It’s often tricky to extract design lessons from World War II. Documentaries on the subject can quickly veer into boys-and-their-toys adulation of how fast this plane was, how tough that tank was, how many bullets this machinegun could spit out. So we were happy to see the intelligent, balanced and edifying “Blueprints of War” episode of the BBC’s excellent The Genius of Design program. Although the show kicks off with sensationalist quotes like “This is a program about death and product design” and “Here’s what they don’t teach at art school: When nations go to war, design is in the front line,” the viewer is rewarded with a comprehensive look at the state of wartime design in America, the UK, Germany and Russia, and there’s enough design history meat for even a pacifist to sink their teeth into.
Click the pic to watch the doc.