Great minds of Newton, Einstein and other scientist ushered in the world of science and made the impossible possible. However, there are other subtle designs made over the years that changed everything about how we see our world and how we prioritize that which is important and that which is not. Below are designed that shaped humanity as we know it.

  1. The bra

From the 16th century women wealthier women wore corset and bodice as undergarments to push their breast upwards; too many, they weren’t that comfortable. There was an increased desire to design something simple and comfier. It is until the 19th century that women would come to start wearing the bra (name used first by vogue in 1907). Till now bras have made their way into the fashion industry and even the sports arena. 

  1. Coca-Cola bottle

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Being one of the most shapes in the world, the shape came as a sketchy idea from industrial designer Raymond Loewy who called it the ‘perfect liquid wrapper.’ The bottle is now celebrated in music, art, and advertising and has been an iconic symbol in the whole world. With small changes over the century, the company has maintained most of its original design except for the plant bottle which is slightly improvised.

  1. Ur Leica camera

The predecessors of the Leica cameras were large instruments which relied on a steady tripod. This challenge gave the Leica’s an idea of making something portable and small in size. They created the compact camera with collapsible lenses which solved the problem of portability. Their design paved the way for the current modern camera opening door for professions such as journalism.

  1. Pavilion de l’Esprit Nouveau

The idea from Swiss-French architect Charles Jeanneret was to create a house that embodies the future, and that meant bigger and bigger going upwards. The pavilion was envisaged as one residing in a series of much more extensive blocks. The design was also to allow for the panoramic view of the city or scenery from your home as opposed to a small window. This kind of architecture has up to today shaped how we make our luxurious penthouses and mansions.

  1. Duralex Picardie glass

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The glass was invented in 1927, and its unbreakable property made it popular even though it wasn’t considered classy. This led to most homes with children having a preference for the Duralex Picardie glass. Today the glass comes in different shapes, size, and even color.

  1. CH24 chair

Its creation inspired by a picture of a Danish merchant sitting in Ming chairs, Hans Wegner came up with the CH24 which is sleek in its simplicity, beautiful in its perfect dimensions and has ushered the design of other great chairs over the century.

  1. Rimowa suitcase


Starting as luggage and leather goods maker, Richard Morsezeck was co-owner of with his father of a suitcase manufacturing company when fire destroyed all their production materials except the aluminum stock and the rest is history. Today Rimowa also produces suitcases out of polycarbonate but maintaining the original design.

  1. Braun SK4 record player

Dieter Rams together with Hans Gugelot desired to come with a user-friendly player who has a modern touch, unlike the traditional wooden cabinet. They decided to place the controls at the top instead of the sides and make it have a Plexiglas lid which earned it the nickname, ‘snow white coffin’. Today his designs have greatly influenced how Apple makes their products.

  1. Sputnik satellite

With competition between Russia and USA on who will reach the moon first or drop a satellite to orbit the earth before the other; Sergei Korolev made the one invention that would change everything. The 23 inches in diameter polished metal sphere with four external radio antennae was launched into the elliptical low earth orbit in 1957 and became the first artificial earth satellite. This development led to the advancement in technology to visit space with bigger machines such as space shuttles.

  1. Austin FX taxi

After horses quit the road and in came vehicles, the FX4 taxi was the real deal for transporting Londoners through the city. Designed by Eric Bailey, the vehicle was able to carry five passengers the driver and luggage. This development led to the new age of TX1.

  1. Miniskirt

According to Mary Quant the pioneer of miniskirts, miniskirts were a way of rebelling and making women’s legs a symbol of liberation. Till today miniskirts have been linked to fashion, style, beauty, and confidence. The Mini has also made its way to dresses which are now inches above the knee.

  1. Mini car

The vehicle came at a time where none like it existed and aped it was also a big deal for competitors such as Ford. The vehicle simplified everything even from the engine size and where the gearbox was placed; hidden in the sump. Till today companies like Lamborghini want to achieve the sleek, luxurious appearance but remain mini.

  1. Sgt. Pepper’ record sleeve

It’s one thing to record an album and another to market it. And that’s where covers came in to ensure people know what you will communicate even before the album is out. Reid Miles started Art directing and spent most of the time in drawing and thinking on who to put on mosaics of the pictures. He began with classic jazz albums at a time pop, and rock hadn’t made their debut efficiently. Later The Beatles will need his skills in making hit albums. Till today album released, tend to have the same trend of art on the cover of the album.

  1. Sony Walkman

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It was an ingenious technology of a recorder that doesn’t record but reads the tape and plays music. The product was iconic and sold over 400 million Walkman portable music players, and 200 million were cassette players. Today there is the Sony Walkman app and Mp3 players allowing existence to Walkman.

  1. Carlton room divider

The Milan based group called Memphis established by Ettore Sottsass in 1981 were laughed upon when they launched this new design. The Carlton room divider was an elegance in geometry putting together, triangles, squares rectangles. Today other makes have been made and are everyday items in homes.

  1. Brompton Bike

The bike patented in 1979 by Andrew Ritchie was a spectacle with the fact you could fold a modern bike and carry it like a briefcase. The bike was made with no geometry, computer or theory but simple designs from his kitchen table.

  1. Laleggera chair

Designed by Riccardo Blumer, the Laleggera challenges Gio Ponti’s designs and provides an incredibly light and classy chair. Made of solid wooden structure veneered in natural maple, white oak, wenge, Canaletto walnut or white matt, the internal chair voids are interjected with structural polyurethane foam making it extremely light.

  1. iPhone

For the longest time, the world had wanted a gadget that could be able to be a computer, Walkman, camera, typewriter and all other things in one. And in 2007 Steve Jobs changed everything with the invention of the iPhone opening doors to the new world of smartphones.