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Brooks Stevens
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    (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)
    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.
    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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