Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A little 'Exta' to sit on from aluminium extrusions?

As seen on Designboom website quite an interesting contemporary chair design made from aluminium extrusion.

'The Exta chair by Tarazi studio is constructed from a single aluminum profile. It is produced through an extrusion process, which results in a transformable-width chair that can also become an endless bench when multiple pieces are put together.

The structure transforms its purpose according to its position - as a back-rest, seat or foot rest. each component is realized by one of these functions(dent, arch and notch). the way the chair is made allows it to fit to any body size.

The chair was first constructed as a prototype in 2007, and is now being produced in a new 2009 edition.'

Quite an interesting and adaptable design using the same design principles and adaptability used in my own Industryindesign collection.

Hello Mom...yes its me on the telly...get your designs noticed now!

Spotted on Design factory news...your fifteen minutes could be here.........

UK production company Two Four Broadcast is currently working on a new design series to be aired on BBC1. Currently, they are soliciting contestants (from the UK) that have designed something they "want to take to the next level." The show will then provide a team of top industry experts who will be on hand to help the selected individuals make their product dreams real.

Here's their brief:

Have you slaved away over a product which you dream could be the next big thing? Maybe it's a new toy or game, a tasty twist on food or drink, a design sensation or something special for the home and garden? BBC1 would like to follow the people who think they have what it takes to make their dream come true. Are you up for a challenge? Can you impress top industry experts? If so this could be the opportunity of a lifetime.

Interested? A resident of the UK? Get in touch with them by emailing

Dont forget to mention me in the credits too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Leading light leaves the furniture world...a tribute to Alan Peters O.B.E

Spotted on the website, a fitting tribute by Jeremy Broun about Alan Peters renowned furniture maker...

'Alan Peters, the celebrated furniture, maker died on 11th October 2009 at the age of 76. He had been ill for some time. His funeral service will be held on Friday 23rd October at St Michael's Church in Minehead, Somerset at 2pm.
Alan Peters was born in 1933 in Petersfield, Hants, the son of a  precision engineer. In 1949 he was apprenticed to Edward Barnsley and became one of the few direct links with the Arts and Crafts Movement, pioneered by William Morris. In 1962 he set up his first workshop in Hindhead, Surrey and in 1973 he moved to Kentisbeare in Devon where he worked for the major part of his career until moving to Minehead in Somerset in 2002.
Amongst the many awards he received was an OBE in 1990 for his services to furniture design. He was known worldwide for his simple understated yet clearly distinctive modern furniture designs, but also for his tireless efforts as a teacher, writer and assessor. To a generation he was arguably the foremost British furniture designer maker.
A turning point in his work was a scholarship to Japan in 1975 where he was influenced by the simple vernacular architecture.He also said: "If some day someone regards a piece of my furniture as a work of art, that's fine, that's a bonus, but it's not my motive in producing it; that has always been to produce a piece of  furniture to which I am happy to put my name." But in reality he made an art of his craft and his legacy to woodworkers is underpinned by his integrity as a person and as a craftsman and his deep understanding of wood.
He is survived by his wife Laura who supported him throughout his career and his daughter Christine (42) and his son David (41).

1959: Elected to the British Craft Centre
1968: Elected Fellow of Society of Designer Craftsman.
1975: Crafts Council Bursary to visit Japan
1978: Winsor & Newton Craft Award
1979: Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to visit South Korea,  Taiwan and Hong Kong
1988: Centennial Medal of the Society of Designer Craftsmen
1990: O.B.E
2000: Academician of South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts
2002: Award of Distinction, American Furniture Society.'

Jeremy Broun FRSA

Our condolences to Alans' family

photograph courtesy of

Off your rocker into another Green World?...spotted winning entry in Green Life competition

Spotted on Design boom webite, one of the winneres of the Green Life competition the Murakami Chair, designed by Rocus Jacob from the U.S.A.

