Better Living Through Chemistry • 2010 • episode "4/5" The Genius of Design

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The story of design enters the 50s and 60s, when a revolutionary new material called plastic combined with the miracles of electronic miniaturisation to allow designers to offer post-war consumers something new: liberation.

The Genius of Design • 0 • 5 episodes •

Ghosts in the Machine

The first episode of this new series tells the fascinating story of the birth of industrial design. Alongside the celebrated names, from Wedgwood to William Morris, it also explores the work of the anonymous designers responsible for prosaic but classic designs for cast-iron cooking pots to sheep shears - harbingers of a breed of industrially produced objects culminating in the Model T Ford. Includes interviews with legendary designer Dieter Rams and J Mays, Ford Motors' global head of design.

2010 • Design

Designs for Living

In the crisis-stricken decades of the 1920s and 1930s, with the world at the tipping point between two global wars, design suggested dramatically different ideas about the shape of things to come, from the radical futurism of the Bauhaus to the British love affair with mock-Tudor architecture and the three-piece suite.

2010 • Design

Blueprints for War

The Genius of Design examines the Second World War through the prism of the rival war machines designed and built in Germany, Britain, the USSR and the USA, with each casting a fascinating sidelight on the ideological priorities of the nations and regimes which produced them.

2010 • Design

Better Living Through Chemistry

The story of design enters the 50s and 60s, when a revolutionary new material called plastic combined with the miracles of electronic miniaturisation to allow designers to offer post-war consumers something new: liberation.

2010 • Design

Objects of Desire

Picking up the story of design from the drab days of the late 70s, the final episode tracks the explosion of wild creativity that defined the 'designer decades' of the 80s and early 90s. By addressing wants rather than needs and allying themselves to the blatant consumerism of 'retail culture' designers emerged from the backrooms to claim a starring role in the shaping of modern life.

2010 • Design

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Piers Taylor and Caroline Quentin visit an island in Norway, spending two days in a house built on a footprint of just 100 square metres. In Spain, the pair head to a home built into a steep cliff face overlooking the Mediterranean, featuring a cantilevered terrace offering maximum sea views and a swimming pool as well as an unusual tiled roof. After viewing a house in New Zealand crafted from two separate wooden cladded structures, the duo explore a home in Canada inspired by two ships in dry dock, designed to peer over the coast, allowing the sea to pass underneath.

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Underground

Piers Taylor and Caroline Quentin explore unusual homes built underground. In Greece, they view a house hidden beneath the landscape that still boasts stunning sea views. In the Swiss Alps, they visit a house made so invisible it has to be accessed via a tunnel. Next it's over to New Zealand's South Island to a house built underground to soften its impact on the landscape as well as withstand the threat of earthquakes, before the pair inspects a Dutch house created by deep excavation, which features a huge, light-filled open-plan living space.

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Cities

Cities are growing at a faster rate than any other habitat on Earth. They may seem an unlikely place for animals to thrive, but they can be a world of surprising opportunity. Leopards prowl the streets of Mumbai, peregrine falcons hunt amongst New York's skyscrapers, and a million starlings perform spectacular aerial dances over Rome. In Jodhpur, langurs are revered as religious deities and in Harar, locals live in harmony with wild hyenas. Many animals, however, struggle to cope in the urban jungle. As the architects of this environment, can humans choose to build cities that are homes for both them and wildlife?

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