Write a 1500 word essay that expresses, in your own words, a story about two designers who meet and converse about their work in a brief but entertaining conversation.

ASSIGNMENT 02: Designer Comparison Essay/Story DUE: 10/20/16


Articulate the relationship between cultural context and design innovation and expression;
Research designers from historic periods and familiarize yourself with their signature works;
Use the structure of comparison to highlight the similarities and differences between two different types of designed products (buildings, products, graphics and services and systems).
Practice your editing! Convey details in a concise and well-structured story.


Understanding more about the people who have contributed to the establishment of the design disciplines is an important step toward being knowledgeable about design processes and practices. And as design practices have become more actively entwined with people in general, using well-told stories to communicate messages has become a critical design skill.

Use this opportunity to learn about two designers by comparing one to another and demonstrate your awareness of how some particular aspect of their design process or a well-known design project for which they have been credited can be explained through an imaginative story you create. Write a story that sets the stage for the meeting of the two designers you have investigated. Describe the place where the meeting occurs… what would make sense, given the personalities involved? Do they meet over lunch? In a court room? When one attends the exhibition of another? Do they follow each other on Twitter? You decide and describe the scenario. Include an image of a significant design associated with each of the designers in your essay.

In your story, one of the designers should engage the other by either 1) telling him/her about how his/her work has been a positive influence on the younger designer (and why); or by 2) making the point that times have changed, and that new times require exciting new approaches to design (and why); or by 3) making the point that what is new can never live up to the quality of what was done in the past (and why).

Context for your story should be the most critical cultural factors such as wars or other types of life- altering political events, advancements in science, engineering or manufacturing, and/or key evolutions in cultural expression (art, music, literature, etc.). Illustrate your story with one image that you feel helps support the point being made in the exchange between the two designers. Be sure to provide a reference list for any sources you use to support the information your story provides, including sources for the images.

Choose your two designers from the list on page two. Because this story is a work of fiction, the two designers do not have to have lived in the same place at the same time. Anything is possible!


A 1500 word essay that expresses, in your own words, a story about two designers who meet and converse about their work in a brief but entertaining conversation. Your story should be presented as a double-spaced pdf, deposited in Carmen prior to the start of class on 10/20/16. No hard copy of this assignment is required.

Evaluation Criteria

Comparison of designers’ works is articulate and imaginative 10 points

Background information contextualizes key points 4 points

Ability of image to illustrate critical comparative point 3 points

Format and citations are correct and complete 3 points


Spatial Design/Architecture

Antoni Gaudi (1852- 1926) Spain

Le Corbusier (1887- 1965) Switzerland

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867- 1959) USA

Walter Adolph Gropius (1883-1969) Germany

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) UK

Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe (1883-1969) Germany

Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) USA

Eileen Gray (1878-1976) Ireland

Lucien Kroll (1927-) Belgium

Charles Correa (1930-) India

Arata Isozaki (1931-) Japan

Peter Eisenman (1932-) USA

Norman Foster (1935-) UK

Renzo Piano (1937-) Italian

Charles Jenks (1939-) USA

Tadao Ando (1941-) Japan

Frank Gehry (1941-) Canada

Samuel Mockbee (1944- 2001) USA

Jean Nouvel ( 1945-) France

Peter Zumthor (1946-) Switzerland

Daniel Libeskind (1946-) Poland

Li Xiaodong (1955- ) China

Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) Iraq

Cameron Sinclair (1973-) UK

Visual Communication Design

Alexey Brodovitch (1898-1971) Russia

Herbert Bayer (1900- 1985) Austria/USA

Paul Rand (1914-1996) USA

Herb Lubalin (1918- 1981) USA

Lou Dorsfman (1918- 2008) USA

Armin Hoffman (1920-) Switzerland

Saul Bass (1920-1996) USA

Milton Glaser (1929-) USA John Massey (1931-) USA

Massimo Vignelli (1931-2014 ) Italy

Ivan Chermayeff (1932- ) UK

Steff Geisbuhler (1942-) Switzerland

Wolfgang Weingart (1941-) Germany

Wim Crouwel (1947-) Dutch

Paula Scher (1948-) USA

William Drentell ( 1953 -) USA

David Carson ( 1954 -) USA

Tim Brown (1958- ) UK

Kenya Hara (1958- ) Japan

Irma Boom (1960-) Netherlands

Stefan Sagmeister (1962- ) Austria

Ellen Lupton (1963-) USA

Neville Brody (1967-) UK

Fanette Mallier (1977-) France

Industrial Design

Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951) Germany

Walter Dorwin Teague (1883-1960) USA

Norman Bel Geddes (1893-1958)

Raymond Loewy (1893-1986) USA

Donald Deskey (1893-1989) USA

Arne Jacobsen ( 1902-1971) Denmark

Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) USA

Viktor Schreckengost (1906-2008)

Charles Eames (1907-1978) +

Ray Eames (1912-1988) USA

George Nelson (1908-1986) USA

Hans Jørgensen Wegner (1914-2007) Denmark

Florence Knoll (1917-) USA

Verner Panton (1926-1998) Denmark

Sergio Pininfarina (1926-2012) Italy

Niels Diffrient (1928-2013) USA Dieter Rams (1932-) Germany

Syd Mead (1933-) USA

Luigi Colani (1928-) Germany

Michael Graves (1934-2015) USA

Mario Bellini (1935-) Italy

James Dyson (1947-) UK

Philippe Starck (1949 France

David Kelley (1951-) USA

Ross Lovegrove ( 1958-) UK

Ken Okuyama (1959-) Japan

Karim Rashid (1960-) Egypt

Jonathan Ive (1967-) USA

Yves Behar (1967-) Switzerland

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