A recent article in CNN.com provided some wonderful water cooler talk for the world of industrial design. In it, some of the world’s most renowned industrial designers were asked several questions to pick their brains of the genius that lies within them. Among those questions was to nominate what they thought of as the 12 most iconic designs of the last 100 years. So, the wheel is out. Nonetheless, there were some interesting designs that were nominated. Here’s a synopsis of what they came up with:
- Apple Macintosh – Introduced in 1984, it made the world of computing accessible and usable to the ordinary consumer and mere layman.
- Piaggio’s Vespa – More than just a scooter, this item has become a cultural icon for those who admire its functionality, style, and design.
- The Escalator – Able to carry more passengers than an elevator, this is a design that may end up being timeless in nature. That is, until we figure out the whole teleportation thing. “Beam me up Scotty…No. Okay, well I’ll just get on the escalator to get to the second floor of the mall for now I guess.”
- Virgin Galactic Space Plane – The world’s first actual tourist space craft. It’s futurism taken into reality.
- The AK-47 – The debateable need for stricter gun control laws aside, the design of this weapon remains a modern marvel and is still used on battlefields today.
- The Floppy disk – Simply put, a lot of storage in a very portable and small design.
- Apple iPod – The music storage device that literally defined a generation. This is the hereldad second honor on the list for Apple.
- The Aeron chair – Goodbye stuffy, old, stodgy office chairs and hello to ergonomically comfortable seating. Perfect for those new sixteen hour work days inspired by the global economy!
- Bang & Olufsen stereo – The minimalist, universal, and usable approach that designers strive for today can all be seen in this device from 1979 that still sets the standards.
- Airbus A380 – It carries 850 people in the air to virtually wherever they want to go. Deinitely a worthy nomination.
- Ford Model T – Modern transportation was simply never changed as much by any other single design. The Model T revolutionized the way we live.
- The Jet engine – What the Model T did for commuters on the ground, the jet engine did for commuters in the air.
Is this list debateable? Sure, especially when you consider the fact that one of these items (the floppy disk), was actually nominated by Yoshiro Nakamatsu, the man who is credited with its invention. Nonetheless, it’s a fun exploration that can lead to many Google searches and Wikipedia references for fun, discussion, and trivia.