Title: Diary, News and Letters
Pages: 65, 67, 69
Text: Diary, News and Letters
LONDON The Design Centre: displays during June include Here's How: Design for Watney Mann Ltd on the mezzanine floor from June 21-July 30, a display of tableware from June 13-July 2, and a summer room setting from June 13-July 23. The centre is open on weekdays from 9.30 am-5.30 pm, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays until 9 pm
Simple Girl's Guide to Kitchens, exhibition, Heal's, 196 Tottenham Court Road, W1, throughout the month
International Leather Fair, Alexandra Palace, June 6-9
International Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Exhibition, Olympia, June 15-24
Decorative Lighting Fair, New HorticuItural Hall, June 20-23
Presentation of Royal Gold Medal, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, W1, 6 pm, June 21
International Optical Trade Fair, Grosvenor House, July 5-8
SCOTLAND Glasgow, the Scottish Design Centre, 46 West George Street: displays include Graphics in Commerce and a Cotton Board exhibition, both from June 6-25, and the 1966Design Centre Awards until July2. The Centre is open on weekdays from 10 am-5 pm (special late evenings arranged for parties)
THE PROVINCES Hastings, Hastings Commemorative Trade Pair, Pier Ballroom, June 4-11
Brighton, Nursing Exhibition, Corn Exchange and Pavilion Theatre, June 6-10
Sheffield, Sheffield Ideal Home and Food Fair, City Hall, June8-18
Gosport, Hovershow '66, Browndown, June 15-19
Pontypool, Chamber of Trade Ideal Homes Exhibition, Pontypool Park, June 18-25
Exeter, West of England Gifts Exhibition, Civic Hall, July 4-8
OVERSEAS Berlin, Pharmaceutical and MedicoTechnical Exhibition, June 1-5
Zurich, International Screen Printing Exhibition, June 2-5
Gothenburg, Sweden, Road '66 Exhibition, June 3-10
Turin, International Aircraft and Airport Equipment Exhibition, June 4-12
New York, National Plastics Exhibition, June 6-10
Dusseldorf, European Shopfitting and Display Exhibition, June 11-15
Pozaan, International Fair, June 12-26
Paris, Glassware, China and Pottery Exhibition, June18-23
Tel Aviv, International Trade Fair, June 21-July 9
Basle, European Educational Materials Fair, June 24-28
CONFERENCES Transport at Hornsey A one day seminar called Design for Movement has been organised by Hornsey College of Art on June 9. It will be held at Celanese House, 22 Hanover Square, London W1. The theme is the basic problems of transport and possible solutions, and this will tee treated under three headings: cities designed for movement, the city car, and public transport. The conference is free. Further details can be obtained from R. J. Fletcher, Advanced Studies Group, Hornsey College of Art, Crouch End Hill' London N8.
Student gathering A one day student convention has been organised by the student committee of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers. It will take place at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7, on July 2. The convention will take as its subject The Designer - Stylist or Co-ordinator ? The convention is open to all students and SIA members. The fee is 10s this includes buffet lunch and a 'rave' dance in the evening. Full details can be obtained from N. Holland, department of industrial design (engineering), RCA.
Design management Enfield College of Technology are holding a one day symposium on July 4 to study the organisation and management of design and development, with special reference to laboratory-type design work. Papers will be given on scheduling and budgetary control, delegation and initiative and the structure of research and development departments, among others. The fee for the symposium is £2 2s. Further details can be obtained from the academic registrar (design symposium), Enfield College of Technology, Queensway, Enfield, Middlesex.
Ergonomics for systems A conference, organised jointly by the industrial section of the Ergonomics Research Society and the Applied Psychology Centre of the University of Aston in Birmingham, will be held from July 26-28 at the University of Aston. The aim of the conference is to review techniques for dealing with human factors problems in advanced technological systems, and to discuss existing and potential applications of such techniques. The conference is intended both for specialists in the human factors field, and for system and design engineers. The fee is about £20. Further details can be obtained from D. Whitfield, Applied Psychology Centre, University of Aston, Birmingham 4.
PUBLICATIONS New periodical Hornsey College of Art post-graduate department is this month publishing the first of what it is hoped will be a series of periodicals dealing with design education in schools and colleges. The title of the first issue is Design Education One - In School. Future issues will be concerned with such subjects as industrial design and scientific techniques and architecture for art education. Ken Baynes and Allen Grant are the joint editors. Copies are available, price 6s, from booksellers.
Bibliography The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design is initiating a continued on page 67
design bibliography in English. It will be issued quarterly in the form of index cards, at the rate of about 60 cards per quarter. They will contain information on recently published books, and on articles from 80 specialist industrial design magazines, etc. The information is in the form of brief reports on the texts selected, and data such as names of authors, origin of books etc. The cost of the full set (240 cards per year) is $7. Full details can be obtained from Mme Josine des Cressonieres, ICSID Secretariat, 51, Galerie Ravenstein, Brussels 1, Belgium.
