25 items whose design has changed our lives

An article has already been published on our site in which IHe shared the most interesting design decisions of his time and talked about what is currently missing, namely, the courage of designers who are afraid to experiment. Today I propose to talk about those things that have passed through decades and are still relevant in terms of their appearance and the thought embedded in them.

Parks in the city should be like that!

Some projects are technically good, some are simply beautiful, but there are those that were able to combine “business with pleasure”. Moreover, for many years they have been making our life beautiful and comfortable.

The design of some products that we’ll talk about a littlebelow, dates from the end of the century before last; others appeared several years ago. But even they were able to have a huge impact on the lives of ordinary people around the world. They demonstrate ingenuity and a special look at beauty and functionality. Such authors as Joni Ive, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi and James Dyson became their authors.

Most importantly, they show how one ideaable to forever change our way of life in the world. Real masterpieces do not appear every day, but after meeting them, it is already difficult to return to a past life. Let's talk about them in more detail.


  • 1 Most versatile items
  • 2 The most beautiful architecture
  • 3 The most beautiful and comfortable chairs
  • 4 The most reliable technology
  • 5 Best Office Accessories
  • 6 What should be the design?

The most versatile items

A true universal assistant for every dayfor many people is a smartphone. And which smartphone do we introduce first when we say this word? Of course the iPhone. He was the first, he is still at the top and many imitate him. Sometimes in vain, but this is a topic for another discussion.

The very first generation iPhone

Released in 2007, the iPhone not only changedmobile phone industry, but also changed the way photos are taken, driving cars and communicating in general. Innovative design placed the computer in every pocket and created a whole class of specialists - application developers. The iPhone got better with each new iteration, functions were added, face recognition appeared, augmented reality and an HDR camera began to work. The design of the iPhone has long been a symbol of the smartphone itself. Remember the symbolic image of a smartphone. This is the same rectangle with a round button. Thanks for that Johnny Ive, who led the Apple design team since 1996.

Read if you missed: What is industrial design? And its most unusual representatives.

Another example after which life is notwill be the same, you can consider the Swiss officer and sports knife Karl Elsner, better known as the Swiss army knife Victorinox. It was introduced in 1897.

The famous Victorinox folding knife for all occasions

The multifunctional tool has become popular inThe United States after World War II, when soldiers brought them home from Europe, and in 1968 a popular red item was added to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. NASA first bought 50 knives in 1978, since then they have become one of the foundations of space missions. Today, designers bring new technologies to the functionality, such as: LED lights, altimeters and timers. Only two things remain unchanged - the basics of design and usability.

The famous font Helvatica, without which now it’s just nowhere

If you don’t have a favorite knife or smartphone,maybe you have a favorite font. Maybe this is Helvetica? This font is so famous that they even shot a documentary about it. It was first developed in 1957 by Swiss designers Max Midinger and Eduard Hoffman, and then renamed Helvetica By The Haas Type Foundry. A clean and versatile font is used everywhere from the American Airlines and Nestle logos to the New York subway. Here is such a simple but important font.

The most beautiful architecture

Railroad tracks on the west sideManhattan was not the most important site in the city. They could be easily demolished in order to build something new, but they approached the issue creatively and proposed a new vision, which many liked.

High Line in New York - a unique solution of its kind

Friends of the High Line Community Groupturned a section of the railway into a magnificent public space. A 1.45 mile long green road was created. The first part was opened in 2006. The High Line features more than 500 species of plants and trees, as well as places for public creativity and performances. High Line has inspired such reconstruction projects in other cities, not only in the US but also around the world.

Another example of excellent, rigorous architecture toolocated in New York. The Empire State Building was not the first skyscraper, but it can be argued that it had the greatest influence on this area of ​​architecture. The 102-story building designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon opened in 1931. Interestingly, it was built in just one year and 45 days, partly thanks to the collective design process, which involved architects, owners, engineers and builders. The Empire State Building held the title of the tallest building in the world for 40 years, until the completion of the World Trade Center (also in New York). The skyscraper has become a symbol of the city and the United States, and its effective collaborative design process continues to influence the construction of such buildings.

