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John Hodgeman summarizes the intricacies of design in under seven minutes in his design explained keynote. The comedian, writer and former literary agent uses three examples to talk about modern design—the theme building in Los Angeles, Phillippe Starck’s citrus juicer and Apple’s iPhone.
With a sense of humor and wit, Hodgman describes the theme building as the first example of ancient extraterrestrial architecture. It is the uncluttered structure that led to the creation of streamlined, archaically futuristic designs called googie, synonymous with the jet age.
Phillippe Starck’s citrus juicer is described not as a monument to design but a monument to design’s utility. Through the juicer’s precision, playfulness and innovation it turns any kitchen space into a monument of design. Hodgman’s summary of the iPhone describes it as something that is easily forgettable. Its design and functions are simultaneously futuristic and immediately adopted into everyday existence. John Hodgman says, “it is an example of taking something alien and making it familiar and intimate.”