MISCELLANEOUS Safety poster To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the voluntary Accident Prevention Movement in Britain, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has organised a poster competition. It is open to professional artists and designers, and art studentsover17yearsoldonJanuary1,1966. Prizes of £400, £200 and £100, and five consolation prizes of £20, will be awarded. The panel of judges comprises Ashley Havinden, Hans Schleger, R. R. Tomlinson, and a representative of RoSPA. Entries must be submitted between August 15 and September 16 this year. Full details can be obtained from the secretary, National Safety Poster Competition, RoSPA, 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1.
Centre in Pakistan Preparations are under way to open the Pakistan Design Centre in Karachi. It is one of three centres planned for Pakistan, in Karachi, Lahore and Dacca. The first centre will be housed in the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs Building at 1 Havelock Road, Karachi. It will contain a permanent changing and selective display of well designed Pakistan consumer goods and it will be the first of its kind on the sub-continent.
SIA news The architect and industrial designer Hulme Chadwick has been elected president of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers for the year 1966/7. His first duty in his new office was to preside over a luncheon at which the retiring president, John Reid, presented the society's design medal for 1965 to Professor Misha Black.
The SIA also has a new information secretary, Elizabeth Lowry-Corry.
APPOINTMENTS IN INDUSTRY Who's doing what The City and County of Newcastle upon Tyne has appointed Design Research Unit, through their Newcastle office, to design and co-ordinate a complete scheme of sign posting, signs and notices for the first phase of the Newcastle Civic Centre. Allied Industrial Designers Ltd has signed an agreement with Bernadotte Design AS, in Stockholm to expand Allied's services into Sweden. Neville Green and Michael Arnold have formed a new design group, GA Design Associates.
Cold INFORMATION Link up Here's How: Design for Watney Mann Ltd. on the mezzanine floor of The Design Centre this month, is an exhibition illustrating Watney's design policy, and in particular the applications of the company's house style. This is shown on labels, advertisement literature and public house interiors. A case history of the company's design manual, prepared by Design Research Unit, is contained in the main article in this issue, pages 46-47.
Design Index, the ColD's photographic and sample record of well designed British products, can be seen at The Design Centre, London, the Scottish Design Centre, Glasgow, the Manchester Design Centre, the Midland Building and Design Centre, Nottingham, and Liverpool Building and Design Centre Ltd.
Addenda Fantasy at the furniture fair, 208/59: the chair shown in illustration 2 is called Marsiglia, and it was designed by Vittorio Introini. A phoenix rises from the dust, 209/27: the date of the final closure of the Crafts Centre at Hay Hill now appears to be uncertain, but the centre has opened a small showroom at its new premises at Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London WC2.
Designers and manufacturers lists in this issue appear on page 84.
A panel of laymen ? Sir: With reference to your leader on the new Co-operative Wholesale Society design panel (DESIGN 208/19),1 would like to make one point. While it is indeed a bold and imaginative step for the CWS to take, 10 members drawn from the board and
management would (unless the CWS hierarchy has changed somewhat) be a panel of laymen from a design point of view. Thus they would be likely to decimate to a great extent any creative thinking put forward unless they are prepared to give the co-ordinator of such a project a great deal of freedom and power.
It is easy to find examples, as your columns often show, of projects like this that have been a great success, but how interesting it would be to study schemes that have floundered in the committee morass, and to detail the reasons why. D. Worthington, Brunning Advertising and Marketing (Reading) Ltd
A question of modules Sir: At a time when the British construction industry has agreed and published recommendations on the basic sizes for building components and assemblies (BS 4011), it is alarming to see DESIGN devoting so much space to a range of co-ordinated door furniture which is not in accordance with this national agreement (DESIGN 208/32-37). The Modric range is based on a three inch module, whereas the national module is 10cm (four inches).
Dimensional co-ordination can be achieved by a selection from an almost infinite variety of basic modules. The merit of the recent achievement of the BSI Technical Committee, Modular Co-ordination in Building, is that it has obtained agreement within industry to one basic criterion which is in accordance with international agreement on the subject, and is expressed in metric terms clearly anticipating the change to the metric system in this country.
I would also like to point out that an item on page 20 in the same issue, headed An industry in the melfing pof, stresses the need for British industry to adopt the agreed basic size. M. D. Clarke, chief fechnical officer for fhe coordinafion of dimensions in building, BSI
A plea for stainless steel Sir: The article on door furniture by Peter Whitworth (DESIGN 208/32-37) was very interesting indeed, but I did notice that it covered ironmongery in aluminium only.
While anodised aluminium has certain advantages, it does not compare favourably with other metals as far as working parts are concerned. Most of us in contact with architectural ironmongery have seen buildings only three or four years old where the aluminium fittings leave much to be desired.
For this reason, many architects who desire a similar appearance specify satin chrome plate on bronze or brass. But once again, though this is highly satisfactory in appearance and in the longevity of the working parts, no electroplated finish can be regarded as permanent.
