Designing Modern America

Designing Modern America

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From the 1920s through the 1950s, two individuals, Joseph Urban and Norman Bel Geddes, did more, by far, to create the image of a€œAmericaa€ and make it synonymous with modernity than any of their contemporaries. Urban and Bel Geddes were leading Broadway stage designers and directors who turned their prodigious talents to other projects, becoming mavericks first in industrial design and then in commercial design, fashion, architecture, and more. The two men gave shape to the most quintessential symbols of the modern American lifestyle, including movies, cars, department stores, and nightclubs, along with private homes, kitchens, stoves, fridges, magazines, and numerous household furnishings. Illustrated with more than 130 photographs of their influential designs, this book tells the engrossing story of Urban and Bel Geddes. Christopher Innes shows how these two men with a background in theater lent dramatic flair to everything they designed and how this theatricality gave the distinctive modernity they created such wide appeal. If the American lifestyle has been much imitated across the globe over the past fifty years, says Innes, it is due in large measure to the designs of Urban and Bel Geddes. Together they were responsible for creating what has been called the a€œGolden Agea€ of American culture.It had an automatic choke, as well as being the first car with automatic transmission. ... with these components, compounding some initial assembly-line problems due to the revolutionary styling, caused long production delays. ... As a New York Times piece revealingly put it, contemplating the new Dodge Durango in 1999, anbsp;...

Title:Designing Modern America
Author:Christopher Innes
Publisher:Yale University Press - 2008-10-01


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