A Life's Design: The Life and Work of Industrial Designer Charles Harrison

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Ibis Design, Incorporated, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 124 pages
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The Viewmaster. The portable hair dryer. The riding lawn mower. The see-through measuring cup. The first garbage can that didnt dent, break or go clang in the night.These and countless other icons of Americana unobtrusively yet radically reshaped the contours of 20th Century lifemillions can say they have one of these or fondly remember one of those. Yet few if any can say that they knew that the genius behind these and those originated from one prolific source: a dyslexic kid from rural Louisiana.A Lifes Design (Ibis 2006, 125 pp) chronicles the life, career and the emergent philosophy of Charles Chuck Harrison, one the most prolific and respected industrial designers of his time, an influencer on style and design today, and a pioneer as the first African American executive ever hired by Sears Roebuck & Company.Designs by Chuck Harrison not only reflected our changing lives, they often drove the transformation itself that took place in the American home and workplace during the era following World War II through the mid-1980s.

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User Review  - ParadisePorch - LibraryThing

Before reading A Life's Design: The Life and Work of Industrial Designer Charles Harrison I had never really given much thought to the design of everyday utilitarian items such as clock radios, hair ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

In his uniquely down-to-earth and humorous manner, Charles Harrison recounts his struggle to find his purpose in life. In this inspiring story of adversity and achievement, Harrison blends heart-warming personal detail with a straightforward description of his work as an industrial designer. Harrison recalls a childhood rich in experience and learning in the segregated education of 1940s Louisiana, Arizona and Texas, how he flourished at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and then outlines how, in the 1950s and 60s he navigated Chicagos rocky employment waters to become a designer of ordinary things that brought comfort and quality to everyday life. A devoted family man and trusted friend, he built a distinguished career, despite a long list of despites: despite being black, despite being poor from the rural South... to become chief designer for Sears, Roebuck & Company, once Americas most important retailer. He emerged from the trenches of the corporate landscape to create his next phase of life as a college professor and in community service. This extraordinary narrative will inspire anyone who has wandered in a journey of self-discovery or has guided another to seek opportunity.

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