'designer's own words:

I was looking for opportunities to generate energy through activities we naturally do. The final result is a rocking chair that enables the user to experience production and consumption of electricity in a gentle and rewarding way. An abstract process becomes tangible and eventually cultivates natural awareness. Complexity is covered by simplicity. Advanced nano-dynamo technology which is built in to the skids of the chair and more efficient light sources such as the newly developed OLED generation makes it possible to build a rocking chair with a reading lamp running on electricity generated from the rocking motion. During daylight the energy gets stored in a battery pack. The construction of the flat and bendable organic light emitting diodes allows new form factors such as using the traditional shape of a lamp but instead of having a light bulb the lampshade himself turns out to be the light source. To have a drastic reduction of consumption the big challenge will be to make consuming less feel like getting more.'
Sounds fun, lets see what else this designer will come up with... Nice to see some new design from across the pond. This design came alongside a rush of entries from Far Eastern designers, sign of things to come no doubt as this area drifts more towards design lead projects rather than concentrating on manufacturing alone?

Gather round now....the worlds most beautiful object?

Seen in Design Week online this Jack Jones

'The Gyrofocus fireplace has been named as ‘the world’s most beaufiful object’ by the Pulchra design contest. It was by France-based designer Dominique Imbert, founder of Focus Fireplaces.

The 1968 design was voted for by a majority of the 74 425 respondents asked to select a top ten from the 100 objects shortlisted by the Pulchra jury.

An example of the hanging, rotating fireplace will now be preserved for posterity alongside the other nine winners, in an archaeological ‘time capsule’.
The articles, which include an Illycaffé coffee machine, a Philips TV and a Sony Ericsson phone, will be sealed in a stainless steel container and buried in a public park in Italy.
The Gyrofocus has previously been exhibited in the museums of contemporary art in Bordeaux and Grenoble, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
The design contest, an annual ‘beauty prize for objects’, was launched in 2007 in Italy by the architect Sandro Silvi. Every year it gives away €10 000 (£9165) in gold coins to the public voter whose choices most closely match the final results.'

Strange it may seem to some that an object sating as far back as 1968 can still hold it's own amongst, and even beat, more contemporary designs. Just shows how classic design endures...

what do you think?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sir Terry recognised in Hotel awards......

Spotted on Design Week online this Jack Jones

'Sir Terence Conran is to be honoured at next month’s European Hotel Design Awards.

He will receive the Outstanding Contribution Award, which will be presented at the London Hilton on 2 November.
The accolade is in recognition of Conran’s work across the Continent. His consultancy Conran & Partners has been responsible for Das Triest in Vienna, the Fitzwilliam in Dublin, and the Great Eastern hotel in London.
The consultancy’s latest work, The Boundary Project in London, is also nominated in the Best Conversion and Best Bathroom/Bedroom Interior categories.
The converted Victorian warehouse opened in January and features a rooftop restaurant, bars, bedrooms, suites, and a ground-floor bakery and food store.

Also nominated in the Interiors category are Richard Daniels for The Augustine in Prague, and Richmond International for the Langham in London.

This year’s ceremony will be hosted by Mariella Frostrup.'

Well done Sir Terry!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh I would like to be beside the something like this maybe?

Spotted on Design Week Online...October Emily Pacey

'A £35m project to build luxury beach huts at coastal resorts throughout the UK is to roll out from next year, using local design groups to work on interiors at each development.

Newcastle-based consultancy Kensington & Partners is designing the interiors for the first development of beach huts, which will open next summer at Whitley Bay.
The huts will sleep four to six people, feature separate bedrooms, fitted kitchens, bathrooms and a 24-hour concierge service. They will resemble ordinary beach huts from the outside, with one hut being modelled to look like two or more.
The company behind the development, Beach Hut Resorts, claims to be ‘in advanced discussions’ with councils and land owners to develop sites across the UK, and is expecting to announce its second deal in two weeks.
‘By then we should have a much more detailed plan of how we are going to work with local design groups, which is something we want to do to put money back into the local community and to ensure that we get a local feel for the interiors at each site,’ says a spokesman for Beach Hut Resorts.
It is also looking to work with local groups for each development, ‘wherever possible’, according to the spokesman.
Many of the sites are ex-industrial land on the outskirts of beach resorts, ‘on bits of land that no one has known what to do with for a long time’, says the spokesman.

Time to get you painted seashells out designers??, maybe some nice duck-egg blue furniture too??, or will they be looking at a more contemporary interior look with high end furniture designs and fittings??

We will have to wait and see how this potentially very interesting project could go.

Are you sitting comfortably?...chairmaking with Jeremy Broun

Spotted on U Tube a video by furniture designer maker Jeremy Broun. All about chair making with special guest appearance by Borat?

Take a look..

