Industrial Design

SORT BY:
Fragment, 1873, designed by Christopher Dresser (English, 1834–1904), jacquard woven silk and wool
Design Reform
Christopher Dresser, a disciple of Owen Jones, was an early design reformer and is considered by some to be the first industrial designer. In addition to designing wallpapers, textiles, carpets, ceramics, and metalwork for a wide variety of European and American manufacturers, he published several influential books, including The Art of Decorative Design (1862), Principles...
1973-15- Matt Flynn 023
We All Scream for Ice Cream Packaging
The prolific industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) is one of America’s most important industrial designers. He produced a number of the twentieth century’s most iconic designs, including small scale objects such as the Model 302 telephone and Honeywell’s T-86 thermostat as well as monumental works like the Twentieth Century Limited, a new locomotive whose streamlined exterior...
Safe Tray, 1981
A Desktop Tower of Babel
In the late 1970s Rino Pirovano and Rino Boschet purchased a workshop outside of Milan from the widow of an artisan who had earned his living producing metal and plastic motorcycle and scooter components. In taking over the space, Pirovano and Boschet inherited an assortment of equipment used by the old artisan for his trade,...
1989-64-1
Design Doctor
The phantasmal world of Dr. Christopher Dresser’s ornamentation delights both the eye and the imagination. Dating from 1875, this iron hallstand features all the quintessential elements of Dr. Dresser’s highly stylized ornament. The “spikey” floral and figural motifs­­­­­­­­­­­—also recognizable in this illustration for two grotesque dado rails—and his angular interlaced arabesques are frequently used in...
1991-59-11
New Metal
It is no coincidence that many of Lurelle Van Arsdale Guild’s 1930’s designs for aluminum tableware reflect his honed knowledge of traditional forms and ornament.  Before becoming one of America’s top industrial designers of the early to mid-twentieth century, Guild was an antique furniture dealer and throughout his entire life, a collector and connoisseur of...
This is a table lamp. It was designed by Ruth Gerth and manufactured by Chase Brass & Copper Co.. It is dated 1931. Its medium is chrome-plated metal, plastic.
American Art Deco Goes Down the Tubes
Ruth Gerth’s 1931 “Glow Lamp” for Chase Brass and Copper Company is a gleaming example of American modernism with a bit of a dirty secret. The conical shade is topped by a globular finial and clips on to an incandescent bulb, nestled into its fitting atop a spherical base with a horizontal band running around...
This is a Telephone. It was designed by Johan Christian Bjerknes and Jean Heiberg and made for Norsk Elektrisk Bureau. It is dated 1931. Its medium is bakelite.
Phone Finds Its Iconic Form
Informally known as the Bakelite telephone, the sculptural Ericsson DBH 1001 was a groundbreaking design that set the standard for the shape of the modern plastic telephone. The telephone was a collaborative project between the Electrisk Bureau of Oslo, Norway and the Swedish firm LM Ericsson and Televerket. In 1930 Ericsson hired engineer Christian Bjerknes...
2015-5-12
Iron, Meet Glass
The postwar design era focused largely on improving all aspects of life at home for those who had maintained it during the war and those who were just returning. The remodeled electric iron was one among many postwar innovations, but this Silver Streak iron in particular epitomizes the design period. The Silver Streak’s aerodynamic form...
Ivory colored square-topped vanity table with black-lacquered lid, hinged at back, that opens to reveal mirror and two long lights; four tapered and stepped legs. Lacquered square-topped stool with tapered and stepped legs.
Bring Beauty Into Your Bathroom
Lurelle Guild was a prolific industrial designer, producing useful and beautiful objects that modernized the American home spanning from vacuum cleaners to canapé plates. Guild’s usual method was to invent or develop the new product, patent it, and then assign the patent to the manufacturer, charging a fee and royalties. In 1933 and 1934 he...