Art Term

Industrial design

The term industrial design refers to design of mass-produced, machine-made goods

László Moholy-Nagy, ‘K VII’ 1922
László Moholy-Nagy
K VII 1922
Tate

The word was first used in America in the 1920s to describe the work of specialist designers who worked on product design. Earlier, Henry Ford’s introduction in 1913 of the production line to the motor car industry, and subsequently to the production of other merchandise, led to a move in the art world to attempt to weld art and technology together.

Constructivism in Russia and the bauhaus in Germany were inspired by the new machine age; putting emphasis on form following function they created design that had an abstract, geometric form.

Selected artworks in the collection