Title: Products, interiors, events, ideas
Pages: 54 - 61
Text: Products, interiors, events, ideas
New developments in designs for industry are seldom generated in complete isolation. They depend on a constant interchange of ideas and an awareness of work in other fields. This regular review is intended to provide a cross section of interesting items from a variety of sources-and to reveal some of the current attitudes which are affecting the world of design.
The lesson of the master
At an exhibition of new designs at Heal's recently, a selection of light fittings made an impressive display. Designed and manufactured by a German firm, Somtex Ltd. the fittings clearly derived their inspiration from certain of the forms developed by the sculptor, Naum Gabo, and they represent what must be one of the most successful translations of 'fine art' into industrial design. The firm has evidently looked carefuIIy at the constructions which the sculptor created by stretching wires or perspex threads over supports, and has reinterpreted these forms as light fittings. What the sculptor himself thinks of this (if he knows) is not on record, but the result is extremely beautiful. They are, of course, expensive - the smallest costs £14 4s, the largest over £56. The example shown here costs £231 5s.
ts £231 5s.
For the summer bride
The attractive cotton sheet and pillow case sets shown here should make ideal wedding presents. The single sheet sets comprise a patterned top sheet, a patterned pillow case, and a matching sheet and pillow case in one of the colours used in the pattern: the double sheet set is the same except that both pillow cases are patterned. Three of the designs were recently accepted for Design Index. They are a key pattern, shown below left, designed by Pamela Kay, an abstract flower motif, below right, designed by Pat Albeck, both available in three colourways; the third is a line drawing of a flower motif also by Pat Albeck, available in two colourways. Single sheet sets sell at £5 5s, double sheet sets at £66s. The sets, called Topsters, are made by Finlay Ltd.
A winner at a price!
The Woman's Journal choice for its 1966 House of the Year went to a detached, four bedroom house in Stourbridge, Worcestershire, designed by Ian Ferguson, using the Frame Form timber frame method of industrialised building. The system was developed by James Riley and Partners Ltd and its main advantages are flexibility and speed of erection: production versions of the house will take only about nine weeks to build. Components are designed on a 16 inch major external module and a four inch minor internal module. The system can be applied to almost any house plan up to a maximum of three storeys. The house, shown below, has three double bedrooms, one single bedroom, a living room, kitchen and laundry, dining room, study, two cloakrooms and a bathroom. The interior furnishings have been chosen by Woman's Journal. The house is open for viewing and anyone with around £10,000 to spend (the production versions of the house cost£9,750) would be well advised to go and have a look.
Products, interiors, events, ideas
Exhibition report in brief
One of the most interesting developments at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition, held at Olympia in the spring, was the Blue Ribbon Award Scheme. This was initiated by the organisers with the aim of creating interest in new design thinking. Exhibitors were invited to submit products (introduced on to the British market since the 1965 exhibition) which incorporated a new idea or major development. Two of the nine winning items are illustrated here: the ST-123 Workbench, shown middle right, designed by Broderna Sjoberg (Sweden) and exhibited by W. J. Meecham and Associates Ltd; and the Variett multipurpose table, middle left, designed by Bremshey and Co (West Germany) and exhibited by Arnex Products Ltd.
Most exhibits in the exhibition were appallingly laid out: Rosenthal, however, was an exception. Cleverly interpreting the funfair atmosphere of the exhibition as a whole, the firm's stand was designed a dark 'ghost train' tunnel, eerily lit by blue neon strip lighting. Black grottos in either side contained table settings sharply illuminated by spotlights, top right.
The 5M Patio House, shown top left, was constructed in The Village by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
The illustration, right, shows the decoration called Fantasy in Fibreglass which 'adorned' the Grand Hall. No comment.
From beer to furniture
At the end of last year, new showrooms for Artifort, the Dutch furniture firm, were opened in Maastricht. The firm's furniture factory is built on the site of a brewery and the showrooms, which consist of three galleries, are a conversion of the beer cellars. In one of the cellars, the brick walls and vaults have been cleaned and painted white, and in the ante-room at the foot of the stairs which lead into the cellars, the walls and ceiling have been painted black. In the gallery shown right, the brickwork has simply been cleaned and left unadorned. The floor is covered with coconut matting: the only fittings are small box-like shelf units, and indirect and spot lighting. The showroom was designed by Kho Laing Le. (Some Artifort furniture was shown in DESIGN 205/38-39.)
Sports at the centre
At the exhibition, Sports and Leisure, held at The Design Centre in May, sports enthusiasts could see a variety of well designed equipment available to them, selected on the advice of specialists in each field. Illustrated here, far left, is the Enterprise designed and made by Jack Holt: kit parts for it were on display in the sailing section. Equipment for cricket
Subtle tones on cotton
Tamesa furnishing fabrics have gained a reputation for subtlety of additions to the range are no exception. New designs include Score shown right, a pale striped and retailing at about £1 1 5s a yd; Encore, middle illustration, a woven cotton in four colourways selling at about £1 7s a yd; and Ortensia, illustrated far right, a percale in three colourways, and selling at about £1 4s 6d a yd. These designs have been accepted for Design Index.
