©2001
Design Knowledge Intermediary
Phaidon Design Classics: Pts. 1, 2 & 3

By
Published by Phaidon Press Ltd (5 April 2006)

Page: 3300
Price: £65.00

  • A three-volume set containing the most comprehensive collection of design classics
  • Featuring the most innovative, beautiful and influential products created in the last 200 years
  • 999 objects selected by a panel of experts that includes designers, architects, auctioneers, critics, curators, journalists and academics
  • Each object is accompanied by a text written by one of over fifty experts from the field of design, with precise information about each product, each designer, each manufacturer and their history
  • Illustrated with a wide range of photographs, original sketches, patents, prototypes and rarely seen archival images, painstakingly researched and collected directly from designers, archives and manufacturers
  • Presented in a specially designed carrying unit

PHAIDON DESIGN CLASSICS is a comprehensive and authoritative collection of classic design objects. The heavily illustrated three-volume set presents 999 industrially manufactured products, carefully selected by a group of experts. It is the first definitive illustrated sourcebook on the evolution of design to include such a wide scope of objects in detail.

From cars to furniture, from tableware to cameras, from everyday objects to airplanes, this breadth of design has never before been collected in such a way before. PHAIDON DESIGN CLASSICS tells the story of design’s evolution around the world from the late 1600's to the present, bringing together patents, prototypes, old advertisements, original drawings, images showing the process of manufacturing, as well as rare archival photographs. The anthology features an astonishing 4,000 images.

The objects are presented chronologically, beginning with an elegant pair of Chinese bonsai scissors from the early 1600s, still in production today, and ending with Barber Osgerby’s Lunar bath accessories, destined to become a classic. Glancing through the volumes, the reader will gain an understanding not only of the history of design, but a history of taste and culture. The book is an extraordinary journey through the objects that have shaped our society, from the first attempts to combine function and beauty in the nineteenth century, through the machine aesthetics of the thirties, the advent of plastic and other new materials in the fifties and sixties, up to the classics-to-be of the last ten years.

The book includes not only objects created by internationally renowned designers, such as Breuer, Le Corbusier, Dreyfuss, Eames, Yanagi and Castiglioni, but also anonymously designed pieces, such as the clothes peg, the corkscrew and the chopstick, which, in spite of lacking a specific designer, have achieved such perfection in design and functionality that they have eliminated the possibility of improvement.

PHAIDON DESIGN CLASSICS is a laboriously selected examination of some of the world’s best products ever made, most of which are still in production. The objects truly encapsulate what design is and what it will be for decades to come. It is a key reference tool for the designer or architect, as well as a fascinating and accessible design history for the newcomer.

A 'design classic' is an industrially manufactured object with timeless aesthetic value. It serves as a standard of its kind and, despite the year in which it was designed, is still up to date. The collection presented in these three volumes has been put together by a group of experts following the above criteria.

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