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The InterfaceIBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945-1976$
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John Harwood

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670390

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670390.001.0001

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Eliot Noyes, Paul Rand, and the Beginnings of the IBM Design Program

Eliot Noyes, Paul Rand, and the Beginnings of the IBM Design Program

(p.16) (p.17) Chapter One Eliot Noyes, Paul Rand, and the Beginnings of the IBM Design Program
The Interface

John Harwood

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses the beginning of Eliot Noyes’ association with IBM. It initially presents a background of Noyes’ architectural work, noting his compound methods to design—a combination of traditional techniques and high modernism. Noyes was strongly influenced by Peter Behrens, a prominent member of Werkbund and pioneer of corporate design. Behrens’ ideologies were passed on to Noyes through his professor, Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school and proponent of modern and industrial design. The chapter then discusses Noyes’ conception of “organic design”, which can be interpreted as the link between the characteristic of being organic and the harmonious organization of different parts. It also recounts Noyes’ and eventually Paul Rand’s involvement in the reinvention of the IBM graphics.

Keywords:   Eliot Noyes, Peter Behrens, Werkbund, corporate design, Walter Gropius, Bauhaus school, industrial design, organic design, Paul Rand

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