loves the idea of living in a completely designed space on every
evolution of modern industrial design really began with William
Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement, on to Behrens and the
Bauhaus and Mies and what became a 20th century merging
of form and function -- attempts to bring refinement and style to
even the most ordinary of objects.
The idea that design affects how we feel, and consequently
how we work…. We spend more time at our computers than
ever before, and we thought it was time to revisit the work of
Italian designer Ettore Sottsass.
Sottsass designed the now iconic
typewriter (along with colleague Perry A. King) in 1969.
Unmistakably, beautifully, boldly red, the typewriter was
designed in large color blocks that separated functions, and came
with a matching plastic case.
Bulky cast-iron was replaced by lightweight plastic.
It was a typewriter one longed to sit at and pound away and
soon after being released on Valentine’s Day the typewriter
became a fashion must for the chic signora,
an “anti-machine machine” as Sottsass once described it”.
What Sottsass did was to take the design of the portable
typewriter several steps farther with the fusion of material, form
and color -- releasing it in a bright red that made it different
from anything that had come before. Sottsass famously said, “Every
color has a history. Red is the color of the Communist flag,
the color that makes a surgeon move faster and the color of passion.”
Power Mac G4, 1999
shares a certain design philosophy with Apple; the idea of an
emphasis on design as
a corporate philosophy. Jonathan Ive and the The Design Team
at Apple brought us the Power Mac G4 in 1999, and a continuous
stream of beautiful objects, many of which were instant icons.
Jonathan Ive states: "An
object exists at the meeting of technology and people….”
at the service of knowledge—a tantalizing idea.
Red the color of love and of apples, the fruit that first
tempted Adam with access to knowledge and began a quest for wisdom
that continues to this day. We’ve come full circle then
with Sottsass’s Valentine’s day gift to design: love and
knowledge, a powerful, red-hot combination.
Valentine, MoMA Permanent Collection