Title: Diary, News and Letters
Text: Diary, News and Letters
LONDON The Design Centre: special displays during August include Swedish Industrial Design, on the mezzanine Floor from August 17 September 17, and Shopping in Britain throughout the month. The centre is open on weekdays from 9.30 am-5.30 pm. and on Wednesdays and Thursdays until 9 pm
British Musical Instrument Trade Fair, Russell Hotel, WC1, August21-25
International Television and Radio Trade Exhibition. Earls Court, August22-26
SCOTLAND Glasgow, the Scottish Design Centre, 46 West George Street. Special displays include Graphics3, from Edinburgh College of Art, August 8-20, and Graphics 4, from Glasgow School of Art, August22-September3. The centre is open on weekdays from 10 am 5 pm (special late evenings arranged for parties)
Edinburgh, The Scotsman International Book Jacket Exhibition, Adam House, Chamber Street, August 20- September 1
Poole, Trade and Industries Exhibition, Branksome Recreation Ground, August 11-21
Manchester, British Furniture Manufacturers' Trade Exhibition, Belle Vue and City Hall, August 15-18
Coventry, Home and Trade Exhibition, Drill Hall, August 24-September 3
Belfast, Exhibition of 1966 Design Centre Awards, the Building Centre, until August 27
Messina, Italy, International Trade Fair, August 7-21
Melbourne, Science Exhibition, August 12-20
Sydney, International Engineering, Machine Tool and Industrial Exhibition, August 15-20
Izmir, International Fair, August 20September 20
Los Angeles, Westcon Electronic Show and Convention, August23-26
Luxembourg, Furniture Fair, August 26 September 5
COMPETITIONS Travel for potters The British Pottery Manufacturers' Federation has announced its 1967 competition for awards of travelling scholarships. Three scholarships of £200 each will be given. The competition is open to pottery designers already in industry, and to students at art colleges which are recognised for DipAD courses. In the case of potters in industry, applicants must be sponsored by their employer: students must be sponsored by the principal of their college. Applications and designs must be submitted by October 10. Full details are available from the BPMF, Federation House, Stoke-on-Trent.
Reminder Entries for the British Poster Design Awards competition must be submitted during September. Posters produced in Britain, and exhibited publicly in Britain or abroad between April 1 1965 August 31 1966, are eligible. Full details are available from the promotion officer, ColD, 28 Haymarket, London SW1.
Advance notice In order to encourage the use of modular method by architectural students, The Modular Society Ltd is offering prizes for design projects that show the best understanding of modular principles. The projects must be done in a normal school course during the academic year 1966-7. Three prizes of £150, £75 and £50, given by Pilkington Brothers Ltd. will be awarded. Details are available from The Modular Society Ltd. 22 Buckingham Street, London WC2.
Facts and figures The 1966 edition of The Furniture Industry in Western Europe has now been published. This digest contains current data on production, employment, international trade, costs, etc. in the furniture industry. Summary tables allow for easy comparison between countries of production, market size, distribution and export performance. The digest can be obtained from the Furniture Development Council, Maxwell Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, price £1 10s (post free).
In print The report has now been published of the second seminar on the Education of Industrial Designers organised by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID). The seminar was held at Ulm last September. The report records the discussions which took place on the problems of curricula and the allocation of course time to subjects. Copies of the report are available, price $2.50 including postage, from the ICSID Secretariat, 51 Galerie Ravenstein, Brussels 1, Belgium.
Link up Students at Leeds College of Art have started an SIA Student News Sheet, containing articles, and details of lectures and other functions; the aim is to bring together students of the college, and provide them with "a constructive means of expression". It is also intended to form a link with local SIA members, who have an open invitation to attend any of the functions.
Research into print The Library Association has launched the first systematic study in this country of the best standards of print to help readers with defective sight. A grant of £10,000 for this work has been given by the Viscount Nuffield Auxiliary Fund. About 27,000 people in Britain are voluntarily registered as partially- sighted, and this does not include the many elderly people and others who have difficulty in reading ordinary print. Very little is known, however, about the best ways of printing books and other materials for them. The association has appointed Alison Shaw for a period of about two years to carry out research. Among the problems Miss Shaw will study are suitable type sizes and faces, colour and intensity of inks, and layout.
