Norman Bel Geddes

Norman Bel Geddes: American Design Visionary

by Nicolas P. Maffei

Nicolas P. Maffei is Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies in the School of Design, Norwich University of the Arts, UK. He has published widely on American design, streamlining, art deco and modernism. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

Search for publications
Bloomsbury Academic, 2018
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-8459-2 (hardback)

    978-1-4742-8461-5 (paperback)

    978-1-4742-8457-8 (epdf)

    978-1-4742-8458-5 (epub)

    978-1-4742-8460-8 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
Norman Bel Geddes
Collapse All Sections

Norman Bel Geddes has long been considered the ‘founder’ of American industrial design. During his long career he worked on everything from theatre design, world fairs and cars to houses and product and packaging design.

Nicolas P. Maffei’s magisterial biography draws on original material from the archive at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, and places Bel Geddes’ work within the fast-changing cultural and intellectual contexts of his time. Maffei shows how Bel Geddes’ futuristic but pragmatic style – his notion of ‘practical vision’ – was central to his work, and highly influential on the professional practice of American industrial design in general.