PHAIDON DESIGN CLASSICS is the first comprehensive and authoritative collection of classic design objects. This beautifully illustrated three-volume set of books presents 999 industrially manufactured products, carefully selected by a group of experts. It is the first definitive illustrated sourcebook on the evolution of design to include such a wide scope of objects in detail.
From cars to furniture, from tableware to cameras, from everyday objects to airplanes, this breadth of design has never before been collected in such a way before. PHAIDON DESIGN CLASSICS tells the story of design’s evolution around the world from the late 1600's to the present, bringing together patents, prototypes, old advertisements, original drawings, images showing the process of manufacturing, as well as rare archival photographs. The anthology features an astonishing 4,000 images.
The objects are presented chronologically, beginning with an elegant pair of Chinese bonsai scissors from the early 1600s, still in production today, and ending with Barber Osgerby’s Lunar bath accessories, destined to become a classic. Glancing through the volumes, the reader will gain an understanding not only of the history of design, but a history of taste and culture. The book is an extraordinary journey through the objects that have shaped our society, from the first attempts to combine function and beauty in the nineteenth century, through the machine aesthetics of the thirties, the advent of plastic and other new materials in the fifties and sixties, up to the classics-to-be of the last ten years.