The BBC has a new television series, “The Genius of Design” which unfortunately is not available in my cable package. If I’m lucky it might make it to PBS some time in the next 5 years, or I might be able to get via Netflix in the next 18 months. There are however a series of clips available via Vimeo right now and they are worth watching.
Episode One begins with the birth of industrial design moving from the futurism of the Bauhaus school showcasing a comprehensive division from theoretical design to consumerism. In Episode One the series explains how design was originally a monologue pushed forward by the designer, and how it has become a dialog with the user/consumer at this point. The show is really well done explaining in easy to understand language how industrial design has evolved from a designers imposed vision to how design interacts with the world around it and the people using it.
The series features classic designs from cast-iron cooking pots to sheep shears – classic example of industrial produced objects culminating in the Model T and Henry Ford’s ideal of mass-production. The series includes interviews with legendary designer Dieter Rams and J Mays, Ford Motors’ global head of design.