- Hardcover: 125 pages
- Publisher: Ibis Design Inc; 1 edition (December 30, 2005)
- 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 (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Life's Design: The Life And Work of Industrial Designer Charles Harrison Hardcover – December 30, 2005
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More About the Author
"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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wished this individual and others like him histories were in MAINSTREAM publications in terms of achievements in the field. I do believe we as a society are slowly getting there.Published 11 months ago by randall
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.Published on December 14, 2012 by John P. Batiste