Products, interiors, events, ideas
High quality at medium price
A new mains operated pH meter has recently been introduced by W. G. Pye and Co Ltd of Cambridge. The aim has been to provide a highly accurate instrument in the medium price range, with emphasis on reliability and ease of use. Particular care was taken with the layout of the instrument fascia; this is dominated by the scale, which is exceptionally large and clearly calibrated. The scale is angled so that it can be read easily whether the operator is standing or sitting, and the use of a knife-edge pointer and an antiparallax mirror enable readings to 0~02 pH or 1 mV to be taken. A taut band instead of a pivoted suspension system is used in the indicating meter to combine exceptional sensitivity with high mechanical strength. The electrical characteristics of this meter have enabled a new simplified form of electronic circuit to be used which is very stable yet low in cost. The instrument provides all the facilities normally required for pH measurement. The case is in metal, coated with epoxy resin paint. The top and rear surfaces are covered with pvc sheet. The instrument was designed by B. A. Kirkbride and Pye's design team. The price is £75.
For American boating enthusiasts
The C/235 HydroDrive unit shown here has been designed by Eliot Noyes, Ernest Bevilacqua and Robert Graf of Eliot Noyes and Associates, and made by the Hydro Drive Corporation, USA. The C/235 is the outboard drive unit for an outboard mounted motor. The casing is in die cast aluminium. The sculptured form and lack of extraneous decoration make it a particularly outstanding piece of equipment.
Everything except food supplied
An unusual selection of eating equipment has been designed by Hans Theo Baumann for the Rosenthal group. The Thomas ABC range provides table settings for two, produced in three different packs. Carton A contains china, cutlery, linen and a serving tray, for breakfast or supper use; Carton B complements A, with dinner ware, glass and more cutlery; Carton C is made up of cooking and serving dishes and kitchen equipment. The china,
Shape 200, available in white and four different patterns, is extremely versatile: all dishes are flameproof and so can be used for cooking, serving and eating out of, as needed: all items can be stacked easily; and the lids of pots can be used as grilling plates, stands, etc. The Thomas ABC won a Blue Ribbon
A ward at the 1966 Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition (see page 56) and an award for the best foreign design at the 1965 European Ceramics Exhibition
about £11 10s each. All items can also be bought separately.
ICI Ltd Plastics Division sensibly called in industrial design consultants to design the company's stand at the Electrical Engineers' exhibition held at Earls Court recently. (ICI was exhibiting the use of plastics in products for the electrical industry at the exhibition.) The designers, Beams and Kayo, produced the clearly laid out and eyecatching stand, left. The 'sculpture' was particularly striking - it was constructed from Fluon coated wire and can be seen on the left in the illustration. Other types of plastics were illustrated, with examples of end products, arranged on a separate panel. Simple and effective - in marked contrast to most exhibition stand design.
Grass roots approach
School children and students are well taken care of by the Scottish Design Centre at 46 West George Street, Glasgow. A group of teenagers recently had the chance to plan room settings for the centre - a project which created much enthusiasm among participants and public. And now there is a plan in the pipeline for a portable exhibition which will travel round various schools in Scotland, spending a fortnight in each. It will take the form of room settings which will be mounted in the schools; lectures and talks by officers from the centre will be given concurrently. A project of a similar kind on a smaller scale was successfully carried out last year
In April, advertising posters designed by 12 students in their final year at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, were on show in the centre left. The students showed work of a very high standard, and, not surprisingly, five of them have been given places at the Royal College of Art.
Furniture show room
Race Furniture Ltd has now moved into a large new showroom at 15 Rathbone Street, London W1. The building, which was originally a fashion warehouse, has been redesigned by Peter Dickinson on two floors (basement and ground floor). The ground floor has a raised area at the back which can be used for room settings and special displays. The colour scheme is predominantly grey with white paintwork: a striking area of colour is provided by the Alan Davie painting on the back wall of the ground floor.
History on a medal
The winner of a competition, promoted by Metalimport Ltd for the design of a medallion commemorating the Battle of Hastings, was Margaret Neve, far left. Her design shows the great seal of William the Conqueror, middle, and on the reverse galloping horsemen inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry.
All wrapped up
Deciding that there was very little interesting non-seasonal wrapping paper, Nigel Quiney felt that there was an opening in this field for individual enterprise. He produced three designs, sunk his savings in having them printed, and sallied forth to try his luck. Gear in Carnaby Street bought a small quantity and sold them fast, and Goods and Chattels then took them up.
Since then, the rapidly expanding boutiques have bought the papers enthusiastically, and larger stores like Heal's are selling them. Jaeger has also used them for a window display in all their branches. They have been accepted by Design Index for exhibition purposes. Mr Quiney has now interested the American department stores, and the papers are selling well over there. Some are used for display, but Macey's is selling six ft rolls.
At the moment, Mr Quiney is designing a new range of papers for next year and, using his current designs, is also working on thicker paper to be used by the boutiques for carrier bags. Mr Quiney, though very satisfied with the progress which he has made so far, is disappointed that he has been unable to persuade the big stationery chains to buy. He has met the usual deep-seated conservatism - "That sort of thing might sell well in London, lad, but not up in Huddersfield". Looking at the papers, it is hard to see what would make them unsaleable. There are three patterns, Poplar, Panzy, and Peacock, each available in three fashionably bright colourways on a white ground - and they sell at about 7d a sheet. What can Huddersfield complain of Huddersfield complain of ?