Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Raymond Loewy

Today's Google Doodle celebrated the 120th birthday of Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design. 


Raymond Loewy is called “the father of industrial design” for a reason.
He took ugly consumer items — pencil sharpeners, refrigerators — and made them beautiful.
He designed cars that were a decade or more ahead of their time.
He created kitchen appliances, crockery and furniture,
and did design work for Greyhound, the U.S. Postal Service and NASA.

(The website cataloging his work is here.) 
"I waited for the S-1 to pass through at full speed.
I stood on the platform and saw it coming from the distance at 120 miles per hour.
It flashed by me like a steel thunderbolt, the ground shaking under me,
 in a blast of air that almost sucked me into its whirlwind.
Approximately a million pounds of locomotive were crashing through near me.
I felt shaken and overwhelmed by an unforgettable feeling of power,
by a sense of pride at what I had helped to create.
I had, after all, contributed something to a great nation
that had taken me in and that I loved so deeply.
And I had come a long, happy way myself from my start in fashion advertising.
I had found my way of life."
Every artifact speaks to us, reflects us.  Loewy delivered the 20th century.  He was not alone but his sense of vision brought form to thousands of common items.  And they inspired a century of material progress that nurtured and rewarded the common (and largely unstated) belief that we can and will make a wonderful future.

PREVIOUSLY ON NECESSARY FACTS
The Genius of Design
Space is the Place: Come to the High Frontier
Jack Kemeny Knew: We Shall Have Computed
The Cure for a Failing Empire
The Science of Liberty


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