Looking well ahead A comprehensive exhibition of well designed and well produced British business printing will be shown on the mezzanine floor of The Design Centre from February 22-March 27,1967. Called Print Design 1967, the exhibition is being arranged jointly by the BFMP and the Col D. Exhibits, which will include catalogues, leaflets, stationery, company reports, etc. will be selected by a panel of designers and printers under the chairmanship of A. E. Everett Jones, who, as head of a leading advertising agency, will represent the users of print. A prospectus giving full details of Print Design 1967 is available from the BFMP, 11 Bedford Row, London, WC1, or from the ColD, 28 Haymarket, London, SW1. The closing date for entries, which should be senttotheBFMP,is September 30 1966.
Winning film Design for Today, the film commissioned by the COI to promote British industrial design abroad, has won the National Industrial Film Awards' prize for "the film best calculated to promote British Exports". It also won a general award. Design for Today was produced by Associated British-Pathe Ltd. in collaboration with the ColD and Cammell Hudson Associates Ltd.
ColD honour Phillip Fellows, head of the ColD Exhibitions Division, received an OBE in this year's Birthday Honours List.
Designers honoured The Council of the Royal Society of Arts has appointed Natasha Kroll, above, as Royal Designer for industry. Miss Kroll is well known as a designer for BBC television. She has also designed exhibitions, and shop displays for Simpson's and other stores. Piet Zwart, the distinguished Dutch typographer, has been appointed an Honorary RDI.
Art director's award The Council of the Royal Society of Arts has awarded its Bicentenary Medal for 1966 to G. Graham McKenny Hughes, below, the art director of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. This award is given annually to those who "in a manner other than as industrial designers have exerted an exceptional influence in promoting art and design in British industry". In administering the design activities of the Goldsmith's Company, the council consider that Mr Hughes has, to a very great extent, contributed to the present revival of British jewellery and silver design. Mr Hughes is also honorary chairman of the Crafts Centre of Great Britain.
Staff change Caroline Rawlence, below, has been appointed art editor of DESIGN. She was trained at the Central School of Art and joined the magazine as assistant art editor in 1 962. Brian Grimbly, art editor since March 1962, is leaving this month to take up a post as tutor at the Royal College of Art.
Pottery chiefs At the annual general meeting of the British Pottery Manufacturers' Federation, held in Stoke-on-Trent in June, John E. Hartill, managing director of Mintons Ltd. was appointed president. Alfred J. Lewis, managing director of Swinnertons Ltd. was appointed vice president and Reginald S. Johnson, managing director of Alfred Meakin (Tunstall) Ltd. deputy president.
Who's doing what Edward S. Sheldrake has been elected chairman of the West Riding Region of the DIA.
This month's cover was designed by Michael Wolff, who produced the self portrait, below, specially for the magazine. Mr Wolff studied for three years at the for three years at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, from which he parted company in 1954. He took a variety of jobs and in 1963 he formed Main Wolff and Partners.
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.
Products, interiors, events, ideas, 210/60: the painting in the new Race Showroom is by Peter Schmidt. It has been loaned by the Curwen Gallery.
Products, interiors, events, ideas, 211/63: the ceremonial silver salt container was designed by Gerald Whiles.
Books on type, 211/64: the address of the Printing Historical Society is St Bride continued on page 59
Institute, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4.
News211/69:R.A. Richardson is the ColD's new assessor at the Department of Education and Science. He succeeds Mr Chariton.
Designers and manufacturers lists in this issue appear on page 76.
Door furniture debate Sir: M. D. Clarke, chief technical officer for the co-ordination of dimensions in building. BSI, criticises the Modric range of door furniture for not being in accordance with the preferred sizes for building components and assemblies (DESIGN 210/67). Does Mr Clarke really intend that the four inch module should be indivisible ? If so, then all handles, push buttons, and keyholes, as well as Modric fittings, should be four inches: if he does not, then our three inches is, of course, 0 75 of four inches.
The point few dogmatists realise is that you cannot apply four inch components to four inch members under tolerance. They just don't fit.
Other factors conditioning the form of Modric, and its position on doors, are the curious dimensions of locks, and, most important of all, if we dare say it aloud, its suitability to the human user (who is not necessarily on the four inch module). Alan Tye, Holscher and Tye, Elstree, Hertfordshire
Sir: I disagree with Mr Ashberry's view that stainless steel is the only satisfactory metal for door furniture (DESIGN 210/67-8). Aluminium techniques have improved beyond recognition and provide the manufacturer with the best basic metal for mass production at a reasonable cost and with a high quality durable finish.
