A 'design classic' is an industrially manufactured object with timeless aesthetic value. It serves as a standard of its kind and, despite the year in which it was designed, is still up to date. The objects in this book - all of which are still in production today - are presented chronologically: each on a single page with a large image and a concise caption, written by one of over fifty experts in the field of design. These texts provide a historical context, with key information about the development of the design, and an explanation as to why that particular design is important and groundbreaking.

This mini edition of the best-selling Phaidon Design Classics series gives the reader an understanding not only of the history of design, but also the history of taste and culture. It is an extraordinary journey through the objects that have shaped our society, from the first attempts to combine function and beauty in the nineteenth century, through the machine aesthetics of the thirties, the advent of plastic and other new materials in the fifties and sixties, up to the 'classics'-to-be of the last ten years.