Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Introducing the Kanteena Dining suite concept

In my furniture design work I often produce ideas that may be useful for a variety of situations and applications such as the Kanteena Dining suite of furniture.

As yet only in concept form the Kanteena as seen below, the Kanteena would form a stylish addition to the Industryindesign collection of furniture designs and future projects.

Inspired by the study of Industrial architecture that Kevin has always held a passion for,the Kanteena is a modular system that in multiple form could have a striking effect in any cafe or restaurant situation with its clean lines and contrasting colour detail.

What do you think?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Simon Armitage gets upgraded, interesting documentary about design and technology

Must see documentary on BBC4 tonight 28th September where poet Simon Armitage discusses our obsession with replacing existing technologies with newer "better" versions.

Along the route we see some good examples of modern design from recent decades as well as making us think about the utter disposability of our consumer goods.

This discussion also poses quite a contrast to the ethos of designer/makers such as myself who strive to create possible "Heirloom quality goods" in their funiture designs

BBC description..."Poet and gadget lover Simon Armitage explores people's obsession with upgrading to the latest technological gadgetry.

Upgrade culture drives millions to purchase the latest phones, flatscreen TVs, laptops and MP3 players. But is it design, functionality, fashion or friends that makes people covet the upgrade, and how far does the choice of gadgets define identity? Simon journeys across Britain and to South Korea in search of answers."

Broadcast on:BBC Four, 9:00pm Monday 28th September 2009
Duration: 60 minutes
Available until: 9:59pm Monday 5th October 2009

Link to BBC I player.....Simon Armitage in Upgrade me

Industrial Architectural History blog launch

Following the success of Kevins study of 20th century industrial architecture during his M.A study he has launched a blog to publish his work and share his findings with the rest of the world.

The Blog entitlled "Industryinform" will concentrate on post 1900 industrial architecture and its allied contexts, alongside comment and insights of how this research has influenced Kevin's contemporary furniture designs

So far Kevin has started to publish extracts and images from his extensive research into industrial architecture and intends to combine this with up to date news of the industrial heritage scene.

So why not take a look and let me know what you think..

European Design day...

Snippet form design Week online September 28th 2009... by Emily Stacey

"The Bureau of European Design Associations will celebrate its lobbying achievements on 1 October, which BEDA has named European Design Day.

The inaugural day, which will become an annual fixture, is intended to highlight design as an important innovation tool for European industry.
‘Design is rapidly becoming an integral part of European innovation thinking,’ claims BEDA president Jan Stavik.
European Design Day will this year celebrate the publication of a European Union consultation document identifying design as helping ‘companies that invest in design… to be more innovative, more profitable and grow faster than those that do not’.
The document, which was published this summer, is a milestone in BEDA’s long-running campaign to persuade the European Commission to include design on the innovation agenda.
However, Stavik believes that there is a long way to go before the level of design knowledge is consistent across the various European countries.
‘Tough times, pressure on prices and greater competition from other parts of the world mean Europe needs all the advantages it can get in the battle to stay ahead,’ says Stavik.
The Design Council has welcomed the introduction of a dedicated European Design Day, and is calling on European nations to work more closely to share information on their design industries."

Hopefully news like this can only help to further our cause in promoting our particular design businesses. Focus is needed towards our skills which affects everyone in their everyday lives whether they are aware of the fact or not.
Why not make a comment to Kevin hallsworth furniture designer with your opinion .

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Design Book launch "Creative Island II", by Sir John Sorrell

Design Week online announces the launch of a new design book "Creative Island II" and discusses the role of U.K design

"British design is taking a bit of a beating at the moment. In The New York Times last month, British critic Alice Rawsthorn complained that it’s not what it used to be. Jonathan Glancey in The Guardian concurred, saying, ‘You have to shop around for it.’ And then on BBC Two last Monday, French design star Philippe Starck revealed that he would like to help us to ‘create English style’, as none currently exists.

