Industrial Strength Design How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World

ISBN-10: 026251186X

ISBN-13: 9780262511865

Edition: 2005

Authors: Glenn Adamson, David Gordon

List price: $27.95
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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 accompanies 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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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 1/14/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 300
Size: 9.25" wide x 10.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 2.640
Language: English

Glenn Adamson is curator at the Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee.

David Gordon received his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Critics of Marxism. His articles have appeared in Analysis, British Journal of Political Science, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Ethics, Journal of Value Inquiry, Mind, Political Studies, Politics, Social Philosophy & Policy, and other journals.

The Desire for the New: The Context of Brooks Stevens's Career
Brooks Stevens, the Man in Your Life: Shaping the Domestic Sphere, 1935-1950
Brooks Stevens: "Ego-Inspiring Styling" and the American Dream
Career and Designs
Less than Perfect: Early Influences and First Designs, 1911-1934
The Right Place at the Right Time: Becoming an Industrial Designer in the Midwest, 1935-1940
The Prophet of the Profit: Stevens in Wartime, 1941-1945
The Organization Man: Stevens's Best Years, 1946-1955
The Enfant Terrible of Industrial Design: Planned Obsolescence and Other Crimes Against Modernism, 1956-1978
The Sheer Who made Milwaukee Famous: Reluctant Retirement, 1978-1994
Brooks Stevens Staff, 1935-1980
Writings By Brooks Stevens
The Brooks Stevens Archives at the Milwaukee Art Museum
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