I Have Seen the Future |Norman Bel Geddes Designs America
Norman Bel Geddes (1893-1958) was an innovative stage and industrial designer, futurist, and urban planner who created and promoted a dynamic vision of the future—streamlined, technocratic, and optimistic. His most notable effort was his Futurama display for the General Motors “Highways and Horizons” exhibit at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair.
I have been in love with the work of this man for a long time and I didn’t know him!
I didn’t know who was the brilliant mind behind those beautiful buildings, furniture and objects. Hector Guimard was the best-known representative of the French Art Nouveau style of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Guimard was as much a designer and engineer as he was an architect, and involved himself in every aspect of his buildings.
Its critical reputation has risen since the 1960s, as many art historians have praised his architectural and decorative work, the best of it done during a relatively brief fifteen years of prolific creative activity.
Guimard, famous for designing the entrances to the Paris metro, did many more projects; he incorporated the principles of the Art Nouveau style in his works, always having shapes of plants, flowers, flowing lines and aggressive curves.
It is a shame that a large number of his buildings have been demolished, many of which he watched vanish. He left an obscure legacy marked by a disappearance of much of his work.
He made so many things that I wouldn't have enough space to place them here and to chose them was a real pain, because I wanted all of them…
I found this amazing set on Flickr with more of his beautiful work:
A big part of an industrial designer’s job is making a product sustainable. Where do your materials come from and where they will end up after the product’s life is over? Create a transport vehicle that is more energy efficient and build it using green and recycled materials, inspired by this bottle boat from the Rain Tree Lodge.
In 1942 Raymond Loewy changed the Lucky Strike package “from green to white, making it more attractive to women as well as cutting printing costs by eliminating the need for green dye. He also placed the Lucky Strike target logo on both sides of the package, a move that increased both visibility and sales.”
“Beginning as a question on the daily habits of the modern man. This project explores the interactions between man and their objects. With the growth of technology people are becoming consumed in the digital realm. Social Animals is a reaction and an experiment, in order to, bring back a sense of mystery, symbolism, and spirit to our increasingly jaded society.”
Jerry Manock, "Father" of Apple's Industrial Design, remembers his old boss
Abby borrowed her dad’s copy of ’Steve Jobs’ before Manock had a chance to do much more than check the index, confirm he was in it and determine Jobs hadn’t described him as a “bozo”.
Excerpts from the conversation with Manock
There were about five people in the company when he called me to come up to the Homebrew Computer Club at Stanford Linear Accelerator [Center] to talk to him about the design of the Apple II. What totally stands out: I came up to a group of maybe four people that he was already talking to, who were kind of circled around him… He’d just work his way around the circle, and when he’d come back to me, he’d pick upexactly where he left off. And I thought, Oh, my God. That really impressed me. He had a very quick mind and was very savvy about what was going on.
Steve’s probably directly responsible for the experience of opening the box. The first thing you’d see was a plastic box that said, “Open me first.” Graphic pictures showed you how to set it down on the desk, take this end of the cord and plug it in. Then the computer was programmed to come on and smile at you and lead you on to the next step. It was all part of the design of the product. Packaged experience. That’s concurrent engineering. You don’t have responsibility for just one part of the product. That was Steve’s vision.
I have a sweatshirt upstairs that says, “90 hours a week and loving it.” At the end of the Mac project, when we were under pressure to release it, [Mac team colleague] Burrell Smith came to a party and he had crossed out the 9 with masking tape, so it said “0 hours a week and loving it.” The long hours were mitigated to some extent by Steve being very generous with bonuses. I also have an Apple Hero medal. People were recognized for contributions. He was very good at doing that.
When the iPhone came out, I sent Steve an email saying, “Why don’t you just buy your own communications satellite to have a worldwide cell network. AT&T has the iPhone in Vermont, and we use Verizon. His response was: “Thank you, Jerry.”
Mary Ellen and I went to California — it must have been 10 years ago. We went to the annual meeting, unannounced, and sat in the fourth row. The executive staff came onstage and they sat on their little stools, going through their business. Steve looked over at us and he did a double take. I thought, Well, that’s really nice. He recognized us. At the end of the meeting, when they asked if there was any more business, Steve said, “I have some business.” He said, “I just want to acknowledge Jerry Manock.” And he told of our contribution, being on the Macintosh team. Everybody stood up. It was a standing ovation. He didn’t have to do that.
I was really happy to see the picture on the back of the book, with the original Macintosh on it. That’s how I remember Steve.
A chair design project that i have been working on. The idea of folding a meterial to give it strength and form was the driving concept behind this design. The final design is to be made from 20ga sheet steel.
Industrial Design is a serious matter for those two. Ronan Bouroullec (born 1971) and Erwan Bouroullec (born 1976) have been working together for about ten years now. Their collaboration is a permanent dialogue nourished by their distinct personalities and a shared notion of diligence…