But in a new book commissioned by UK Trade & Investment, Sir John Sorrell picks British design up and smooths its Ozwald Boateng-tailored suit.
The sequel to Creative Island, published in 2002, Creative Island II contains more than 100 recent design projects chosen for their innovation and excellence.
Taking in work from 25 design disciplines, the book features projects by Jason Bruges, David Pearson, Martin Lambie-Nairn, Sebastian Conran and others, arranged by ten themes, including subversion, humanism and precision.
To be considered for the book, the designers had to be based in the UK, although their passports could be non-British and their work international - this, says Sorrell, still counts as British design. UKTI agrees, and intends to arm Government ministers with limited-edition hardback editions of the title. These will be proffered to their political counterparts on international visits.
Starck’s cryptic observation in his programme Design for Life - ‘In England there is something very strange, which is today there is some good designers but nobody really arrives on the market’ - receives a bullish response from Sorrell. ‘Give me his address and I’ll send him a copy of the book,’ he says.
‘This is a golden age for design in this country,’ claims Sorrell. ‘I am not being derogatory about Milan, Paris or New York, but I don’t think that anywhere else on earth has 25 disciplines all at this very high quality [level].’
He reasons that a blend of international talent, ‘great design schools’ and our small, crowded island have, together, generated a creative ‘hothouse effect’.
‘There is a cross-fertilisation culture here, with a sharing of ideas that is totally unique in the world,’ says Sorrell. ‘It comes from having a huge number of designers working so near each other geographically.’
The suggestion is that it is impossible for a single, unifying ‘English style’ to emerge.
Unshackled by a national style, British design is booming, says Sorrell. Although, as Transport for London reinstates the Thames on its latest Tube map following public ridicule over the decision to omit it, Sorrell does accept Rawsthorn’s point that public design is languishing in the doldrums.
‘We haven’t got Frank Pick sorting things out now, and [Rawsthorn] makes a very good point - that pillar boxes and phone boxes are very important. We have let that sort of product design go’, he concedes."

"Text-book Design

Creative Island II features more than 100 design projects and their inspirations:

Sebastian Conran talks about how his walk on Chesil Beach inspired the Equilibrium Scales

Terence Woodgate describes how his jealousy of Formula One’s materials prompted a collaboration with ex-Ferrari designer John Barnard, leading to the launch of the Surface table

Simon Heijdens explains how, in his light installations, his focus on the random in nature came out of the ‘rigidly defined’ Dutch environment of his youth

All designs featured in Creative Island II, by Sir John Sorrell"

Designer Tom Dixon comments on design education in the United Kingdom

News breaking from Design Week online Friday september Angus Montgomery

"Tom Dixon says British design needs to focus more on service design and problem solving, and not just on ‘creating objects’, in order to remain relevant and economically viable.

Speaking at the Victoria & Albert Museum this morning, Dixon focused on what he saw as failures in British design education, saying, ‘I am having to bring in kids from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia to my studio, because there are no good kids in the UK – they’re all concerned with making stuff in the old way.’
Dixon held up Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s Victorian sewage system as the sort of example British designers ought to be following, although he did concede that, as someone who made his name in furniture design, he was ‘being hypocritical’.
Speaking at the same event, Nigel Carrington, rector of University of the Arts London, raised fears about the future of design education.
He says, ‘Universities have been forced into very rapid expansion by Government policy, and we are now faced with the reality that there won’t be any more Government money. We’ve built up a complex educational infrastructure that we may have to dismantle.’
He adds, ‘I do think that, in the future, we will have to consider if there are enough really, really talented kids to be educated.’"

A strong heart felt comment from a leading light in the design world. I does beg one to wonder what is the furture of hands on courses in the U.K, often seen as expensive and resource dependant by their organisations.

What do you think?

Helmrinderknecht Contemporary Design, opens in Berlin today

Breaking new from Design week online 25th Tom Banks

Could be good venue for U.K designers to show to a new audience on the continent.

"Helmrinderknecht Contemporary Design, opens in Berlin today.

The space in Linienstrasse 87, Berlin Mitte, will be dedicated exclusively to ‘contemporary design where it interfaces with contemporary art’, according to co-founder and director Martin Rinderknecht.
Rinderknecht, who has set up the gallery with Petra Helm, says, ‘Art and design are mutually inspiring and enriching creative fields to guide form, function and content.’
Coinciding with Art Forum Berlin, the city’s international art fair, the inaugural exhibition will be Chairs and Fireworks, by Catalan designer Marti Guixe.
The exhibition will include a series of chairs by the designer – three of which will be seen for the first time at the gallery with a series of illustrations.
Rinderknecht says the exhibition will explore ‘tension created between free installation-based and classic product design’, setting the tone for future exhibitions at the gallery.
Helmrinderknecht will work with ‘internationally established designers and young upcoming design talents’, according to the owners. Prototypes, unique pieces and installations will feature in future exhibitions."

Foster and Partners show their Arc Table

Seen in Design week online september 2009

Looking maybe as it was inspired by the Architect Sam Scorer, Foster and partners announce a new table design

The 'arc table' by foster + partners will be launched for the first time during the 2009 london design festival at the molteni & c store located at 199 shaftesbury avenue.

Details of materials used are not clear but it would seem like some composite material
What is your opinion?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Boris Johnson and his collapsing pancakes.....

