This New Book Features 300 Notable Examples of Industrial Design by Masters and Forgotten Designers Alike
Industrial Design in the Modern Age also outlines the evolution of industrial design through a series of accessible essays by such experts as Juliet Kinchin, Pat Kirkham, and Cara McCarty.
While most coffee-table books on design ultimately take the form of glorified picture books, Industrial Design in the Modern Age goes a step further. Drawing upon the late George R. Kravis II’s private collection of more than 4,000 objects that he acquired from the 1950s onward—some of which he gave to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum—the book presents over 300 significant examples of industrial design encompassing both well-known masterpieces, such as Verner Panton’s Heart Cone chair and Ettore Sottsass’s red Olivetti Valentine typewriter, and designs by people whose names history has forgotten.
The book outlines a progression of industrial design through a series of accessible essays by such distinguished experts as Juliet Kinchin, Pat Kirkham, and Cara McCarty. “The originality of this book lies in the fact that the objects are organized according to function rather than by designer,” says academic Penny Sparke, who wrote the book’s introduction. “That allows a full range of objects to be included—from ‘designer’ to anonymous—and that is the uniqueness of the Kravis collection also.” Industrial Design, however, is not intended to lionize the Kravis collection, points out David A. Hanks, curator of the Kravis Design Center and another contributor: “It aims to be useful to students of design and architecture and to a wider general audience.”
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