Inspired

One of the main reasons I wanted to write about design, as a journalist, early in my career, was an obsession with reading science fiction as a teenager. All those lurid stories about future worlds, with gleaming monorails, disobedient robots, visiting aliens and vanishing rocket ships, kindled an interest in the possibilities of the man-made world that designers and architects address every day.

The more the stories were rooted in the commonplace – ordinary folk disturbed by a passing meteorite or human moral dilemmas applied to intelligent machines – the more I was hooked. By the time I reached university, I was starting to wean myself off ‘trashy’ science fiction and on to the classics, but not before I had worked my way through the great works of Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), author of I Robot and one of the finest minds of the genre.

Asimov (pictured) was simply a phenomenon, a genius of popular science and a very strange guy with it, as you might expect from a close friend of Star Trek founder Gene Roddenberry. Four years before he died, I met Asimov when he gave a keynote at the Industrial Designers’ Society of America conference in New York. He was every bit as weird as I had imagined, but seeing him talk closed the loop between my teenage passion for science fiction and my professional adult fascination with all forms of design.

Jeremy Myerson

InnovationRCA

Latest articles