Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World (MIT Press)

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9780262012072: Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World (MIT Press)

Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World is a long overdue introduction to the work of visionary industrial designer Brooks Stevens (1911-1995). Believing that an industrial designer "should be a businessman, an engineer, and a stylist, in that order," Stevens created thousands of ingenious and beautiful designs for industrial and household products -- including a clothes dryer with a window in the front, a wide-mouthed peanut butter jar, and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. ("There's nothing more aerodynamic than a wiener," he explained.) He invented a precursor to the SUV by turning a Jeep into a station wagon after World War II, and streamlined steam irons so that they resembled aircraft. It was Brooks Stevens who, in 1954, coined the phrase "planned obsolescence," defining it as "instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary." This concept has since been blamed for everything from toasters that stop working to today's throwaway culture, but Stevens was simply recognizing the intentionally ephemeral nature of a designer's work. Asked once to name his favorite design, he replied, "none, because every one would have to be restudied for the tastes of tomorrow."

This book, which accompanied an exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum (the repository for Stevens's papers), includes 250 illustrations of designs by Stevens and his firm, many in color. Glenn Adamson, exhibition curator, contributes detailed studies of individual designs. John Heskett, Kristina Wilson, and Jody Clowes contribute interpretive essays. Also included are a description of the Brooks Stevens Archive and several key writings by Brooks Stevens.

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About the Author:

Glenn Adamson is curator at the Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee.

From Publishers Weekly:

Dismissing the "modernist snobs" of his era, Stevens (1911-1995) concentrated instead on what in style was salable, and more or less revolutionized American mid-century industrial design and packaging: the station wagon, the clothes dryer window, the wide-mouthed peanut-butter jar, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and the "Skylark" (or "boomerang") graphic for Formica are just a few of his or his eponymous firm's contributions. This book accompanies an exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum, but it is uncommonly (and fittingly) well designed and visually compelling itself. Along with the three other scholars who contribute essays, Chipstone Foundation curator Adamson has a good feel for the social and economic character of the '40s and '50s ("Stevens' Best Years," as one chapter heading puts it) and describes the designs clearly and with sympathy: "This logo was an ingenious creation in itself, in which the 3 and the m were the same shape but rotated ninety degrees from each other." Many pages are a period-evoking cyan rather than white, giving good contrast to the 250 photos and illustrations (40 in color). Anyone who lived in the United States between 1940 and 1975 will recognize the world of this book.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Adamson, Glenn
Editorial: The MIT Press (2003)
ISBN 10: 0262012073 ISBN 13: 9780262012072
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Murray Media
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Descripción The MIT Press, 2003. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110262012073

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Adamson, Glenn
Editorial: The MIT Press
ISBN 10: 0262012073 ISBN 13: 9780262012072
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Descripción The MIT Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0262012073 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0062270

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