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Influential Industrial Designers Through the Ages


There are a number of iconic industrial designers who over the years have impacted the lives of millions of people around the globe with their innovative concepts and designs, particularly those affiliated with large corporations focusing on industrial design.

Industrial designers are responsible for creating a number of different products which we use every day. In this article we shall explore a number of innovative industrial designers and some of the work they have brought to life over the years.

1.   Jonathan Ive

Sir Jonathan Paul Ive (KBE, RDI) is a British-American product, architectural and industrial designer. Originally from the UK, Jony Ive is well known for his time serving as the chief designer at Apple from 1992 to 2019, leading the product design, interface design and implementation.

Being one of the most recognised designers of all time, Ive is well known for his innovative designs across a whole host of Apple products, such as the Apple iPod, iPhone, iMac, MacBook and iPad, all of which have helped shape Apple’s iconic product line. It was announced in June 2019 that Ive would be leaving the company in order to co-found his own company, LoveFrom, along with Apple colleague and industrial designer Marc Newson, and is the Chancellor at The Royal College of Art today.

1.   James Dyson

James Dyson is a British product designer, inventor and businessman, most famously known as the founder of Dyson, enhancing the vacuum industry with his innovative concepts. Mr Dyson is known for his bagless vacuum cleaner, as well as some other notable inventions, including the no-blade multiplier fan and the AirBlade hand dryer. Not only did Dyson help to shape the industry we see today, but his useful and innovative ideas are utlised by millions of people around the globe each day.

1.   Marc Newson

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1963, Marc Newson is recognised by some of the world’s biggest and brightest companies. Newson has lived and worked all around the globe, including Sydney, Tokyo, Paris and most recently, London. His business, Marc Newson Ltd, has worked across a number of disciplines since 1997, covering brands and consumers from fashion and luxury goods, to transportation to manufacturing and technology. His work ranges from aircrafts to furniture to luxury yachts. The iconic industrial designer was crowned by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people, winning a number of awards and praise along the way.

1.   Ingo Maurer

Ingo Maurer is a German industrial designer specialising in the innovative design of lamps and lighting concepts, originating in the 60’s. His designs are notoriously innovative and he is famous for paving the way in the lighting industry for an abundance of design ideas and future concepts which millions of people know and use every day. Maurer initially studied an apprenticeship as a typesetter, before studying graphic design in Munich, Germany. He left for the USA in 1960, and worked in New York and San Francisco doing freelance graphic design projects. He returned to Germany in 1963 and founded his company ‘Design M’, which focused on development and manufacturing lamps based off of his own designs. After some time the company was later renamed ‘Ingo Maurer GmbH’. One of his first ever designs of a bulb in 1996 was included in the design collection at the Museum of Modern Art. Maurer’s products are still sold worldwide as his team grows each day

1.   Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck is a French designer famous for his work across multiple disciplines such as interior, product, architectural and innovative industrial design efforts since the start of his career in the 1980s, including furniture and objects that have simple but inventive structures.

As a promoter of democratic and useful designs, Starck’s concepts are known for their political messages which enhance them and bring them to a whole new level. Starck’s portfolio consists of some of the widest range of industries, including the lemon squeezer, as well as larger design concepts such as yachts and hotels, aeroplanes, rockets and wind turbines. Starck self-proclaims himself as a ‘modern monk’ who will never retire, prefers to live alone and work by the hour.

Andrew Mcaffrey