherokee, and the complete interior of the Eagle Premier.

Viktor Schreckengost designed bicycles manufactured by Murray bicycles for Murray and Sears, Roebuck and Company. With engineer Ray Spiller, he designed the first truck with a cab-over-engine configuration, a design in use to this day. Schreckengost also founded The Cleveland Institute of Art's school of industrial design.

Oskar Barnack was a German optical engineer, precision mechanic, industrial designer, and the father of 35mm photography. He developed the Leica, which became the hallmark for photography for 50 years, and remains a high-water mark for mechanical and optical design.

Charles and Ray Eames were most famous for their pioneering furniture designs, such as the Eames Lounge Chair Wood and Eames Lounge Chair. Other influential designers included Henry Dreyfuss, Eliot Noyes, John Vassos, and Russel Wright.

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design.

Many of Apple's recent iconic products were designed by Sir Jonathan Ive.

Publications

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Industrial design" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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