Modric was designed to be made in aluminium. Other materials require a different approach. Stainless steel is an excellent material and this company has had on the market for some five years a range of items in this metal, but even our most ardent salesman would be the first to admit that it is not a co-ordinated range.
The production of a solitary lever or knob or grip is no answer to the problem of design and manufacture of a connected range of ironmongery in stainless steel. Paul Shirville, G. and S. Aligood Ltd
Design for the disabled
Sir: I read with interest the item in Point of view on equipment for the disabled (DESIGN 210/24).
There are many disabled people in Britain and very little is done for their comfort and independence. There are a few standard wheelchairs, all made to the same size; they are heavy, ugly, difficult to clean and very difficult to have serviced -although the Ministry of Health are helpful. (The ministry is tied by some red tape, though they do help by adding bits and pieces to the wheelchairs such as footrests, head boards, and cushions).
I have been writing to the Minister of Health, to other ministries and to MP's for over a year with ideas for a suitably designed wheelchair. I have to sit 16 hours a day in one, and I do realise the problems there are in producing a suitably designed wheelchair for the individual person. Kathleen Tallack, Bognor Regis, Sussex
Furniture for comfort
Sir: Dorothy Meade's interesting article on ergonomics in the office (DESIGN 208/38-44) confirms my belief in the reluctance of furniture manufacturers here to take any lead in comfortable chair and desk design for the office worker. In spite of Dr Akerblom's research in Sweden 25 years ago, and his presentation of correct dimensions on a plate, most manufacturers in Britain have ignored them.
I have found that the only answer to obtaining well designed chairs and desks is to import them from Scandinavia or have them specially made.
No doubt the furniture manufacturers will, in a few years time, wonder what has hit their trade. It would appear they prefer to learn the hard way in matters of design for comfort. P. Titherley, Building Design Partnership, Preston
Trends in office furniture dimensions
Sir: Dorothy Meade expresses vividly in The Odd Ergonomic Inch and Why it Matters in the Office (DESIGN 208/38-44), the puzzled surprise that many experience on finding only limited agreement on dimensions between BS 3893 and the earlier BSI publications BS 3079 and 3404. The latter set out recommended dimensions for various types of office furniture, and are themselves based on the ergonomic principles set out in BS 3044.
Mrs Meade points out that when one size of furniture "must do for everyone, then that size must suit the widest possible range of people". And it was the dimensions of such an optimal single size that the earlier anthropometric recommendations endeavoured to present. She found, moreover, that most desks and chairs at present on the market do not conform to the anthropometric recommendations. She also concluded that this was deliberate on the part of manufacturers, whose explanation was couched primarily in terms of demand, and secondarily of design.
Mr Bex. the chairman of the committee responsible for BS 3893, objected (DESIGN 211/71) to the vividness of Mrs Meade's portrayal, pointing out that it is not a simple case of there being a best standard size. And most ergonomists would probably agree. Some people actually need a 29 inch desk height - and of course some are better suited at 27 inches. The best size will depend on the task to be performed at the desk, the size and shape of the person involved, and several other factors. Standardisation on a single height might indeed "tend to freeze the situation on a compromise" and a range of sizes would, therefore be preferable. But an observant writer like Mrs Meade can perhaps be forgiven for interpreting the sizes as retrograde when she sees that where ranges are given in BS 3893 they are always in the direction established by tradition. Thus the anthropometric recommendations are at one end of the range, instead of in the middle which would allow designers latitude to cater for small as well as large people.
However, in assessing BS 3893, its specifications have to be compared not only with anthropometric recommendations of BS 3079 and BS 3404, but also with what it replaces - the earlier standards BS 2582, BS 2513, and BS 1558. Comparing the dimensions given in these earlier standards, it is obvious that the revisions in BS 3893 are in the direction of the anthropometric recommendations. In only one dimension does the opposite trend appear, where a figure of 182 inch seat depth is permitted. If this figure were adopted it would prevent all, except perhaps the Harlem Globetrotters, from using the back rest. It is to be hoped that when BS 3893 is next due for revision, the welcome trend towards what is ergonomically sound will continue. Dr D. F. Roberts, Laboratory of Human Genetics, Newcastle upon Tyne