What is industrial design? And its most unusual representatives.

Recently, manufacturers have stoppedreleasing something really beautiful, choosing the path of unification, and fearing to do something wrong. The reason for this is often cowardly “underdesigners” or no less cowardly executives who are afraid to stand out. Smartphones have become the same, cars, although they differ, are not so significant, and even a specialist cannot always distinguish airplanes from each other. Some kind of fantasy is present, perhaps, only in clothes and furniture. But here, not everything is so smooth. Let's remember what “designer rock and roll” designers have done in the past.


  • 1 What is industrial design
  • 2 The most unusual plane
  • 3 Strangest Train
  • 4 The most beautiful car
  • 5 Most memorable phone
  • 6 The most difficult boat
  • 7 Who is the best designer?

What is industrial design?

In the beginning I’ll give a little background and suggest talking about what “industrial design” is all about.

The very definition of this term was given by a member of the College of Industrial Design Thomas Maldonado in 1969. At the moment, this definition is considered the most complete description of the concept in question.

Industrial design is a creative activity aimed at improving the external merits of objects manufactured in industry, said Thomas Maldonado at one time.

Many, recalling the works of designerssixties and seventies of the last century, consider it their golden age of industrial or, as it is also called, industrial design. Then the manufacturers were still trying to express themselves in their creations, and not just make a product that everyone would like. Despite this approach, many decisions of that time are still considered the gold standard in their areas and the perfect combination of beauty and convenience.

However, there are no clear criteria in the design -everything is subjective. Everyone decides for himself what is beautiful and what draws maximum for the title of consumer goods. Let us recall those things created by man, which, although they could not withstand competition on the field of unification, were forever remembered by connoisseurs.

The most unusual plane

One of the most unusual aircraft in history.Aviation became Beechcraft Starship, whose first flight took place in 1986. In its design, in addition to the unusual design, many advanced technical solutions were found that would be relevant to this day. The problem is that the aircraft is no longer manufactured, and the rare samples that were handed over to customers are considered almost priceless.

Beechcraft starship

The main feature of the aircraft is the lack oftail and thrust turboprop engines located at the maximum distance from the passenger compartment. This decision allowed us to make the cabin more comfortable and quiet.

In the absence of a tail, course controlcarried out by a small keel in the lower part of the aircraft and developed wingtips. Pitch (tilting or raising the nose) is carried out by the wings in the bow.

The design seems complicated, but many aviators who were fortunate enough to control this technology respond only positively about it, noting its high flight performance.

Beechcraft starship

The plane was not the latest Beechcraft development. The company still exists, and the model is not widely used due to the high price. The cost of the Beechcraft Starship was $ 3.9 million. For the same money, you could buy several significantly faster models with a turbojet engine, and models with the same speed cost one million dollars cheaper. In 2003, the company announced the unprofitability of supporting a small fleet of aircraft of this model, invited the owners to exchange them for other models, and disposed of those that were stored at their warehouse.

The strangest train

The next example of industrial design, which can be called unique, will be an unusual train, which also did not find a wide response in the hearts of operating organizations.

If you look at the Aerotrain from the side it seemsthat he lacks the wings with which he would simply fly away from this boring planet. Actually, this is how he appeared. It was made by General Motors Electro-Motive Division using aviation materials. His main task was to return to its former popularity of rail transport, lost against the backdrop of the advent of affordable air travel and personal transport.

Aerotrain GM

Appearing in the mid-fifties of the pastcentury, he worked for only about 10 years. At the same time, he constantly shifted from route to route. The main disadvantages of the train were its rigidity, low speed and inconvenience to passengers. But his design was very cool. Sorry, no one took it into development. Let's discuss in our Telegram chat, would you like to ride this?

The most beautiful car

Thanks to the fact that I am writing articles for one ofthe most famous resources in their field and I have the opportunity to publicly express my opinion, I can say which car in my opinion is the most beautiful in history. I think many will agree with me that this is the legendary first-generation Ford GT. For all its brutal angularity, there is something unusual and enchanting in it.

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Ford gt40

The second half of the last century was rich inunusual car models that pleased us with their appearance. These include the Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Corvette, the famous Cadillac models and even the legendary Audi Quattro.

1969 Dodge Charger

Audi Quattro rally

Despite the worthy competitors, Ford GT40 stands apart. It was produced in the 60s of the last century and was specially created for victories at Le Mans, as opposed to Enzo Ferrari cars.

The number 40 in the name was not accidental. It meant the full height of the car, 40 inches (102 cm), prescribed by the rules of the competition.

Ford GT40 (rear view)

The car looked as unusual as possible, combining in its design the simplicity of the lines with hidden aggressiveness, allowing you to recognize it as a sports car at first glance.

Not so long ago, the model received an update, but this is a completely different car in which there is no former charm. The novelty is again similar to other modern cars. It’s a pity ... Such a car was profiled.

The most memorable phone

Before Steve Jobs showed off the stagefirst is the iPhone, and all manufacturers began to copy it, blindly mistaking it as a standard, real madness was happening in the mobile phone market. I wanted to go up to those who drew devices such as the Nokia 7600, Nokia 7610 and Nokia N-Gage, pat them on the shoulder and ask them to pour out what they smoked. Other manufacturers also sometimes released something unusual, but they could not keep up with Nokia.

Freaky Nokia 7600

Of the models at that time of the still Finnish brand, I can mention not even bizarre decisions that looked like powder boxes, boxes, sometimes it’s not clear what, specifically the 8110 model.

Just do not be confused with the “banana”, which is notso long ago they showed simultaneously with the updated (too loud word) Nokia 3310. Both devices had little in common with the originals, and therefore did not find wide popularity.

Nokia 8110

Now I'm talking about the phone with which Neoran from the Agents in the Wachowski Matrix, who at that time were still brothers. The design of the device was unusual, but rather brutal. In my opinion, this is the perfect combination of pretentiousness and rigor for that time. Thanks for this Nokia model. She could resist the market and offer her alternatives.

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The most difficult boat

In films about the rich people of the second half of the last century, strange boats that looked like ordinary ones flashed more than once, but they looked very unusual due to the lacquered wood finish.

There were a lot of options for such boats, butthey received the greatest distribution in Venice. They could also be found on the French Riviera and the port of Monaco, but there were significantly fewer of them.

In my opinion, just such a combination of materials and a simple form is a good combination of the functionality of an ordinary boat and the luxury that the richest person can afford.

Such boats are still found on the narrow canals of this Italian city, but the old models no longer look so good, and new ones are practically not produced. It's a pity…

Who is the best designer?

Who draws the design of objects better? The one who is doing this now, or the one who has attached his pencil to the items and vehicles described above? There is no definite answer. On the one hand, evolution has led to the averaging of everything that surrounds us. On the other hand, then the world was more diverse and interesting. Although, perhaps, this is just nostalgia and a desire to love something that is no longer there.

Appearance of any device or object -the concept is as subjective as possible. Someone likes one thing, someone else. That is why I do not insist on the peremptory nature of my opinion. You may not agree with me, but I gathered some of the most beautiful things in my opinion and decided to share this selection.

What do you think when designers worked more boldly? Then or now?