Architectural, industrial, and graphic design in the United States from the 1950s through to the 1970s - generally known as mid-century modern - is now perceived as a golden era, with artists such as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Eliot Noyes having become household names. This volume looks at the relationship between these designers and the companies who employed them, highlighting the political, social and cultural circumstances in which seminal design icons such as the Selectric Typewriter for IBM and the distinctive Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company logo were created. It reveals not only why corporations during this period needed designers more than ever before, but also why designers felt ambivalent about their work for these large businesses. In doing so, it sheds new light on the changing self-image of the designer and on these famous mid-century graphic, product, and furniture designs.Full colour throughout, this volume is richly illustrated with fascinating archival photography, concept sketches and beautiful illustrations of the logos, products and buildings designed for the companies.
Wim de Wit is an adjunct curator of architecture and design at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, USA. Trained as an architectural historian, he has been active as an architecture curator in Amsterdam, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and has organized numerous exhibitions in each of these cities.
Foreword; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Claiming Room for Creativity: The Corporate Designer and IDCA, by Wim de Wit; Establishment Modernism and Its Discontents: The IDCA in the `Long Sixties', by Greg Castillo; Building Modernist But Not Quite: Corporate Design in the Postwar Suburb, by Louise Mozingo; Design Education at Stanford: The Formative Years, by Steven McCarthy; Color Plates of Major Objects; Biographies of Major Designers and Descriptions of Major Corporations; Index