History has given us some fabulous creations and those genius ideas by those design geniuses that have gone before that have provided us with many of the time and space saving gadgets, designs and gizmos that we use on a regular basis today. From the pen (or IPad) you’re writing with, to the glasses you’re peering through, there’s been a design genius behind each and every one of our best-loved inventions.
When you think of the great minds in history, Albert Einstein, Ludwig von Beethoven, Nikola Tesla, Sir Isaac Newton and other popular geniuses naturally come to mind. But there are also some geniuses that also deserve recognition. Geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci (Italian Painter), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Poet), Emanuel Swedenborg (Swedish scientist), Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (German Philosopher), John Stuart Mill (English Philosopher), Blaise Pascal (French Mathematician), Ludwig Wittgenstein (Austrian-born English philosopher) and so much more serve as an inspiration to take the thinking abilities of the mankind to the next level.
These innovative brains and great thinkers contribute a lot of inventions. In this post, we will discuss the seven out of thousands of design geniuses from the history. Innovators from the late centuries up to the geniuses who are shaking up the science today.
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1. László József Bíró
László József Bíró was a Hungarian born in the 1800s who designed the first ever ballpoint pen; you may well recognize the name ‘Bíró’ as this is the term by which most contemporary ballpoint pens are commonly known. Unfortunately, the original Mr Biro doesn’t still own the patent to the pens as it was purchased by Marcel Bich (or ‘Bic’) in 1945. However, the Hungarian’s pen has been quite revolutionary, from providing cheap writing implements that can be mass produced for use in schools, offices and homes across the land, to being used by the British Airforce who found them far more practical at high altitude than a fountain pen.
2. Louis Réard
Louis Réard may not have changed the world when he designed the modern bikini (named after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific) but he certainly produced a garment that became a sign of a new movement of freedom and liberation for the world’s women, as well as providing a great way to get an almost all over tan without getting naked. Réard made his first bikini from just 30 inches of fabric and he has always said that a two-piece could not be a genuine bikini “unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.”
3. Benjamin Franklin
As if being one of the Founding Fathers of the America wasn’t enough, Benjamin Franklin is also credited as being behind the genius design of bifocals, which he called “my double spectacles.” His original designs have gone on to inspire the wide range of compound corrective eyewear that those with sight problems have to choose from today. Whilst there has always been some dispute over whether Franklin can truly take credit for the specs, he was definitely the first to wear them and it’s commonly accepted by academics such as Dr. Charles Letocha (in his paper ‘The Invention and Early Manufacture of Bifocals’ published in 1990) that he also designed them.
4. Carl von Linde
Carl von Linde was a German engineer whose genius design of the first real refrigerator changed the way we all eat, shop and store food and basically made it possible for us to enjoy the wide range of imported produce we consume today. He designed a continuous process of liquefying gases in large quantities and it was this that provided the basis for the design of the modern fridge. Whilst the Chinese were the first to chop up and store ice in 1,000 BC, it was von Linde’s new design that made possible the mass production of refrigerators after the Second World War, and offered a far less labour intensive and more reliable solution to using natural ice.
5. Earl Silas Tupper
Earl Silas Tupper’s invention of Tupperware offered the world not only a way to store food in air tight containers, but also to transport it for lunch, take home a doggy bag from your mum’s Sunday roast and make household budgets stretch further by providing a solution to throwing food away. Interestingly, Tupper’s initial designs were unsuccessful and it took the genius idea of the Tupperware Party, thought up by one of Tupper’s female employees, to really sell the product.
6. Rowland Hill
Rowland Hill was the designer of the postage stamp and basically introduced the modern method of sending letters and parcels from location to location. Prior to this mail was paid for by the recipient, which brought inevitable problems where post was received that was not required! Whilst his design may be small in size, the genius of Hill’s stamps essentially opened up efficient postal communication to the masses.
7. Jonathan Ive
It’s highly unlikely that you will have heard of Jonathan Ive, unless you’re seriously into the who’s who of the design industry, but look around you in any public place and you will be able to see the results of his handiwork. Ive is senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple Inc. and that means that he is the genius design brain behind the iMac, MacBook Air, iPod, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad. Apple has undeniably changed the shape of the personal commuting and Smartphone market over the past 40 odd years, and Ive’s ideas have been key to that success.
One Final Thought
Without these innovative brains and their fantastic inventions, we’d still be writing with quills, communicating by smoke signals and unable to see past the end of our noses. Ok so perhaps it wouldn’t be that bad but there’s no doubt that these designers and their genius have certainly made the world a much more convenient, attractive and better-connected place.