It has been a long time, over half a century, since U.S. design was this good. American industrial design rose to prominence in the 1930s and 1940s, when legendary pioneers such as Raymond Loewy and Walter Dorwin Teague helped define the discipline. By the 1960s, however, Europeans were dominant, and U.S. design firms spent the '70s and '80s playing catch-up. To judge by the 1996 Industrial Design Excellence Awards, given by the Industrial Designers Society of America and sponsored by BUSINESS WEEK, the cutting edge of design may be moving back to the U.S.
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