Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

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


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.95 $10.44 $37.95
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 125 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977327108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977327102
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #725,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

From my memoir, A Life's Design:

"I came from a family that taught me to see beyond circumstance, find value and create usefulness out of need. The legacy I inherited required that I make myself useful ' as a son, man, husband, father and artist.

If I were to share one thought with the design community of today and tomorrow it would be to remember that your purpose ' your gift to the world ' is to provide straightforward solutions to real problems for living, breathing human beings. As an industrial designer especially, your audience is neither history nor fame, but a couple who worked hard to buy their first home on a quiet street and would love just one more hour of sleep in the morning, even on trash day. Your muse is the kid who needs something to occupy his mind and hands during that long drive to grandma's house. Your biggest critic will be the struggling mother who can't afford to keep replacing her kitchen appliances every time a little piece of ornate but useless piece of plastic breaks off."

Over the course of my career, I've been involved with the creation of almost all areas of household products. I have now retired from both professional design and teaching, and am currently speaking on my life's work and passion, as captured in my memoir.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 6 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing volume. It's hard to beleive that a single industrial designer could apply an aesthetic hand to something as mundane as two styles of trash cans found in both suburban and urban yards to the five in one appliance precursor to the ubiquitous Cuisinart to the standby road trip diversion of the Viewmaster is mind blowing. And to think, when Mr. Harrison began his work at Sears in the early 1960's there was an unwritten policy that the company did not hire persons of African descent.

It is the story of both an artist and and industrial designer. He designed things that were of practical use and things to use that helped. He even designed things that entertained and whether we would flip a switch, turn a knob or push a button.

It's a shame that the retailers like Sears no longer have in house departments that assured that goods for sale were well liked and looked good. Mr. Harrison was at the vanguard of African Americans in corporate retailing like fellow Sears executive Bob Johnson who helped Sears stay on top of its game.

Buy it for yourself and buy it for the children, so you can show them slices of the 1960s and 1970s.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debra Rodgers on May 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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 dryers & plastic trashcans. From time to time, I may have thought: "That's so easy to use" or "Oh - that's a clever feature - I wonder who thought of that" without really giving any credence to the fact that someone had really designed it.

And yet - someone did, and a great deal of the consumer product design of the mid-twentieth century was done by Charles Harrison. Indeed, Mr. Harrison spent decades designing for Sears, and reading his book is like taking a trip through the Sears catalogues of my youth - the 50s, 60s & 70s

Mr. Harrison was born in 1931 in Shreveport LA and grew up in Prairie View TX, the son of a professor at Southern University. When Charles was a young teenager, his father moved the family to Phoenix where he had secured a job teaching at an all-black high school. It was in Phoenix that Charles started to endure the racism that would confront him his entire working life.

After having lived in segregated housing & graduating from a segregated high school in Phoenix, he attended The City College of San Francisco. There he encountered two life-altering events: being one of about only 20 black students in an enrollment of approximately 1,000; and a Vocational Guidance course which suggested that his field of endeavor should be art.

Thus, after graduation from college, he sought to enter one of the only five schools in the U.S. that held accredited industrial design programs. He chose the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). How did a poor black kid from 1940s Southern USA afford such a prestigious school?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great! a most inspiring view of a passionate intelligence of a modest person, a refreshing sharing of unique talent and skill with remarkable and exceedingly useful benifit.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Search
ARRAY(0x9fd7a198)