The American Design Adventure

Arthur J. Pulos, Author MIT Press (MA) $78 (456p) ISBN 978-0-262-16106-0
Nostalgia buffs can riffle through this heavily illustrated history of modern design to savor a Waring drink mixer, a Bendix washer-dryer with chrome propeller handle, a Studebaker Land Cruiser and a Chemex ``hourglass'' coffeemaker. On a more serious level, this sequel to The American Design Ethic examines whether the industrial designer is an artist creating new standards, a mirror of society's tastes or a wizard of change whose mission is to sustain public demand. Written by the chairman emeritus of Syracuse University's design department, this busy narrative is full of accounts of exhibits, design firms, training programs, trademarks, packaging. Instead of sustained, in-depth analysis Pulos offers an endlessly tantalizing smorgasbord of lawn mowers, airplanes, dental chairs, water towers, prefabricated housing, school furniture, etc. It is eye-opening to note that today's science of ergonomics is the '50s ``human engineering'' reborn. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
Paperback - 456 pages - 978-0-262-66068-6
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