Allus Smith wrote in
and John Larkin stood in defense of American innovation:
Absolutely, the US is the powerhouse of invention. However the industrial design reflects the somehow conservative esthetics of the US population. My favorite example: electrical outlets and switches. The basic shape looks like it was designed in the fifties and never changed:
You just don't have stuff like this in Europe--the customers there demands fancier, modern design, like the Decora switches. I am not saying this is inherently good or bad: the standard switch costs fifty cents, and is super-reliable.
Another example is the dominant furniture style: IKEA making slow inroads against the standard velvety sofa