An article in the Times entitled "From the Pen of a Giant of Industrial Design" looks at Brooks Stevens, a prominent industrial designer of the last century and one of the original nine founders, along with Raymond Loewy, of the IDSA. Stevens opened up his first design firm in the 1930s and went on to design everything from logos to consumer products to automobiles, including the ridiculous but iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile seen above.
As for that planned obsolescence stuff, the Times depressingly notes:
A speech [Stevens] gave at an advertising conference in 1954 was titled "planned obsolescence," and while he didn't coin the phrase, he is said to have popularized it. More significant, he had faith in the concept; for that he was reviled by some.
To Mr. Stevens, however, planned obsolescence was a positive. He was a practical-minded champion of commerce and felt that satisfying the consumer's desire for something new and different was a good thing, even if that desire moved people to buy a little sooner than might be necessary.