Book Review: "The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945-1975", John Harwood, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011
Petty, Margaret Maile (2012) Book Review: "The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945-1975", John Harwood, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011. West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, 19(2), pp. 330-333.
Within the history of twentieth-century design, there are a number of well-known objects and stories that are invoked time and time again to capture a pivotal moment or summarize a much broader historical transition. For example, Marcel Breuer’s Model B3 chair is frequently used as a stand-in for the radical investigations of form and new industrial materials occurring at the Bauhaus in the mid-1920s. Similarly, Raymond Loewy’s streamlined pencil sharpener has become historical shorthand for the emergence of modern industrial design in the 1930s. And any discussion of the development of American postwar “organic design” seems incomplete without reference to Charles and Ray Eames’s molded plywood leg splint of 1942. Such objects and narratives are dear to historians of modern design. They are tangible, photogenic subjects that slot nicely into exhibitions, historical surveys, and coffee-table best sellers...
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