Dipl.-Designer Christos Vittoratos & Dipl.-Designer Daun Chung
Frankfurt, March 2008
Seafood is more delicious for your computer! Since the compututer mouse has a LED light instead of a ball, its case is hollow. On the other side we have to carry this brick-shape recharger for our notebooks. So I looked for a new animal for our computer and found this octopus.
recharger and mouse are displaced by the new octopus
Some products are dominated by their surface. These items could displace traditional luxury goods like watches or lighteners.
The handling of the mobile phone changes: The microphone is on the small side.
"Design is the appropriate combination of materials in order to solve a problem." (Charles Eames)
After World War II the large capacities of former military industries (esp. in the USA) as well as the desire to consume after the years of abstinence brought a wide range of new products. Plastics became increasignly important materials in the post-war period and their use has significantly changed the way things look. The former substitutes Polyethylene (eg: Tupperware), GFK (eg: Herman Miller furniture) and others like acrylic or PVC became symbols of a new era. Industrial design was now an established and recognised discipline. The "hfg ulm" design school in Germany opened in 1955 (initiated as a part of a reeducation program) leaving some years later step by step its bauhaus romantism towards a new academic and scientific design.
"Between two products equal in price, function and quality, the better looking will outsell the other" (Raymond Loewy)
The economic success of industrial design came in the 1930ies. After the Wall street crash in 1929 manufacturing companies saw competition rise to an unprecedented extent.
Design was discovered now as an advance in sales, the aerodynamics of planes were transfered as an allegory on many consumer goods to suggest speed, technology and modernism in general. An important role in "Streamline Style" played a new material: "Bakelite" was one of the first plastics to be used extensively. It's malleable properties were the perfect expression of the smooth, sleek contours of a streamlined product.
Today this promise of a dynamic future looks superficial because the focus was not mentioned on technology or the relationship between the object and its environment.
The theatricality was applied on all consumer goods and made them attractive in a way that everyone understood.
From today the 1920ies seem to be the classic period of design. Most historical publications refer on this time.
Ten years after the engagement of Behrens at AEG, industrial design was systematically developed and teached on an academic way. Elegant and easy to produce items should revolutionize the daily life. In Germany the bauhaus school and the neues frankfurt housing project set landmarks of design. Semi-finished industrial materials (like tubular steel) and industrial production replaced traditional materials and techniques. But only a few designs were realised in large quantities.
Nevertheless it took until the 1960s until the ideas of the early modernist movement of this time reached the masses coming as a re-import from the USA to Europe. My first memory of bauhaus designs is from my childhood in the 1980ies, when travel agencies in Germany were equipped with copies of famous bauhaus furniture.
On the other side as designers we want to celebrate with new ideas. The visual results of our "ID100Y" project you will find in a memory game, with pairs of classic products and fresh ideas.
Celebrate with us!
Christos Vittoratos and Daun Chung
In Sept. 1907 Peter Behrens was employed as the first industrial designer. His terms of reference at the "Allgemeine Electricitaets Gesellschaft (AEG)" consisted the design of graphic and exhibition design. In 1908he designed products and later even buildings.
The leading engineer of the company Paul Jordan who recruited him said: "Even an engineer buying an engine does not disassemble it. The expert buyes with the external impresssion. An engine must look like a birthday present."
Behrens aim was a synthesis of art and technology transforming it to culture. This was covered with the aim of companys owner Emil Rathenau, who wanted to improve the quality of product and find new applications for them.
In the deep ornamental time of art deco, AEG's product showed a clear and qualitative appeares. It was the first time "artists" were involved in industrial process close to the engineers.