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GENIUS OF DESIGN

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"Elegant history of design" --The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)
"Fascinating" --The Times (U.K.)
"Brilliant, insightful" --The Guardian (U.K.)

BBC documentary explores the creativity behind everyday design

For industrial designers, the world is never enough. They give shape and texture to the world to make it livable--indeed, beautiful--for the rest of us. This fascinating five-part documentary examines the art and science of design and the stuff it shapes, from computer chips to cityscapes and everything in between. See the evolution from artisans’ workshops to industrial mass production, and the profound changes it has wrought in our economy, society, and environment. Meet historians, critics, and legendary contemporary designers, including Dieter Rams (Braun electronics), J Mays (Ford), and Jonathan Ive (Apple), who reveal the thinking behind iconic products such as the VW Beetle, the Eames chair, and the computer desktop. Along the way, discover how design has influenced even the outcome of war.

Fun, fast paced, and always informative, this in-depth series celebrates a discipline that drives our economy and our culture.


Special Features


12-page viewer’s guide with articles on parties at the Bauhaus, changing American road signs, Ford’s eco-friendly factor, and a gallery of famous design flops
Biographical sketches of influential designers
Plus discussion questions and more designer biographies and famous flops at athenalearning.com
SDH subtitles

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Athena
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 242 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004H0ZH84
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,422 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

As design puts FUN in products--this DVD puts FUN in an educational documentary.
Designers of 'stuff' touch our lives every second. A fascinating detailed look at what is always right before our lives causing our decisions. It incorporates product personalities, environment, culture, history, technology, and economics of design. Predominantly 20th century coverage. A different way to see the 20th Century Industrial Revolution.

2 discs, 5 episodes (each about 48 min.) WITH SUBTITLES. Bonus: informative viewer's guide; 10 designer text bios on DVDs.

Episode details:
1 GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE- Centuries of design history includes Wedgwood pottery; Abraham Darby iron bridges & cook pots; Wm. Morris (arts & crafts) Victorian hand-made textile patters; & Ford Model T. the Industrial Revolution was designing mass production.

2 DESIGNS FOR LIVING- Early 20th Century design tackles the gap between stuff & us. Bauhaus (German) center for new design--art in furniture. Products design's artistic genesis. Art Nouveau--steel tubing--Double House--secondhand became antique--Anglepoise Lamp--Commerce design--Airstream--and more covered.

3 BLUEPRINTS FOR WAR- WWII urgent design period shapes war products & the world. Death by design. The battle for new weapon ingenuity. Inspired corporate identity design. VW Beetle, its success & its Nazi Hitler dark side. Sten Gun, Mosquito Plane (wood-stealth), Nazi Tiger Tank vs. Russian T-34 tank, Liberty Ships covered. Eames chair is adapted war design.

4 BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY- Chemistry creates inventive design-like Tupperware. Post-WWII product design, like minimalism (simplicity) guided design. Road signs to the Polyprop chair. Plastic's coming-of-age.
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I came across this series on the infotainment system while flying between the U.S. and Hong Kong. Being an engineer with past experience designing consumer products I found the series to be a brilliant historical account of industrial design post WWII. I purchased a copy for a former colleague and he subsequently purchased 4 copies to distribute throughout his company as a teaching tool for marketing-types and others who are impacted by industrial design decisions.

If you're someone who has a sense of curiosity about the products that surround us and the formative personalities that shape(d) so many things we buy today (iPods, Walkmen, stacking chairs) then this series is guaranteed to be an interesting watch.

Congrats to the BBC for yet another outstanding series.
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this is by far the most comprehensive and unbiased history of the modern design ever. I loved the segment about design and war and also the considerations about the future of industrial design x environment
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I watched this series on the Smithsonian Channel. It was awesome. I was surprised how much I learned about design. I'm a software developer and I was interested in the way design can really make a difference in the feelings people have about objects. The series draws many parallels between industrial design and software design.

Now I have it on DVD so I can get inspiration anytime!
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This is really fascinating for anyone interested in how we get the things we use. I admit I am interested in the history of technology, and this is a really good mix of the ideas, the times, and the people who designed the world we live in today.
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