Page 1





Before and after streamlined design.



MATERIALS and elements

How the streamline movement was influenced by the new materials available to the USA in the 1939’s

LEADING THINKERS and influences


The faces of the streamline movement.

Streamlined and ho pro


PORTation AND ducts

d transportation ousehold oducts

8 7 6 interior design


Graphic design Streamlined Graphic Design

Streamlined buildings

Streamlined houses


today’s streamlined design

How the streamlined movement has influenced today’s designers.

Written by Sebast

tinella Dunne



America was hit by the great depression during the summer of 1929. The infamous Wall Street Crash, also known as Black Tuesday, was the beginning of the most devastating economic crisis in the entire history of the United States. Stocks had lost 90% of their value and jobs were at an all-time low. Customer demand had shrunken to the bare necessities and the future of companies and businesses was looking bleak. Manufacturers needed new ways to increase consumerism and so formed an alliance with new modern product designers that created household items that were functional and practical but, unlike the other home appliances of the 1930’s, were also stylish works of art. People wanted modern appliances in their homes as they represented progress and gave them an optimistic view of the future. Style became equally as important as function and advertisers now had lots to talk about, promoting desirable lifestyles from new designs and giving the consumer the impression that by buying these products they were participating in economic progress. The great depression was still ongoing, but the economic innovations brought in by designers had made products affordable for everyone. By using stamping and moulding they had the opportunity to use cheap but efficient materials, such as chrome, aluminium, stainless steel. vinyl, bakelite and plywood. Industrial products began to “receive a Machine Age makeover.” (Steven Heller & Louise Fili – Streamline.) Lamps, hairdryers and staplers began to be characterised by curvaceous shapes that shouted speed and progress; everything was being designed with an optimistic vision of the future in mind. The Streamline movement had a huge influence on the American architecture of this time, giving birth to vast curvaceous buildings that presented little to no right angles. Consumers started to embrace the modern day living and styling of their homes with products they may not have needed, but that served as an emotional pick up from the Great Depression. This book explores the characteristics of Streamline design at its best, the powerful effect that it had on America during the depression and how it still has an effect on modern design today.






products and transportation



Streamlined book2  
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