More contemporary chair designs

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rover Chairs or a ticket to Tel Aviv....Ron Arad speaks

Interesting article spotted on Icon eye website about  Ron Arad, iconical designer who speaks about his origins in London, his independant attitude to design and his go out and get on with it on

'Ron Arad I came to London in ’73. I’d spent a year at art school in Tel Aviv and I needed a break. I didn’t even pack my LPs – they were very important to me. So I came to London for a break – and I’m still on my break.

I found myself studying at the Architectural Association. I didn’t plan to study architecture but it seemed the action was at the AA – more exciting than the Slade or the Royal College. Zaha [Hadid] and Nigel [Coates] were a couple of years before me. Will Alsop was teaching there, so was Peter Cook, so was Rem [Koolhaas] … something was happening.
Then punk happened of course. When I started to work I was described as punk by lots of mainly foreign writers. But I wasn’t punk. Punk was from deprived council estates, it was angry – I wasn’t angry. I was always over-privileged. I came from a very cultured background [Arad’s parents were leading figures on the Tel Aviv art scene].
I wasn’t shouting about anything. My concrete stereo project [1984] was a piece about looking for beauty in an unexpected place; about making a connection between pebbles and electronic components. It wasn’t advocating destruction, but lots of people dubbed it “Beirut style”; “heavy metal”. Lazy interpretations.
If someone at the AA had said I was going to be a furniture designer I would have laughed them off. I tried when I graduated from the AA to work for a firm of architects but I just walked away one lunchtime and went to a scrapyard and made the first Rover chairs and became a furniture designer. I had nothing to lose, I was about to be deported – I didn’t have a work permit.
I couldn’t have done what I did anywhere else but London; absolutely not. Say I had gone to Milan instead of London; it would be no problem for me to design forks and chairs and things and find manufacturers to do them and – va bene! – I would have become another Antonio Citterio.
I remember once looking at the Vitra poster – you know the one with all the chairs? – with Citterio and he said to me “I’ve been working for Vitra for so many years and I don’t have a single chair on this, and you have six.” I think that’s because he grew up in a place where there was an industry and there was a happy symbiosis that didn’t breed a lot of excitement; didn’t push the boundaries.
But here in London I had to invent my profession. There weren’t any role models. Who would be a role model? There was fashion: Biba, Mary Quant, the mini – I mean the mini skirt, not the car – but who were the designers? Who could I look at?
There was no manufacturing in London. This bred the designer-maker thing, people like Tom Dixon, people who designed and produced themselves; actually welding and making and crafting. André Dubreuil and people like that. In those days we had to do everything ourselves.
It came with a certain look. It coincided with people like Nigel Coates talking about neo-baroque, so they went to the scrapyard to find raw materials and old winged fireplaces that they turned into something else.
So there were the designer-makers, and the others had to travel to work. Jasper Morrison’s work was abroad, Ross Lovegrove’s too … and they made a name for British design, people started to talk about British design. It has a lot to do with the lack of British manufacturing.
Is it British design or is it London design? I think it’s London. Look, London is one of the centres of the world. I think in all fields it creates ideas, ideas that have resonance. There are very talented people in New Zealand, in Tel Aviv; you can find very good design schools abroad – and in this country, such as Sheffield Hallam – that are doing work that is better than at St Martins and Ravensbourne. I see them coming to the [Royal] College [where Arad is head of the Design Products course], these people, and they come here better informed, better educated.
But here, people are in a place where Swarovski is, where Bombay Sapphire is, where icon is, where the Royal College is, all these people … that’s why someone like Paul Cocksedge – who’s from Sheffield, by the way – can thrive. He has to be talented, he has to have drive – I don’t take anything away from him – but he needs the facilities of London to get the resonance for what he does. Had he grown up in Bratislava, we wouldn’t have heard of him. He wouldn’t have created as good work as he has here.
Sixty per cent of RCA students come from abroad. It has a very good reputation. Some people from Asia come just to get the diploma, they think it will be better for their career in Korea or Taiwan … but we try to spot that. A lot of them come because it’s London. Somehow, they’re not likely to find a better group of people to spend two years with than the international group that comes to the Royal College. We have brilliant students every year not because of us but in spite of us. It’s very easy to get complacent and lazy and too pleased with yourself. The Royal College runs on inertia.
Anyway, it used to be that for all the Italian companies, nothing happened here; they didn’t sell anything. There was absolutely no interest in design. But the place has changed. Now they’ll all tell you that London is one of the most important markets for them.

