Monday, July 1, 2013

hello.  Twelve products nominated for the most iconic industrial design of the past century.


  1. The Pathetic Earthling3:08 PM

    I don't see how the A380 wins over the Boeing 747 as an iconic design. The B-747 has been around since 1970 and has been improved over time but its 747-ness has never changed. Other than a P-51 Mustang or a Cessna 172 or the Wright Flyer, it's hard to think of something more airplane-y.

  2. Joseph Finn4:11 PM

    Deslided for your convenience, and put me on that 747 or a Cessna bench as well.

  3. Governor Squid4:11 PM

    Their other aircraft nominee doesn't make much sense, either. Seems a bit premature to consider the Virgin Spaceplane an icon. But then, there are quite a few head-scratchers on the list.

  4. isaac_spaceman6:02 PM

    Agreed re both the Spaceplane and the A380. The Spaceplane isn't on there for industrial design reasons either; it's there because of what it does (or should do). From a design perspective, it's a hot mess. I'd be indifferent to the inclusion of the 747 on the list, since, unlike the A380, it's clearly identifiable to non-experts but not particularly pretty (the only airplane with a fivehead).

    Other iconic industrial design of the last century? The Swingline stapler, the Kitchen Aid mixer, the cassette tape (for that matter, the 12" LP and the 33/45 rpm adaptor), the flip-desk school chair, the adjustable desk lamp, the triangle-frame bicycle, the windshield wiper, the TiVo remote (I still miss you, TiVo remote, badoop badoop BADOOP). I would say the baseball in its current form is also a perfect bit of industrial design---crisp white leather in two Escherian interlocking blobs, sewn together with raised scarlet herringbone stitches, making an item that is simply beautiful but physically complex, as evidenced by the range of spins applied to it---except that as far as I know, the current form of the baseball is over a century old. Really, the only thing on the list that matches it from a design standpoint is the iPod.

  5. bill.8:43 PM

    the hula hoop.

  6. Joseph Finn9:11 PM

    I think the CD wins over every music media besides the 45 rpm adaptor in terms of design.

  7. Eric J.10:38 PM

    You know, for kids!

  8. andrewraff9:26 AM

    Why does Time's image of a supposed 8" floppy disk have a sticker that says 5.25" floppy disk and look suspiciously like a 5.25" floppy disk? Besides, the 3.5" floppy was a far superior piece of design to the 5.25" and 8" disks, in large part because it was much less floppy.

  9. BarbL11410:08 AM

    I was very confused about the 3.5" disks being called "floppy disks" because they weren't floppy the way the 5.25" ones were.

  10. isaac_spaceman2:29 PM

    There is no design in the CD at all. It is pure engineering. Something called "best design" ought to have some design in it.

  11. Joseph Finn4:54 PM

    Bullhocky. Its a masterpiece of both engineering and design.