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Norman Bel Geddes

Norman Bel Geddes

*  1893 Adrian
† 1958 New York

Norman Bel Geddes is, in company with Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, and Walter Dorwin Teague, one of the all-time greats of the American streamline style of design and belonged to the first generation of American industrial designers. After studying art at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, Norman Bel Geddes first worked as a set deigner in Los Angeles. From 1918 Norman Bel Geddes designed stage sets for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1925 Norman Bel Geddes returned to Los Angeles, where he designed sets for Hollywood films and the theater. In 1927 Norman Bel Geddes embarked on a second career as an industrial designer. From 1928 Norman Bel Geddes designed futuristic cars for Graham Paige. Norman Bel Geddes was an eloquent advocate of the teardrop form and used it as an aesthetic device in his designs for kitchen appliances and furnishings. In 1939 Norman Bel Geddes designed the General Motors Pavilion, known as the "Futurama", for the New York World's Fair, his vision of the tomorrow's world as a landscape dotted with model buildings. Norman Bel Geddes also explained his philosophy of design in "Horizons", a book published in 1932, in which he also called for close collaboration between designers and engineers. His book "Magic Motorways" was published in 1940.