Heroes that took design to another dimension

You probably don’t agree with Jeremy Myerson’s choice of designers who have shaped the 20th century – but no one can doubt the contribution they continue to make, through influence, if not through actual work.

You probably don’t agree with Jeremy Myerson’s choice of designers who have shaped the 20th century (see feature “DW199912170050”). We all have our own favourites – and you are very welcome to share yours,

via the Letters page, with other Design Week readers.

But no one can doubt the contribution that each of Myerson’s design heroes continues to make, through influence, if not through actual work.

It is interesting that many of the century’s greats have been three-dimensional designers. The cult of the object, be it car, chair or building, appears to have characterised the 1900s, particularly in the era after World War II.

But things are changing at a fairly rapid pace and the choice would be quite different if we looked at Nineties design alone. Philippe Starck and Lord Foster would still be in there, no doubt – as might Lord Rogers, Apple Computer design head Jonathan Ive, James Dyson and Israeli-born architect Ron Arad. But they would be competing with more communications designers, both graphic and electronic.

Martin Lambie-Nairn, Mark Farrow and Michael Johnson would be among the UK contenders. David Carson, Stefan Sagmeister and the late Tibor Kalman might rank among the global contingent.

But as the Nineties draw to a close, teams are increasingly in the limelight, rather than individuals, blending skills that go beyond pure design. It is just as likely that the Nineties legacy to design will feature consultancies such as Imagination, Tomato, Deepend, Ideo. Then, of course, there is the growing group of potent design managers on the client side. The list goes on…

How will things turn out in the next century? We welcome your nominations for individuals or groups that you reckon we’ll be lauding over the next ten years, to be published in a DW feature next year.

Millenium identity crisis

Talking of next year, has anyone got any idea what we call the years 2000 to 2010 – or indeed, the years 2011 to 2019? It’ll be straightforward once we hit the Twenties, but until then it’s a challenge for the naming experts among you.

And while you’re puzzling that one out, have yourselves a great Christmas and the DW team and I wish you all a memorable and prosperous new year.

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