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Cult Objects

Citroen DS (1955)

Carlton cabinet (1981) - Ettore Sottsass

Design [...]

In industrial and product design, cult objects are those objects that have reached cult status because of the devotion of avid collectors.

Design classics

Some industrial designs are viewed as classic pieces of design that can be regarded as much as works of art as pieces of engineering. This is a list of designs that are regarded as having reached this classic status.

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_classic [Jan 2005]


  1. Cult Of Vespa (2001) - Umberto Eco, Omar Calabrese, Maurizio Bettini, Tommaso Fanfani, Francois Burkhardt, Francesca Picchi, Sebastiano Vassalli, Francesco Alberoni, Marino Livolsi, Gilberto Filippetti, Alessandro Baricco, Antonio Tabucchi, Lina Wertmuller (Editor) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Here is the entertaining history about the most successful 'cult-scooter' Vespa in its 50th anniversary. Not many products reach the goal of a fifty-year-life-span. The 50 years of Vespa are even more striking if one considers the condition and the period in which it came to existence. Many post-war inventions were forgotten when income rose and life standard improved. But Vespa instead, developed from a utility vehicle, into an international success, a 'cult-object', which has given rise to the creation of associations and collector's guilds world-wide. Text by Umberto Eco, Omar Calabrese, Lina Wertmuller, François Burkhardt, Maurizio Bertini, and many other celebrities.

  2. Cult Objects: The Complete Guide to Having It All (1985) - Deyan Sudjic [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Design in the ´80s had been characterized by limited author's series (or solitaires) of furniture, promoted through a specialized network of galleries. Furniture pieces became cult objects as a result of medialization using famous designer names. On the other hand, in the case of designing for large-scale production, designers had often been obedient subordinates to marketing and advertisement specialists and superficial effects were preferred to a deeper focus on the very functional characteristics of the product. In the atmosphere of relative economic prosperity, hedonism had prevailed over morals. After a promising start in the previous decade the "humanistic design" had not developed as expected with respect to the civilization needs and only the economic recession in the ´90s revived the interest in the values thereof. Deyan Sudjic

  3. Icons of Design: The 20th Century (2000) - Volker Albus (Introduction), Reyer Kras (Editor), Jonathan M. Woodham (Editor) [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The Coca Cola bottle, Zippo lighter, Minox Camera, Lego building blocks, Barbie, Harley Davidson, Apple Macintosh, and Philips Compact Disc are considered everyday objects, but they are also noted for their extraordinary design. ICONS OF DESIGN: The 20th Century introduces more than 80 exceptional objects that symbolize something greater than their mere form or function. The creatively smooth, seductive and simple designs that captured our fascination have become icons of our industrial culture. From 1900 until the beginning of the new millennium, this volume surveys an internationally diverse spectrum of design objects: from a unique piece such as Raymond Loewys streamlined pencil sharpener to mass produced items such as the classic Italian espresso maker Moka Express, the VW Beetle, or Ron Arads Bookworm shelf. What unites these diverse cult objects is the impact they have had on the history of twentieth-century design and culture. In ICONS OF DESIGN, the designs vary from houseware items like the Tupperware container to transportation and industrial designs. These industrial icons include the Underwood Typewriter No. 5, the Ford Model T, the Mercedes Silver Arrow, the Hindenburg Zeppelin, the DC-3 Dakota, the Citron 2CV, the Vespa Motor Scooter, and the Greyhound Scenicruiser. The greatest names and accomplishments in design during the past 100 years are featured in ICONS OF DESIGN. Among the designers included are Alvar Aalto, Ron Arad, Peter Behrens, Marcel Beuer, Achille Castiglioni, Charles Eames, Henry Ford, Frog Design, Eileen Gray, Harley Davidson, Josef Hoffmann, Arne Jacobsen, Raymond Loewy, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Ferdinand Porsche, Dieter Rams, Gerrit Rietveld, Richard Sapper, Ettore Sottsass, Philippe Starck, Earl Tupper, and Wilhelm Wagenfeld. ICONS OF DESIGN is the latest edition in Prestels series Icons of the 20th Century. Focusing on design, it complements the volumes already available on art, architecture, photography and fashion. Concise and authoritative texts by leading experts in the field are matched with sumptuous photography, historical documentation and biographies of the designers. A select bibliography and an index round out the book, making it an informative and entertaining source for anybody interested in design. Specialists, collectors and enthusiast alike will find this volume a necessary fixture to their design library. --amazon.com

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