Fred Noyes and Gordon Bruce, "Eliot Noyes: A pioneer of design and architecture in the age of American Modernism"

Eliot Noyes was a remarkable figure in twentieth-century design. An architect who graduated from Harvard and began his career working in the office of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, he went on to become the first Director of the Industrial Design department at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in the 1940s. From the late 1950s until his death in 1977, he was Consulting Director of Design for IBM, Mobil Oil, Westinghouse and Cummins Engine Company, and was responsible for bringing about a change in the way that these corporations, and others that followed, were to think about design and its impact on business. He enlisted pioneering designers, including Charles Eames, Paul Rand, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, to help him bring about innovative architectural, graphic and industrial design. He was personally responsible for the design of some notable twentieth-century classics, such as IBM's Selectric typewriter and Mobil Oil's service stations and petrol pumps. His own work includes architectural projects, such as the award-winning Noyes family residence in Connecticut. The speech will trace the life of this unique architect and designer who devoted a great deal of his career to encouraging large American businesses to respect and develop policies that were rich in cultural expression.