Designs can be world renowned for different reasons. Whether it’s for their beauty, function or smart features. However, it can be rare for a design to hold all three of these elements. The designers have shown that they hold the potential to permanently change the way that the world lives.
A truly influential design doesn’t come along often, but when it does, it seems to have an impact on the rest of the world.
Learn about designs that have influenced the world, and how they made an impact.
The Dyson Vacuum
James Dyson spent years developing a bagless vacuum that wouldn’t loose suction or clog the machine. While prioritising the function of the design, he didn’t want to compromise on the look. James wanted to develop a vacuum that looked, felt and performed impressively.
The dual focus of the design then led to the development of a range of products including the bladeless fan, hairdryer and airblade hand dryer.
Permanent collections of the Dyson models are included in design museums all over the world, as one design went on to change other areas of design.
Designs that change the world don’t need to be complicated, just innovative. Post-it notes were a simple design idea that influenced the world as many businesses and individuals went on to use them in their day-to-day lives. Art Fry, an employee of 3M, needed a better bookmark for his church hymnal. Spencer Silver, had developed a removable adhesive which hadn’t been utilized yet. The two ideas of developing a removable adhesive, and applying it to small bits of paper, created a simple to use and extremely functional design.
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, an influential designer in the Bauhaus Modernist movement, designed the iconic Barcelona Chair, accompanied with matching ottoman and daybed. The design was designed for Spanish Royalty during the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona.
The chairs, stools and daybed were as stylish as they were functional, that they were a huge success and were widely manufactured for homeowners to enjoy.
Before digital cameras and instant photography, Edwin H. Land introduced the Polaroid camera and it was an instant success. Influential artists like Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams explored the possibilities of instant film using the Polaroid camera.
In 2008, there was an announcement that producing the film would stop, a group known as the Impossible Project, stepped in to keep the products alive and produced the film that could be used.
With the ability to carry an entire library in a device smaller than books themselves. Kindle’s boosted sales of a new market of self-published e-books allowing more authors to become more successful.
When it was introduced in 2007, the first release sold out in five and a half hours. Over 10 years since the introduction, the Kindle has changed the way we read for the foreseeable future.
S’well Water Bottle
As plastic bottles were found to have a detrimental impact on the environment, we needed to look for newer, modern solution that would stop hurting our planet. Sarah Kauss in 2010 took on the problem, designing an attractive reusable water bottle. Her solution was the S’well water bottle, which had practical features like a triple-walled insulation, BPA free materials and doesn’t cause as much damage to the environment.
Now, you see these designs or variations of the designs in offices, gyms and homes all over the world. The design changed the way we drink as it can keep drinks colder and fresher for longer.