First of all it’s related to the economy. But also awareness – there’s quite a number of design magazines now. Back then there was Design Week, which we never took seriously, and then Blueprint started roughly when I started. We were quite dependent on each other. I had stuff to publish, they had stuff to write about.
I think there’s an advantage to not seeing the manufacturers every day. And London is exciting for them; it’s an exotic place for Europeans. We are also so lucky that English is the computer language. It gives us a great, great advantage. I just sent a [digital] model to Vitra. We design them here and they manufacture them in Weil am Rhein. I don’t need to live in Switzerland to work for Vitra.
London is so rich and so big and so amazing. It’s nice to see new areas getting discovered, until you’re fed up with them. The fact that there isn’t an obvious centre to London allows more things to happen. There’s definitely a new street life to London that didn’t exist before. Now when you go to Soho you think, oh, there’s a party going on!
But I’m a very lazy user of London. I live within walking distance of here. My local area is not the most exciting – Hampstead, Belsize Park; this part of Camden; Primrose Hill. Cosy and pleasant and comfortable.
But London is an expensive city. Jasper [Morrison] moved to Paris, Marc Newson moved to Paris; they were driven out of here. Young designers – why do they live here? The cost of getting to work … and rent and transport and food. All the German students at the Royal College used to stay in London, but now they are moving back to Berlin. We’ll see what happens now – with the panic.'

It would seem that London perhaps remains the centre of design life in this country, until at least the burn out syndrome takes over and people move away or the capital just gets too expensive to be a viable base?

your comments welcome...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Ideal office chair?....Humanscale could be the provider..

Spotted on Humanscale website report from Wired Magazine for the ideal office on especially if you want to be leader of the Daleks..

Link....The ideal work chair

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One to watch while you can...back to the 80's

Seen on BBC 4 this week 'Designing the Decades', a gripping and highly reminiscent look back at design we have grown up with.This week saw the wonderful decade, the 1980's
The whole series includes as the BBC states 'Contributions from Paul Smith, Janet Street-Porter, Richard Rogers, James Dyson, Alan Sugar and Christopher Frayling.'Designing the Decades, a new four part series for BBC TWO, revisits the nation's design heritage, from the 1960s to the 1990s, and takes a journey through forty years of iconic architecture, interiors, fashion and design.
From the Mini to the Dyson; the Post Office Tower to Waterloo's Eurostar terminal; Laura Ashley to IKEA and the waterbed to the Filofax, the programme charts the designs – both popular and classic – that encapsulated the spirit of each decade.
Designing the Decades remembers some of the best British and international designs which have achieved success on the British market, such as Robin Day's best-selling stacking chair, Mary Quant's mini-skirt, Barbara Hulanickii's Biba, Clive Sinclair's calculator, Richard Roger's Lloyds building, the Paul Smith suit, the Dyson vacuum cleaner and the IMAC.

The series also explores how design icons reflect the aspirations and ideals of each decade.

The series follows the career progression of and features interviews with some of Britain's most enduring designers including Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Terence Conran, Robin Day, James Dyson and Paul Smith.
And consumers, historians, critics and fans share their personal recollections of the trends that changed the face of their homes and lives.'BBC precis...'

This week the series charting modern design in Britain through the latter half of the 20th century looks at the 1980s, a time characterised by yuppies, shoulder pads and excess cash.
Stories include designer Paul Smith, a look at the ultimate 80s status symbols - the filofax, Porsche 911, Sony Walkman, Amstrad computers - and the most expensive building Britain had ever seen, Lloyds of London.

Previous programmes in the series include Designing the |Decades 1960's and 1970's

Check it out via the  BBC 'I' player while you can

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Polar bear to go under the animals will be harmed

Spotted in Design week online by Jack Jones

'Work by Marc Newson, Jean Royère and Frits Henningsen will feature at the London Design Sale later this month.

The auction, by Phillips de Pury, will be held on 15 October and the pieces can be viewed from 10-14 October at its London headquarters on Howick Place, SW1.
Lots include a large Diode lamp by Newson and work from his Micarta series, which use a composite of resin-impregnated linen generally intended for utensil handles.
Earlier this year, Phillips de Pury established the world auction record for a living designer when it sold Newson’s Lockheed Lounge for £1 105 250.
Also on offer are mid-century Scandinavian designs including Frits Henningsen’s Wingback armchair, Poul Henningsen’s Piano lamp and works by Finn Juhl, Poul Kjaerholm and Tapio Wirkkala.
A 1950 Polar Bear sofa by French designer Royère will also be going under the hammer.
The pieces will be offered alongside architectural works and Harry Bertoia’s monumental Sonambient sculpture.'

