They begin in California, viewing a property built from the wings and tail fins of a Boeing 747. In Arizona, the pair stay in a modern house with an innovative take on an ancient technique of absorbing the heat during the day and releasing it at night. In New Zealand, Caroline and Piers view a house camouflaged using cedar cladding, while their last stop takes them to a hexagonal alpine chalet with a steel chimney core that anchors it to the mountain.
Trevor McIvor and his partners design buildings that take advantage of the innate heating and cooling characteristics of nature. From an off the grid “cottage” that requires no artificial cooling, to a green-roofed sound studio rising out of the earth, nature dictates the design flow.
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.
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.