"The Design Collection Selected Objects" is the second book review of great product designs. Industrial designers created many of the objects here. This book was published in 1970 by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Their design collection was established in 1934 and has over 1,800 mass produced or homemade objects. Some 125 of these are exhibited continuously and 85 are pictured in this book. The objects include Tiffany favrile glass vases, a 1932 heat-resistant all glass teapot, multi-colored glass tumblers, a silver and turquoise enamel jewel box, stackable tableware, stackable chairs, a coffee grinder, a desk fan and other household items plus one random access control panel for the IBM 305 random access memory accounting machine from 1960.
The objects were "selected on the basis of their quality and historical significance to illustrate the development of design in the prior seventy-five years" by the museum Committee on Architecture and Design when Philip Johnson was the Chairman and Arthur Drexler was the Director, Department of Architecture and Design.
Although not in chronological order each object description lists the year first produced. Like Jay Doblin's book there is one large picture of the object and a description. Unlike Doblin's book the description is very brief and there is no explanation of the significance of the object. There is only one page of general explanation by Arthur Drexler who views the objects as an archeologist might. Basically he says that the objects were made to serve a purpose" and "belong to the 2oth-century category, the "functional". They were not ends in themselves.
Some of the objects are both in this book and in Doblin's like the two chairs shown below as well as The Alvar Aalto Bent Plywood Chair 1934, The Eames Plywood Chair 1947, the Olivetti Lettera Typewriter 1950, the Eames Lounge Chair 1957 and the Saarinen Stem Chair 1957. Unlike Doblin's book there are no automobiles, airplanes, helicopters and only a few electronic or mechanical devices.
Marcel Breuer Side Chair 1928
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair 1929
Portable Radio and Phonograph 1959 (Mfr. Braun)
Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Vacuum Cleaner 1956
Giuseppe de Goetzen Vacuum Brush 1955
David Gammon Turntable 1964 (Mfr. Transcripters, Ltd.)
Roy Richter and Frank Heacox Racing Driver's Helmut (Mfr. Bell-Toptex, Inc.)
"The Design Collection - Selected Objects" plus Jay Doblin's "One Hundred Great Product Designs" provide insight into the impact of industrial design in the 20th Century prior to 1970. Doblin's book however provides great written insight into the significance of each object in his book.
An interesting side book to read from this era might be "California Design, 1930--1965: "Living in a Modern Way" edited by Wendy Kaplan. It is based on a 2012 exhibit of the same name that originated at the Los Angles County Museum of Art. Charles Eames and other designers are featured.
Do you have a favorite book on industrial design prototypes, products or designers? Please let us know by posting a comment. If you have any questions or would like to discuss prototypes or other projects contact us at Model Builders, Inc. 773-586-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org .