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While working with the Eliot Noyes & Associates, Architecture and Industrial Design, Mr. Bruce was exposed to many pioneering principles regarding the creation of successful design programs since his boss, Eliot Noyes created the first design program in the USA for IBM. Other corporations have ever since followed IBM’s lead (from ‘95 to ‘99, Mr. Bruce used much of what learned from Eliot Noyes’ design programs reeducating Samsung’s top designers at the “Innovative Design lab of Samsung”).

Thomas J. Watson Jr.: CEO of IBM

Eliot Noyes was the first “Consulting Design Director” for IBM and he worked with then CEO, Thomas Watson Jr., to create IBM’s design policies and program. Mr. Noyes wrote to Mr. Watson many times repeating, ‘Good Design = Good Business’, and it is from this repeated mantra where the famous quote by Mr. Watson, “Good Design is Good Business” came from for his famous Tiffany & Co. speech.

After 10 years of trying to convince Watson about the need for a major design program, Watson hired Noyes, in 1957, as IBM’s Consulting Design Director, and as such, Noyes created the first design program in the USA that included industrial design, architecture, graphics, interiors and fine art procurement.

First Design Program

Based on Eliot Noyes’ program principles, his consulting office also worked along side with IBM’s internal design staff. As design principles evolved, Noyes developed the principle for IBM’s design standards, which were constantly revised and updated. As Noyes said, “Design is not revolutionary, design is evolutionary.”

Design Guidelines

The guidelines described general design principles that were followed but also modified and updated to meet the demands of new and evolving technologies creating a modern design experience. As Noyes said, “Modern times demand modern ideas.” These images reflect the advancement of IBM’s design expression from the 1960’s to ‘70’s.

Design Reviews

Noyes would hold internal design reviews with IBM’s internal design staff – these were conducted at different locations around the world repeated throughout the year to maintain the best design quality and consistency.

Noyes also held design reviews with top management and IBM’s CEO four to six times a year in the famous “White Room” with all of IBM’s product lines.

Eliot Noyes

If there is interest in the programs that Mr. Noyes created for IBM, Mobil Oil, Westinghouse and Cummins Engine Company, please see the book published by Phaidon Press, London and written by Mr. Bruce about Eliot Noyes, which was released in 2007.

Reviews about Bruce's book on Eliot Noyes

Amazon - Eliot Noyes

Businessweek - The Forgotten Pioneer of Corporate Design

Forbes - Money Follows Form

Interior Design Magazing - Eliot Noyes

Wallpaper - Retrospective: Eliot Noyes

Core77 - Book Review: Eliot Noyes