(June 7, 1911-January 4, 1995)
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Birth name was Clifford Brooks Stevens
Architect, graphic designer and industrial designer
Designed home furnishings, appliances, automobiles and motorcycles
Created over 3,000 products for 600 clients
Founding member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (1944)
Why he might be annoying
He dropped out of Cornell because his architecture professors kept chiding him about his interest in automobiles.
He got his first major industrial design contract from a company where his dad was vice-president.
He predicted in 'Popular Mechanics' that after WWII the American public would want smaller, more efficient vehicles. (Turned out, they wanted chrome and tailfin bedecked behemoths.)
He coined the phrase 'planned obsolescence,' and called it the 'mission' of industrial design.
Why he might not be annoying
His interest in design may have been triggered by his father encouraging him to draw while laid up in bed during a childhood bout of polio.
He was married to Alice Kopmeier for 57 years until his death.
He was the first American industrial designer to have a museum retrospective of his work.
He designed the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile -- what more do you want?
If you do need more, he also designed the first station wagon, the first clothes dryer with a window in front, the first electric steam iron, the wide-mouthed peanut butter jar, the Formica 'boomerang' pattern and the Miller Beer logo.
His vision of planned obsolescence was less 'build shoddy stuff that falls apart quickly' like the phrase evokes now than 'get consumers so excited about our new product they'll buy it sooner than absolutely necessary.'
Credit: C. Fishel
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Year In Review:
For 2017, as of last week, Out of 1 Votes: 0% Annoying
In 2016, Out of 3 Votes: 100% Annoying
In 2015, Out of 5 Votes: 40.0% Annoying
In 2014, Out of 10 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
In 2013, Out of 15 Votes: 33.33% Annoying
In 2012, Out of 12 Votes: 58.33% Annoying
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