The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945-1976 [NOOK Book]

Overview


In February 1956 the president of IBM, Thomas Watson Jr., hired the industrial designer and architect Eliot F. Noyes, charging him with reinventing IBM?s corporate image, from stationery and curtains to products such as typewriters and computers and to laboratory and administration buildings. What followed?a story told in full for the first time in John Harwood?s The Interface?remade IBM in a way that would also transform the relationships between design, computer science, and ...

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The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945-1976

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Overview


In February 1956 the president of IBM, Thomas Watson Jr., hired the industrial designer and architect Eliot F. Noyes, charging him with reinventing IBM’s corporate image, from stationery and curtains to products such as typewriters and computers and to laboratory and administration buildings. What followed—a story told in full for the first time in John Harwood’s The Interface—remade IBM in a way that would also transform the relationships between design, computer science, and corporate culture.

IBM’s program assembled a cast of leading figures in American design: Noyes, Charles Eames, Paul Rand, George Nelson, and Edgar Kaufmann Jr. The Interface offers a detailed account of the key role these designers played in shaping both the computer and the multinational corporation. Harwood describes a surprising inverse effect: the influence of computer and corporation on the theory and practice of design. Here we see how, in the period stretching from the “invention” of the computer during World War II to the appearance of the personal computer in the mid-1970s, disciplines once well outside the realm of architectural design—information and management theory, cybernetics, ergonomics, computer science—became integral aspects of design.

As the first critical history of the industrial design of the computer, of Eliot Noyes’s career, and of some of the most important work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, The Interface supplies a crucial chapter in the story of architecture and design in postwar America—and an invaluable perspective on the computer and corporate cultures of today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452932842
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2011
  • Series: A Quadrant Book
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • File size: 14 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author


John Harwood is assistant professor of modern and contemporary architectural history at Oberlin College. He is the author, with Janet Parks, of The Troubled Search: The Work of Max Abramovitz and, with Jesse LeCavalier and Guillaume Mojon, of This Will—This.

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Table of Contents


Contents

Introduction: The Interface
1. Eliot Noyes, Paul Rand, and the Beginnings of the IBM Design Program
2. The Architecture of the Computer
3. IBM Architecture: The Multinational Counterenvironment
4. Naturalizing the Computer: IBM Spectacles

Conclusion: Virtual Paradoxes


Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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