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Designing Modern AmericaBroadway to Main Street$
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Christopher Innes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108040

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108040.001.0001

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Egos at Work

Egos at Work

Chapter:
(p.17) 2 Egos at Work
Source:
Designing Modern America
Author(s):

Christopher Innes

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300108040.003.0002

This chapter describes how being in the right place at the right time made Joseph Urban and Norman Bel Geddes so influential. With consumer marketing and modern advertising just getting off the ground in New York, they helped create the demand for a new approach to industrial design, and the popularity of their products showed the commercial advantages of artists working with engineers. Still more important, they shared the perception that America was developing into a completely new kind of society: one calling for a distinct and modern style of living. In addition, the experience Urban brought with him to the New World meant that he was open to the wider possibilities of design. Although initially known in the States solely as a stage designer, back in turn-of-the-century Austria he had already done illustrations for children's fairy tales and designs for postage stamps, undertaken various architectural projects, as well as mounted an elaborate day-long pageant celebrating the Imperial Jubilee of 1908.

Keywords:   consumer marketing, modern advertising, New York, commercial advantages, New World

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