The Genius of Design

The Genius of Design

2010, Art and Artists  -    -  Playlist 18 Comments
Ratings: 7.69/10 from 26 users.

The Genius of DesignDocumentary series exploring the history of design. The first episode of this new series tells the fascinating story of the birth of industrial design. Alongside the celebrated names, from Wedgwood to William Morris, it also explores the work of the anonymous designers responsible for prosaic but classic designs for cast-iron cooking pots to sheep shears - harbingers of a breed of industrially produced objects culminating in the Model T Ford. Includes interviews with legendary designer Dieter Rams and J Mays, Ford Motors' global head of design.

In the crisis-stricken decades of the 1920s and 1930s, with the world at the tipping point between two global wars, design suggested dramatically different ideas about the shape of things to come, from the radical futurism of the Bauhaus to the British love affair with mock-Tudor architecture and the three-piece suite.

The Genius of Design examines the Second World War through the prism of the rival war machines designed and built in Germany, Britain, the USSR and the USA, with each casting a fascinating sidelight on the ideological priorities of the nations and regimes which produced them.

The story of design enters the 50s and 60s, when a revolutionary new material called plastic combined with the miracles of electronic miniaturization to allow designers to offer post-war consumers something new: liberation.

Picking up the story of design from the drab days of the late 70s, the final episode tracks the explosion of wild creativity that defined the 'designer decades' of the 80s and early 90s. By addressing wants rather than needs and allying themselves to the blatant consumerism of 'retail culture' designers emerged from the backrooms to claim a starring role in the shaping of modern life.

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7 years ago

What twaddle you all write after such a great enlightening series of programs! Have to laugh so as not to weep at ignorance.

Brian Fraley
7 years ago

Perhaps I myself am so appreciative of the enlightening + wise points , that I also need to read these follow-ups for further complete light to be shed. And forward we go, with at the very least, more educated selves. Adding a comment -or twelve- to fine tune perspectives, to take the swells on the forward quarter, and share anew. 45 minutes become hours when multiplied via our diverse ways. Bless all u. B1

11 years ago

design-to-war-design a chair. Minimalist synopsis;-but it will save you 45 minutes of your life!

11 years ago

I don't know why are you judging Leonard for his opinion. I thought that really important part of designer life is to look at the world differently. Why aren´t you instead of judging him and telling him He is not right, taking an inspiration of his opinion...? Designer needs to be open to everything even stuff you don't like. And anyway, He is right, just think about that, before you call someone an id**t.

11 years ago

aww i love design :D

11 years ago


11 years ago

Dear Leonard, you sound like the kind of jaded guy that did an law degree while your friends went to art school and left you behind. The aim of design is to think critically about a problem and approach it from a beneficial angle. If you believe that everything is being designed by a committee the obvious thing to do would be to not buy it. The only reason bad designs succeed is because idiots like you and your mother buy them.

11 years ago

leonardobdas. you fail in your thinking. that is all.

12 years ago

I thoroughly enjoyed that it made me want to come up with an ingenious design for a new laptop though must finish my 5 legged chair 1st (on a more serious note it actually was quite good, A sort of narrated trip around an art and design museum / center

12 years ago

leonardobdas - Just what the world needs, another defeatist idiot. Pretty sure you wouldn't have been able to write your message, watch this documentary - for example - without some sort of design or problem solving.

12 years ago

Ben Stien must have been bummed out when he realized this documentary was about "industrial" design.

12 years ago

Dear "leonardobdas" we don't know who you are and how on the earth you've came to those conculisions after watching this documentary but, there're a buch of design studends just want to punch you in the mouth so you can never twaddle again.

12 years ago

no surprises here: most designers fail to explain to the public how pathetic and useless they are. the exception is frenchmen Phillipe Starck which needs to tell himself that he "serves"people in order not to feel guilty (since he is making useless products that are designed to fail because of market rules of planned obsolence). The problem solving argument is as rare as a man becoming a billionaire... most designers just do it for the sake of 'creative expression' which typically means following BS from their teachers.

Look around the modern world: most of the so called problem solving result in ugly and fuel inneficient "committee designed" cars, disgusting despotic temporary buildings that seem to be competing with the pharaos for who gets to hangout with RA in heaven, and "magic bullet" blenders that break in 2 weeks and make as much noise as a jet. Screw u sellouts!

Of course I am not talking about craftsmen carrying on their 1000 year old hunting bowl legacy or somebody making beautiful jewelry.... just that this documentary as usual just shows the good side of is a sales pitch from some industrial design union it sounds like to me.

12 years ago