What Is Design?: An Overview of Design in Context from Prehistory to 2000 A. D.
This book is an overview of the process of design as it has evolved from the earliest visual images and artifacts from prehistory to our modern practice of design. Originally written as a textbook for design students and design professionals, it is also oriented to the general public interest in the design arts and the fine arts.
Every object has a story to tell about its period in time, its culture, its maker and ways of making. This thought was the idea behind the making of this book - that we can read this story through the interpretation of the forms of objects.
Important influences on modern design have come from the Bauhaus and the French decorative arts. However, what the designer does is best expressed in the work of American industrial designer, Norman Bel Geddes.
Excerpt, page 55: ´Bell Geddes believed that design is primarily a matter of thinking and of envisioning how the customer would use the product. While every product has a specific solution, Bel Geddes instituted market research as an essential part of the design process. In his redesign of the counter scale for the Toledo Scale Company, he changed hand weights to a spring mechanism, cast iron to aluminum, enclosed the skeleton body in a white enamel shell and made the scale flush with the counter for ease of use, while retaining its basic function. Bel Geddes´s major innovation was the redesign of the Standard gas stove from a stylized furniture form to a single unit encased in clean white enamel. Rethinking the stove as a skyscraper grid hung with steel plates, he simplified the manufacturing process by creating twelve interchangeable components to form sixteen different models.´
Source, Norman Bel Geddes, ´Horizons´. "