Again an interesting article from Design Week online, on

"London Mayor Boris Johnson has reinforced his position as an upholder of tradition in design, while acknowledging design’s importance to the capital’s economy

Speaking at the opening of the London Design Festival last night, Johnson said he is ‘proud to be supporting new design and defending old great designs’. The statement follows his intervention last week after Transport for London removed the River Thames from Harry Beck’s seminal Tube map from the 1930s.

Johnson cited the policeman’s helmet, the telephone kiosk and the Routemaster bus – ‘a wonderful, perfect piece of work’ - as older designs that sum up the personality of London. He also mentioned the Brompton bicycle and, controversially, the Wolff Olins-designed identity for the 2012 London Olympics as enduring designs important to the capital.

Johnson says he sees London as ‘the hub of the creative industries’. The city may lack industrial resources, but, he says, some 186 000 people make a living through their creativity, generating £11.6bn in revenue for the capital each year. Design, he says, ‘is a marriage of artistic form and intrinsic value’.
Johnson delivered his speech at the Foster & Partners-designed City Hall, commissioned by his predecessor Ken Livingstone. He described the building as ‘a pile of collapsing pancakes and Darth Vader’s hat’, though he said it is a good place to work."

Design Week breaking news online 22nd september 2009

Hopefully spokes-people like Boris can only bring our debate to the fore and hopefully press the fact that a significant part of our econonomy is now driven by the design industry rather than what was once our traditional manufacturing base. Although as with many things the debate remains "London" centric, unless you can prove me wrong of would also seem as although we seem to adore many of our established design icons such as the Routemaster bus and so on , why we seem to be at pains to replace them for progress sake.

Speaking at the start of the Design Week it is worth mentioning to those of you who havent as yet made the trip to the capital, that is is definetely worth it  and you must allow yourself a lot of time to see the miriad of exibits around the capital..

Design as a stem subject?

Read this article yesterday in design Week about design education in which i am involved......

"Design Council chief executive David Kester has called for a change in the categorisation of design education.

In a speech delivered at the Liberal Democrat Party conference fringe in Bournemouth yesterday, Kester called for design to be more closely linked within Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

Stem subjects are regarded as strategically important to the UK economy and are ringfenced in terms of research funding.

Earlier this year, Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, former rector of the Royal College of Art, called for design to be included as a Stem subject, saying, ‘The dots aren’t being joined up. Engineering and technology are rated, but design isn’t. The big issue now is making design a Stem subject.’

In his speech, Kester also called for a sustainability element to be embedded across education, and for the nature and value of creativity to become an integral part of all learning.

He said, ‘Our educators have a responsibility to bring hard business and technological skills together with creative problem-solving capabilities.

‘The business community itself has to step up to the plate… Finally, Government has an important leadership role which it can play through smart spending and policymaking.’ "

Design Week on line breaking news 22nd September 2009

It may seem at last that Design as a subject in education may start to become taken seriously as perhaps realise that a significant part of the British economy may now be based on such skills rather than earlier more traditional manufacturing based ones...?

What is your opinion?

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Airscape Chair..first glimpse...

Here it is.. at last..... the revamped Airscape Chair with upholstered seat panels and exclusive burr walnut side panel detail. A natural move on from its original version with painted seats the newer version definetely should appeal to the more commercial market without loosing it's original design roots.

Here the rear view shows off the angular style of the Airscape and the rich colouring of the faux suede upholstery seat covers in deep purple.

Side detail shot of the Airscape chair showing the Burr walnut side panels to their best effect complimenting the pin striped American black walnut leg frames.

Further detail of the side panels showing the Burr veneer. Look out for more images coming soon and more detail at my furniture design website

Friday, September 18, 2009

Airya Chair concept preview 2

Side on view of my Airya chair design concept showing elegant lines of laminated legs and upholstered seating.

More detail on my website

Airya Chair new design concept preview

The Airya chair is currently in prototype production.
Here are the latest cad renderings to give an idea of how it will look ...
More detail to follow and on website, comments welcome

Airscape Chair detailing

These pictures show the side acrylic detailing of the
Airscape chair in its original form.

The latest version has exclusive burr walnut panels as detail, pictures to follow....

Airscape Chair detail sheet

See more contemporary furniture designs at .....

Latest Industryindesign pictures

Take a look at the following pictures of my Airscape chair..

The chair is shown here in its original painted style with acrylic detailing.

The latest version, pictures to follow, is sexily clad in mock suede in a rich purple colour, stay posted ......

Take a look at some more of my designs at

Return to the blog world

Been a while but now is the time to return .....long summer