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Design Research : Marketing 'Good design' in the 50s, 60s, and 70s

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dc.contributor.author Levy, Janet,M.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-03-09T15:52:22Z
dc.date.available 2010-03-09T15:52:22Z
dc.date.issued 2004
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/8792
dc.description Masters thesis MA program in the History of the Decorative Arts and Design Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution and Parsons The New School for Design 2004
dc.description.abstract In 1953, a small shop named Design Research, Inc. (D/R) opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts, within an old clapboard row house. Design Research was the first store to sell Americans a comprehensive collection of household goods with a distinctly modernist attitude. Long before Ralph Lauren or Martha Stewart, D/R’s founder, Benjamin Thompson, was selling a lifestyle. Design Research: Marketing ‘Good Design’ in the 50s, 60s, and 70s presents the details of D/R’s history along with an overview of how household goods were marketed before and during the 1950s. The Design Research story is culled from the D/R business archives deposited in the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Library and contemporary newspaper and magazine articles. It examines how Ben Thompson’s thinking about architecture and how people live is reflected in the unique merchandise he sold. Design Research proved it was possible to sell modernism and “good design” to average Americans, not just a small, intellectual elite. It still influences how household goods are sold today. D/R’s marketing philosophy proved to be not just a passing fad; it expanded the audience for “good design,” and its legacy lives on at retailers such as Crate and Barrel, Conrans, Ikea, and Pottery Barn, naming only a few.
dc.subject Design
dc.title Design Research : Marketing 'Good design' in the 50s, 60s, and 70s
dc.type Thesis
dc.identifier.srbnumber 79940

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