While pre-war conservatism and wartime rations had limited what was on offer for the British consumer in the 1930s and 1940s, choices increased dramatically after the war. The growth of the consumer society went hand in hand with a fundamental industrial change from hand craftsmanship to the mass production of goods. Manufacturers realised that by using new materials they could gain a competitive advantage by improving the build and appearance of their products. This led to the development of a creative relationship between art and industry, brokered by a new generation of industrial designers. Their own agenda was often inspired by the rise of the modern movement and a deep desire to promote 'good design'.
This story looks at the creation of independent and government design departments whose mission was to drive forward the agenda of 'good design' whilst providing a new range of goods to expectant consumers.