Tower, Typewriter, and Trademark: Architects, Designers, and the Corporate Utopia, 1956-1964


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Institute of Fine Arts


In my dissertation, I will analyze the visual and corporate strategies of five corporations--CBS, Connecticut General, Deere & Co., IBM, and Union Carbide--who hired constellations of top designers to remake their companies, inside and out, from 1956 to 1964. Structured as a set of investigations, it will be integrated by the overlap of the designers employed by these companies, the simultaneity of the projects, and my return, in each case, to my central theme of corporate utopia. I will argue that the interwar utopian goals for architecture are not antithetical, but sometimes parallel, to a particular brand of postwar American capitalism.