Hamilton watch, original prop
2001: Design and Technology
Kubrick took great pains to substantiate the world of the film. During the preproduction phase, consultations were held with dozens of industrial and aerospace corporations, universities, observatories, weather bureaus, and laboratories to ensure that the forecast of life in space in the year 2001 was based on information that existed or could be predicted. Kubrick was happy to learn from Professor Martin Minsky of MIT that tasks he had written for his HAL 9000 computer would be possible.
Scientists planning long-range space projects can ignore such questions as what sort of hats flight attendants will wear when space travel becomes common, but Kubrick could not. He offered forty manufacturers the opportunity to place their products in the film. This strategic branding had advantages: the film was a showcase for the latest inventions from research labs of large companies, and the presence of these brand names made the futuristic setting of the film more plausible. IBM developed the computer systems; “Vogue” took care of the clothing, hairstyles, and makeup; the Discovery pilots write with Parker pens and wear watches by Hamilton. These companies also placed advertisements with images from the film in magazines. The sets of”2001” and the design of the 1960’s influenced each other.