From Mario Bellini to Ettore Sottsass, Charles and Ray Eames and Dieter Rams, a new show at the Powerhouse Museum reveals the secret life of machines and the designers, past and present, who have shaped IT. As part of Sydney Design 2014, The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences will showcase its design and technology collection through a brilliant new exhibition, Interface: people, machines, design at the Powerhouse Museum from 15 August to 11 October 2015. Featuring iconic products designed and manufactured by the world’s famous brands, including Olivetti, Braun and Apple, Interface explores how a handful of companies, industrial designers and visionaries transformed the mechanical machines of the analogue nineteenth century into the sleek, ubercool must-have consumer tech-goods of today’s digital world.

What’s fascinating about the exhibition is that shows how design has democratized technology, putting sophistcaed capability in the hands of the everyday, untrained consumer (from typewriters to walkmans to iPods and iPads).

Before Apple, Hewlett-Packard and even IBM, there was the Programma 101 from Olivetti – a pet project of the Italian company famous for making typewriters. They were the first to transform the enormous room-sized machines (which do little more than today’s average calculators) into the personal computer, which arguably kickstarted a technological revolution. The result of years of prototyping, the Programma 101, its chassis designed by architect Mario Bellini, was the world’s first commercially available personal computer unveiled at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, for which Charles and Ray Eames famously designed the IBM pavilion. Read the full story on Architecture AU.