YOUR design icons of 20th century

So what are YOUR design icons of the past century, and why?
nifty 50? teflon coated bath towel? ipoooo’d?

the imac… it really awoke the US to design.

Some of my pop-icon influnces from the last 1/3rd of the 20th C:

Star Wars
The 1970’s
Saarinen (tulip chair and St. Louis Arch)
National Geographic
Sharper Image
Peugeot & Kestrel
Frank Lloyd Wright
Peter Saville
Beyond 2000
Syd Mead
Plymouth Neon
Rave Culture
Experiencing “the Zen of Palm”
Mies Van der Rohe (working in a building, owning a chair)
Purchasing an Aeron chair from a dot-com bust
Canon Elph
Audi TT
The Web, email, Amazon, Google
Motorola v60
MP3’s, Napster, iPod

jimi hendrix

:slight_smile: bauhaus


The band or the studio? :laughing:

the studio.

i think the band broke up a while back.

i second the audi tt


I think designers reference the audi tt as a good design. Not that we all wish to own it.

Bryce, your mumbling, i cannot understand you when you mumble.

I dont own an imac or an audi tt, i was speaking of the impact they had on the nations awareness of design.

When you jump to conclusions, you might hurt yourselve.

just randomly Guggenheim Bilbao, Vanquish, Akira toriyama, mass media hypes,

I would have to say the Porsche 911 for a design icon - also maybe a 57 chevy, or chevy camaro/ford mustang, and definately a volkswagen beetle -

the tt is a sweet car, but I don’t think it has the character of a classic - one man’s opinion. Also the Jaguar convertible from the 80’s, the one with the really long hood, and the Mercedes Gullwing.

Also - the Eames lounge chair with ottoman - with the walnut veneer.

the Rolls Royce would also definately be an Icon, as well as the jeep.

I forgot to mention - the beetle - not the new one, the original - the new one’s just not right.

Icons of design :

Nintendo controller : That rectangular device was one of the most uncomfortable devices we could have ever thought of. Yet served it’s function and really paved the way for modern gaming. I was going to say the Atari or any other previous systems, but Nintendo is recognizeable by a larger audience.
Sony Walkman : Forget the iPod. Mobility and music. Right there.
iPod : Forget the walkman. Carrying ALL (or in my case 1/6) of your music in your shirt pocket. But I actually prefer the Dell.
Lawnmower Man : Every movie since that ever used any special effects can thank this movie.

The .5L Plastic water bottle : Yikes, consumption. You want the product water, but get a nice giant air filled footprint everytime you use up that product.

The Carabiner : Now being used as a keychain. I love it.

The Milk Crate : Before they resized it, when you could run off with one and stick all your records in it. Also good for storing other things. Using as a step ladder, or other furniture when you are living a low income lifestyle. Thank God my parents grabbed a few of the originals.


My Ericofon rocks my world.

Human scale by Dreyfuss
Princess telephone by Dreyfuss (1959)

Thonet bistro chair

20th century limited train by Loewy

Apple Macintosh (1984)

Iomega Zip drive

I know I missed three decades in between here, but I think others have filled those in enough. If I think of more, I’ll make another post.

“Iomega Zip drive” - you must be joking

The zip drive is open to debate. I was trying to think of an innovative computer related product from the mid-90’s. Alot of stuff at the time had that somewhat post-modern look that the zip drive definately has. I was also thinking of the Frog Designed Acer computer, but that thing wasn’t innovative in a way other than styling.

I do agree; the hype over that design was pretty disturbing, but they did change the game for “box” styling with that design, didn’t they? Hasn’t their been more styling wars since then, versus before the Acer? So it’s not an icon per se, but it had interesting implications for the industry (which is probably more for Acer saying “let’s style this thing” than frog saying “sure, let’s style it like this!”)