Empire State Building - the most famous skyscraper in the USA

If you won’t surprise anyone with skyscrapers, thena paper church is still possible. The paper church of architect Shigeru Ban was a prime example of eco-friendly design as well as an innovative approach to disaster relief. The church was built in five weeks in 1995 by 160 volunteers to replace the temple destroyed by the Kobe earthquake. Made from 58 paper tubes and a corrugated polycarbonate sheet, Paper Church has an elliptical design that resembles the work of Italian architect Bernini. The church was dismantled in 2005 and donated to the city.

Paper Church or Paper Church

Copenhagen Copenhill Offers a New Visionfuture industrial buildings. The waste management plant developed by Bjarke Ingels Group has been turned into a public attraction with ski slopes, hiking trails, a climbing wall, a restaurant and an après ski bar. This is a bold step towards achieving Copenhagen's goal of becoming the first carbon neutral city in the world by 2025. The plant processes 400,000 tons of waste annually and can provide electricity to 550,000 people, as well as provide heating to 140,000 households. The building is not only environmentally friendly, but also friendly to local residents. They have access not only to outdoor activities, but also to cleaner energy.

The most beautiful and comfortable chairs

Also, many places where you can find the famous chairThonet found in cafes around the world. He represents innovation in furniture manufacturing. Michael Thonet developed the process of bending and laminating veneer layers, which made it possible to produce furniture from bent wood simply and inexpensively. His chair No. 14, introduced in 1859, consisted of six wooden components (plus ten screws and two nuts). This was one of the first samples of furniture in a flat package, which the buyer could assemble at home. Thonet had a great influence on the mass production of furniture and introduced a cult design that never went out of style.

One of the first chairs sold in flat packaging.

There are several more examples of such furniture,for example, the famous armchair from IKEA, called Poäng. The chair, designed in 1976 by Japanese designer Noboru Nakamura, has a bentwood frame with a cantilever seat. The chair received a slight modernization in 1992, when some steel parts were replaced with wooden ones, and the width of the structure was reduced. This made it possible to pack the chair more compactly and make it more affordable. About one and a half million seats of this design are sold annually in the world. In 2016, the design of the chair celebrated its 40th anniversary, and during that time 30 million pieces were sold.

One of the most popular seats in IKEA - Poäng

Another iconic chair is an office chairAeron Designed by Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick for Herman Miller, this ubiquitous office chair was introduced to the public in 1994 and quickly became one of the main business products, especially Silicon Valley startups during the famous dotcom bubble. An ergonomic mesh seat and backrest replaced the usual soft foam cushions of office chairs and gave the design a recognizable look. The design of the Aeron chair was slightly modified in 2016. This was done to simplify production and improve the environmental friendliness of the product.

Legendary Aeron office chair

The most reliable technology

Surely, many remember the famousthe predecessor of Instagram, if you can call it that, is Polaroid. He gave people the opportunity to instantly get their photo, and not wait a few days for development and printing. Polaroid founder Edwin H. Land introduced the Polaroid Land camera in 1948, and it quickly became popular with consumers. Recognized artists of the art world, such as Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams and Robert Mapplethorpe, also took to the cameras, exploring the possibilities of instant printing. When the company announced it would stop producing camera cassettes in 2008, a group known as the Polaroid Originals intervened to support the product. So strong was the love for this camera.

The camera everyone has dreamed about for a long time - Polaroid

Not such a story, but very popularhas an Amazon Kindle reader introduced in 2007. It allowed consumers to carry the whole library on a device that is smaller than the smallest books. The first batch was sold out in five and a half hours. Kindle increased e-book sales and created a new market for self-publishing books, allowing authors to bypass the traditional publishing industry and the high cost of self-publishing analog books.

Amazon Kindle, one of the most popular readers in history

A similar effect on people around the world hadFitbit bracelets. Pedometers were popular in Japan in the 1960s, but the hobby never reached America. In 2007, this happened. James Park and Eric Friedman have launched a craze for the tracker with Fitbit solutions. Wearable devices made people move in the hope of reaching 10,000 steps (that’s how much was considered the norm of daily activity). The company has sold 96 million devices and has more than 27 million active users worldwide. Fitbit devices evolved and over time began to provide other features, such as tracking heart rate, sleep, and women's health.

FitBit were those who stood in the forefront of the production of wearable electronics.

