What is Good Design?

Elevating the functional to a timeless work of art.

Fiat 500f Berlina – 1968. The bestselling version of the Cinquecento, it remained in production until 1973
Resilient Chair, 1948-49 by Eva Zeisel || Stone on Stone fabric, c. 1950 by Vera Neumann
Floor lamp, c. 1950 by Serge Mouille
Werra 135mm film camera, c. 1955-1960. Manufactured by Zeiss-Werk, Jena, East Germany (DDR) || Microphone (model MD8-C), 1962 by Marko Turk. Manufactured by Elektroakusticni Laboratorij, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia
Lumio Book Lamp, 2013 by Max Gunawan
Communications receiver (model S-40A), 1947 by Raymond Loewy Associates

“Is there art in a broomstick? Yes, says Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art, if it is designed both for usefulness and good looks.” This quote, from a 1953 Time magazine review of one of MoMA’s mid-century Good Design exhibitions, gets to the heart of a question the Museum has been asking since its inception: What is good design and how can it enhance everyday life?

Featuring objects from domestic furnishings and appliances to ceramics, glass, electronics, transport design, sporting goods, toys, and graphics, The Value of Good Design explored the democratizing potential of design, beginning with MoMA’s Good Design initiatives from the late 1930s through the 1950s, which championed well-designed, affordable contemporary products. [source: MoMA]

The Value of Good Design
Feb 10–Jun 15, 2019
MoMA

April 4th, 2019

Bicycle with a Vision

Eyes on the future

Benjamin Bowden
Spacelander bicycle 1946
Fiberglass, chrome-plated steel, leather, and rubber

Launched at the Britain Can Make It exhibition organized by the Council of Industrial design in 1946, this curvaceous product hinted at a future of consumerist affluence, and the glamour associated with the utopian worlds of science-fiction films. It was one of many prototypes for new, industrially produced goods that over 1.4 million people queued to see. While it could be admired, the bicycle could not be bought at the time of the exhibition, owing to continued shortages of materials and labour after World War II. ”Britain Can’t Have It” became the show’s popular nickname.

From The Value of Good Design, an exhibition at MoMA in Feb 10-Jun 15, 2019.

April 4th, 2019