Start saving up now...lets hope modern furniture design can at last start to realise some realistic prices at auction.

your comments welcome......see examples of Kevin Hallsworth contemporary furniture designs including the Industryindesign collection by visiting his web site

Monday, October 5, 2009

Design on the move leads to restoration of old Commonwealth Institute..

News from Design week online October 1st Jack Jones

'The Design Museum’s proposed move to the former Commonwealth Institute in London’s Kensington will extend the reach of the ‘Albertopolis’ cultural quarter, says Paul Thompson, rector of the Royal College of Art.

Thompson was speaking after Kensington and Chelsea Council and English Heritage approved plans drawn up by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’ practice OMA to house the museum in a redeveloped Commonwealth Institute building. This would move the Design Museum 10km west from the Shad Thames home it has occupied since 1989.
The planned move has been welcomed by many in the creative industries. Thompson says, ‘[The move] would help the RCA to foster even stronger links with the Design Museum. It would also be great to see this iconic post-war building restored.’
Sebastian Conran, who is currently also making an east/west move, shifting from Shad Thames-based Conran & Partners to reopen Sebastian Conran Associates in its former west London home, says, ‘It is the most fantastic thing I can possibly imagine. The extra space will mean more exhibitions, an improved visitor experience, and more opportunities for educational programmes.’
David Field, founder of the Design Prima show, who ran the Spectrum exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute from 1998 to 2004, describes it as ‘the most spectacular venue I’ve ever exhibited in’. Field adds, ‘It will look fabulous, and I’m so glad that this little gem of a building will be open to the public again - it’s a national asset.’

The plans for the move have met with some controversy, with many architectural observers questioning the plans to alter the Grade II*-listed building. Initial plans were sent back to the drawing board by the council earlier this year amid concerns about the scale of the scheme.
But in the design world, the plans to add to west London’s museums have been met with near-universal approval. Conran says the move will ‘act as a magnet and focus for the creative industries’.
Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic says the new and approved plans will ‘give a neglected London icon a new life’.
Councillor Merrick Cockell, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, says, ‘The arrival of the Design Museum, on the heels of the Saatchi Gallery, in two of the borough’s most iconic buildings will help secure our position at the heart of cultural life in London. [They] will attract visitors, locals and retailers to Kensington, helping secure its long-term viability and combat the recession.’
Meanwhile, over in east London, reacting to the potential loss, councillor Lewis Robinson, executive member of culture, media and sport for Southwark Council, says, ‘We’re very sorry to hear of the proposed move, but our ambitious regeneration plans mean Southwark is changing fast and bringing in lots of new attractions.’

The Design Museum story so far:

1989 - Design Museum founded, housed in former banana factory in Shad Thames which was redesigned by Conran Roche
2006 - Deyan Sudjic succeeds Alice Rawsthorn as director
October 2008 - Plans emerge to move the Design Museum to the Commonwealth Institute
April 2009 - OMA’s designs, which are later altered, are submitted to Kensington and Chelsea Council
September 2009 - Council and English Heritage approve revised plans'

Hopefully more space could maybe leave opportunity for lesser known designers coming up in the scene to have a chance of exhibiting here?

We will have to wait and see...

Design Council creates vast online Image bank

Snippet from Design week online noted today 4th Emily Pacey

'The Design Council has put thousands more images from its slide collection online.

The pictures went live on the national Visual Arts Data Service website, based at the University for the Creative Arts, on Friday.
About 4000 images of tableware, furniture, lighting, toys, domestic appliances, textiles, wallpapers, office equipment and machinery, as well as branding and graphic design examples from the past 50 years, have been added to the online resource.
Nearly two-thirds of the collection, or more than 13 000 images, are now available to view on the Vads website, which showcases more than 100 000 museum, gallery and university images.
The Design Council moved its physical slide collection to Manchester Metropolitan University in 1995, since when it has been put online in stages.'

This can only be an incredibly useful resource for designers and researchers of design, both fro inspiration and for contextual studies.

Let me know if you check it out...