Many have heard about Nest thermostats. Not everyone uses them, but their influence on the development of such systems cannot be overestimated. They were one of the first to start fueling consumer interest in the idea of ​​smart homes and the Internet of things. The thermostat, launched in 2011, takes into account the temperature preferences of the user, can be configured to save energy and can be controlled via WiFi. Founders of Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers - immigrants from Apple, eventually added smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, CCTV cameras, doorbells and locks to the lineup. As often happens, Nest was acquired by Google. It happened in 2014, and now the system is known as Google Nest.

A device with this design is not ashamed to install in any home

In the same year as Nest, the world saw the iPhone 4 andSiri installed in it. You could just call her by name and ask her to do something. For example, dial a number, search on the Internet, turn on music, set a reminder, and much more. It just doesn’t always work well. But this does not negate the fact that Apple made very beautiful houses for her in the form of a MacBook Pro, Apple Watch HomePod and much more. Artificial intelligence in our time has become a real trend, and Siri was one of the pioneers in this direction. Write in our Telegram chat what you think about the development of AI these days.

iPhone 4 - at one time it was insanely cool!

There is no doubt that the bestVacuum cleaners are models from Dyson. Taste is always there, but they are chosen by millions of users around the world, despite their cost. James Dyson turned a home appliance into a design object by introducing his cyclone vacuum cleaner. The inventor spent years developing a bagless vacuum cleaner that would not lose suction power and clog. He also made sure that the appearance of the product was as impressive as the technology that he used. A focus on these two components has allowed his vacuum cleaners to occupy an important market share. In addition, the company also produces the famous Airblade hand dryers and fanless fan, Air Multiplier. Dyson's vacuum cleaner models are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Smithsonian Museum of Design and the Museum of Design in London.

The unusual design has always attracted the buyer, but here is another ...

The famous Toyota will not lose against this background. The idea of ​​a hybrid vehicle came from the end of the 19th century, but Toyota finally brought the idea from prototype to production, launching its famous Prius in 1997. The hybrid appeared on the American market in 2000. Among the first users of the car were Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz. Priuses boast impressive fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions. The success of the Prius has helped pave the way for other hybrid and electric vehicles and has made our world cleaner. Despite the design, which may seem boring, it is still recognizable that it cannot but cause respect.

Several generations of the famous Prius. They laughed at him, but respected him.

Best office accessories

Without a doubt, the most famous office accessoryof our time is the iconic Bic pen. The story began in 1938 when Laszlo Biro invented a ballpoint pen that would free writers from trouble with fountain pens. But it was Marcel Beach who brought the pen to America and to the masses with the help of Bic Cristal. Beach, along with his partner Eduard Baffard, bought a writing instrument factory in 1944, then bought Biro's patent and decided to improve the design. In 1950, Bic Cristal was introduced with a transparent hexagonal case that offered consumers an inexpensive disposable pen. As of 2005, more than 100 billion Bic Cristals were sold, and the design is in the permanent collection of MoMA and the National Museum of Paris D’Art Moderne.

I bet everyone had that?

Plastic water bottles are very convenient, but theyalso a real disaster for the environment. In 2010, entrepreneur Sarah Kauss tackled this issue by creating an attractive reusable water bottle. Its solution, the S’well bottle, combines fashionable design with practical features such as three-layer insulation and BPA-free materials. The bottle has become a frequent guest everywhere from sports halls to office rooms. The company aims to reduce the amount of disposable plastic water bottles consumed by 100 million by 2020. Good target!

Variety of volumes and colors of the S’well bottle

Probably the last for today, but far fromthe last in importance will be the famous sticky notes. The design of any invention does not have to be complicated to be innovative. A great example would be Post-it Notes. Bright colored sticky notes were the brainchild of 3M Art Fry. The invention of such papers became possible thanks to the use of non-curing glue. His inventor was Spencer Silver, a research fellow at the company. At first, the glue was not used, but Fry applied the glue to the paper and Post-it Notes, introduced in 1980, appeared. Fry created a product that is easy to use, easily recognizable and extremely functional - all these are the hallmarks of good design.

The same pieces of paper that everyone used

What should be the design?

Design is something that cannot be boxed into - it isis the fruit of creativity. At different times, different technical means are relevant, but there are also those that will always be relevant. The examples in this article are additional evidence. You must admit that a pen that has existed for almost years, or a knife that has existed even longer, speak very eloquently about this.