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Comments (1) Posted 03.09.11 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Partner News: Auburn University

Auburn University Launches Industrial Design History Website




Auburn University has launched a new website devoted to the history of the industrial design profession: www.industrialdesignhistory.com. The site, by Professor and Industrial Design Chair Bret H. Smith, features biographies of industrial designers, an index and timeline of historic products, print and online resources, and videotaped interviews with major designers.

This website is an outgrowth of Smith’s industrial design oral history research. He began collecting videotaped interviews with designers in 1995 to preserve the stories of how designs such as the playmate cooler, the John Deere 4020’s curved glass enclosure, the IBM Thinkpad and the IBM PC keyboard originated.

As Smith explains, “Many people know about the founding fathers of the industrial design profession — Henry Dreyfuss, Raymond Loewy and Walter Dorwin Teague — but the second generation of designers’ careers have not been well documented. Industrial Design in many ways is an anonymous profession. If the design solution is successful, then the client is successful. You never get to hear the story of the design itself, but it’s in these stories that industrial design history comes alive. These are stories of inventiveness, audacity, insight, design wisdom and judgment that help make us better designers. These stories can teach designers and non-designers alike, how to be better problem solvers and how to provide lasting value in the things we do.”

A peer-reviewed online journal that will contribute new scholarship to this type of history will launch next year.

The Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction is one of Places' partner schools.

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Comments (1)   |   JUMP TO MOST RECENT >>

I graduated in Industrial Design from AU in 1958 and several of my friends graduated in 1957. We are all trying to find out when the ID program actually first started at AU? DO you know and who was the first instructor?
Larry Jones
03.14.11 at 04:05



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The Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction was a member of Places’ partner school network.
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