In 1978, High Tech: The Industrial Style and Source Book for The Home, written by design journalists Joan Kron and Suzanne Slesin, was published. This and White By Design were two hardcover coffee table books that I frequently saw in bookstores, promised myself I would buy but never did. The raison d'etre of the Hi Tech design movement is seen as an evolution of the scientific and technical advances of the 1970s and abundance of hi tech devices in common use, leading to the appropriation of industrial and technical products in the home. The book was seminal and influential in use of the term Hi Tech - read more about it here.
As a manufacturer for many decades, I found the use of the Hi Tech products in the home to be appealing for other reasons as well - the generally superior construction and cleaner, simpler design of industrial or commercial products. Those who use products in a commercial environment typically value function over form and durability over anything else. The foolishness of saving a few dollars purchasing equipment quickly becomes apparent when having to stop the wheels of production. Someone in business simply needs products that work well and reliably. And although aesthetics does not typically drive the design of commercial equipment, it does evolve towards the simplest form and construction that does the job properly. Often, this design becomes iconic and attractive from a minimalist perspective. One example is the bullet styled garbage can in stainless steel.
Industrial elements have other appeals. Around New York City, in the outer fringes and edges, one will often find photo shoots with fashion models superimposed over gritty or industrial urban backdrops. The juxtaposition of the very disparate elements is quite effective in making the subject stand out.
All this considered, I was stunned to see the couple in today's photos under the Manhattan Bridge on a freezing cold January day. The wedding is still a rather traditional affair and this was an extremely radical departure from the ever popular New York City locales used for wedding photo shoots such as Central Park on a beautiful spring or summer day.
I wish I was friends with this couple because I have such the perfect wedding gift that I really think they would love, a set of two books - Hi Tech and White by Design :)