Who would you choose as the top three influencers of design of the last century?
“Mies van Der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames and Richard Buckminster Fuller. Mies van Der Rohe was the greatest architect and designer to come out of the Bauhaus School, Charles and Ray Eames had incredible ingenuity in using new methods and materials, and Buckminster Fuller for making the ultimate dome.” Terence Conran, chairman, Conran & Partners
“Walter Gropius because of the Bauhaus, which has been hugely significant; Alvar Aalto, because of the largely underestimated influence of Scandinavian design; and Saul Bass, who picked up powerful threads such as the corporate world and the moving image.” Jim Northover, chairman, Lloyd Northover Citigate
“Issey Miyake freed the design of clothes through fashion and has pushed it. His amazing design is simplifying yet has a wonderful flying vision. Without Walt Disney you wouldn’t have the Simpsons which is the most wonderful piece of creativity at the moment – it’s stupendous. Eliot Noyes was IBM’s design consultant at the start and broke modern architecture into being what corporations did. He had an over-arching vision for it.” Michael Wolff, founding partner, The Fourth Room
“Eric Gill – in my view he was that perfect cross between a great artist and a great typographer. The combination made the genius. Aircraft designer Reginald J Mitchell was a great engineer and designed the Spitfire 15 years before it ever got produced. It was an uphill struggle and he died before one was ever made. And David Ogilvy: the father of advertising. He treated consumers intelligently and with respect, by appealing to their emotions for the first time.” Martin Lambie-Nairn, founder, Lambie-Nairn
“In architecture: Alvar Aalto, as he became an international architect without losing his Finnish roots, a local perspective. In graphic design Savignac, I show his work at any lectures I give. And Giorgio Armani: he democratised fashion, making it accessible to everybody. Young boys looking smart in their Next suits can thank Giorgio Armani.” Marcello Minale, chairman, minale tattersfield