Another alternative is satin nickel bronze. This has an attractive appearance, hard wearing properties and, being a basic metal, no re-finishing costs are involved, but regular cleaning is necessary in order to maintain the appearance. We therefore consider that the only really satisfactory metal is stainless steel, which will keep its attractive appearance indefinitely with the minimum of maintenance. Its hardwearing properties are, of course, well known, and with the soaring prices of copper based alloys, it is now also comparable in price with satin chrome. P. G. Ashberry, director, Dryad Metal Works Ltd. Leicester
Who is responsible ? Sir: I agree entirely with the vital importance of a thorough brief as outlined in the article Putting it plainly (DESI GN 208/45-52), but who is really responsible for the production of an accurate working brief, the designer or his client ?
In many cases the designer is the only true professional in the field of design who will be involved in the project, and it is therefore essential that he obtains by tactical questioning sufficient information for him to appreciate the problem quickly and produce an answer.
The client in commissioning the designer, expects the designer, through his training and experience, to be in a position to obtain the brief he requires. To expect the client to provide the brief, when he may only use a designer once in a lifetime, is unreasonable.
The designer is responsible for the brief because without it he cannot fulfil the service he is being paid for. In actual practice, there will be many instances when the information he requires at the briefing stage will be provided concisely by an enlightened client or design manager; however, the responsibility is the designer's none the less.
The responsibility for the profession rests fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the designers themselves, and their training must prepare them accordingly. John S. Sermon, Rapier Design Ltd. London
The odd ergonomic inch Sir: With reference to your article on office desks and chairs (DESIGN 208/38-44),1 would like to point out that we have standardised table and desk heights at 28 inches, and chair heights at 16: inches for the past 10 years; and we have always managed to persuade our customers that these are the best heights. (And they really are - I wouldn't sit at a 30 inch desk, even in an 18 inch chair).
We do sometimes make higher chairs or desks (but never together) to special order, but only if the customer already has high units from another manufacturer with which they have to be used. J. Scott Smith, Scott Smith Ltd. Deal, Kent
Viva America! Sir: We must resist the impression given in your leading article headed Technology and the American dilemma (DESIGN 204/25) that in the United States "any awareness of the arts has already been killed by a total preoccupation with material affluence".
In the last half century, the United States has moved from a nation in which the majority of its workers was preoccupied with the production of essential goods, to a contemporary emphasis on services. Thus, we have mastered the problems of basic survival to the degree that epidemics, malnutrition and exposure have essentially disappeared from the public vocabulary.
We are now turning from technological mastery to cultural pursuit on a scale unprecedented in history. The urban scene is being completely re-drafted. Every community is planning to build, or is building, a centre for the arts. Civic organisations, repertory theatres, galleries and educational institutions are burgeoning. Both state and federal governments have formally recognised their responsibility toward the community arts.
You must not take these comments as evidence that we are unaware of or indifferent to the cultural issues which are endemic to the products of an industrial democracy. We believe that mass products may be imbued with aesthetic value, yet wary that it may be warped into a spurious culture by the merchants of 'kitsch'.
We also realise that competitive zeal may lead the designer into a search for psychological advantage which his client may use in an open market.
We are aware, too, that mass media promotion is playing an increasing part in successful marketing, and that there may, therefore, be an inordinate interest in emphasising qualities which are more readily communicable through such media. In both of the above instances, there is the ever present danger that the industrial designer may use his abilities against the public good.
It is our obligation to make the designer aware of his responsibilities as the conscience of industry to work toward the public good. Arthur J. Pulos, Syracuse University, New York
The frustrations of free-lancing Sir: There are few free lance textile designers who make a living out of their profession. It is not that the nation lacks talent, but it is a fundamental truth that design talent and professional commercialism are rarely compatible characteristics in the same person.
Part of the fault lies with the art colleges, which train the student to develop his skills in colour sense and drawing but do not even introduce the student to the workings of industry.
Another part of the blame must rest with the industry itself, whose general attitude to free lance work can only be described as appalling. Many firms are too conservative in their attitude and too frightened to promote adventurous ranges. How many furnishing fabric manufacturers wait to see what Heal's is doing ? "It is what the customer wants" is the explanation.
That so many firms continue to employ design studios with a large staff reflects badly on the clear thinking of the cost accountants. The high cost of the design studio is out of all proportion to its value.
Some enlightened firms are closing down their design studios, except for one or two designers and colourists, and building up a regular supply of free lance work which is taken from a far wider selection than the internal studio could ever have produced. But it is probably true to say that 90 per cent of designers are chasing 10 per cent of design sales.
The world is becoming more design conscious, and if Britain is to keep abreast of other countries we must not only rely on outstanding designers who are sufficiently talented to make their own way, but must also take steps to encourage, nurture and even subsidise, a wealth of middle rank designers. Patricia Northrop, Cottingley, Yorks