Title: Diary, News and Letters
Pages: 75, 77, 79
Text: Diary, News and Letters
LONDON The Design Centre: displays this month include Swedish Industrial Design on the mezzanine floor until September 17, a heating display from September 5-October 15, and a bathroom room setting from September 26 November 5. The centre is open on weekdays from 9.30 am-5.30 pm, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays until 9 pm
New Homes Show, Central Hall, September 3-10
International Handicrafts and Do-it-yourself Exhibition, Olympia, September 9-24
International Book Jacket Exhibition, National Book League, Albemarle Street. London W1, September 13-15
International Exhibition on Engineering for Road and Traffic Networks, Imperial College, September 19-23
International Commercial Motor Transport Exhibition, Earls Court, September 23 October 1
SCOTLAND Glasgow, the Scottish Design Centre, 46 West George Street: displays include general room settings, Ideas for Autumn, throughout the month. The centre is open on weekdays from 10 am-5 pm (special late evenings arranged for parties)
Glasgow, Spotlight on Design, Links House (E.Links and Co.), C1, throughout the month
THE PROVINCES Manchester, Industrial Equipment and Services Exhibition, City HalI, September 12-17
Cardiff, Industries Exhibition for Wales, Sophia Gardens Pavilion, September 16-24
Watford, Hertfordshire, Open Days, Building Research Station, Garston, September 20-23
Moscow, International Exhibition of Equipment for Mechanisation of Designing Technical and Of lice Work, September 1-15
Tokyo, International Packaging Show, September 7-13
Copenhagen, International Office Equipment Exhibition, September9-18
Milan, Italian Furniture Fair, September 18-25
Frankfurt, International Book Fair, September 22-27
Dublin, Irish Packaging Exhibition, Royal Dublin Society Hall, September 26-30
Dublin, Shop Equipment Exhibition, Serpentine Hall, September 26-30
New York, Towards a Rational Automobile, photographic exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, September 27November 27
Industrial design for engineers Two residential courses in industrial design (engineering) have been organised by the ColD. The first course is for engineering designers and technicians, and includes lectures and exercises in ergonomics, aesthetics and colour. It will be held from November 20-25. The second is for senior engineering management and is designed to give an understanding of industrial design work. It will take place from November 29 December 2. Both courses will be held at the Prince of Wales Hotel, De Vere Gardens, London W8. The inclusive fee for each course is £47 5s. Further details are available from Margaret Bradbury, ColD, 28 Haymarket, London SW1.
Scotland The Scottish committee of the ColD is organising a residential course in industrial design (engineering) from November 13-18. The course, which will be held at Forth Bridges Motel, South Queensferry, West Lothian, is for senior design, development and marketing staff. Lectures will be given on the function of industrial design and ergonomics. The fee is £47 5s, and further details can be obtained from E. Glyn Price, Scottish Design Centre, 46 West George Street, Glasgow C2. An exhibition, Industrial Design in Scottish Engineering, will take place at the Scottish Design Centre in November.
Tableware Viners Ltd of Sheffield has organised a design competition open to designers and students throughout the world. Two prizes are offered, the first of £1,050 for a design of a seven piece place setting in sterling silver, silver plate, or stain less steel; the second of £525 for a design of a tea and coffee service in any of the three materials. In addition, the award winners and other competitors whose designs are selected for production by Viners will receive royalties. In making their choice of award winning designs, the judges will not only consider the appearance of each entry but also the economics of manufacture, fitness for purpose and modern marketing trends. The panel of judges comprises Professor Robert Goodden, Henri Vienot, Frisco Kramer, and Brian Viner and Leslie Glatman of Viners. The chairman of the judging panel is Paul Reilly. The closing date for the competition, which is being organised in collaboration with the Col D, is 31 January 1967. Notice of intent to
enter should be sent to Viners by October 1. Further details are available from the organiser, International Tableware Design Competition, Viners of Sheffield, PO Box 13, Broomhall Street, Sheffield 3.
Cantu competition The international Cantu furniture competition is divided into the following six categories: designs for furniture for a hall, a dining room, a living room, a double or single bedroom, a study, and a single item of domestic furniture. The construction material must be wood only (not plywood) and designs must be original. The competition is open to architects and designers throughout the world. A copy of the rules, which have been modified from those of previous Cantu competitions, is available from the competition secretariat, Concorso Internazionale del Mobile, Piazza Pellegrini, Cantu, Italy. Notice of intent to enter the competition must be sent to the secretariat by November 30, and designs must be submitted by December 30. The international panel of judges, under the chairmanship of Tommaso Ferraris, will award prizes in two stages: prizes ranging from 100,000-300,000 ItL will be given for designs, and further monetary awards will be presented at a later continued on page 77
News and Letters
stage when the designs have been translated into prototypes.
Reminder The last date for entries for Print Design 1967, an exhibition of British printing for industry and commerce at the Design Centre, is September 30. Details and entry forms are available from the British Federation of Master Printers, 11 Bedford Row, London WC1, or from the ColD, 23 Haymarket, London SW1. Entries should be sent to the BFMP.
Standard for cutlery A new British Standard, published recently, BS 4038: Specification for Cutlery for Local Authorities, Hospitals and Other Public Bodies, gives requirements for the materials, design, manufacture and performance of table knives, bread knives, forks and steels, and trade knives and forks. BS 403B can be obtained from the BSI Sales Branch, 2 Park Street, London W1, price15s (postage1s).
British design at Lyon An exhibition of modern British consumer goods, mounted by the ColD and the COI on behalf of the Board of Trade, will form part of the British Week to be held at Lyon from October 21-30. The display will include textiles, kitchen equipment, office furniture, plastics and pottery, and some of the products will be shown i n the form of furnished room settings. A selection of products which received the 1966 Design Centre Awards wi 11 also be on display. The exhibition has been designed by Robert Heritage.
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.
PEOPLE Inventor honoured The Royal Society of Arts has awarded the gold Albert Medal for 1966 to Christopher Cockerill, for his work on the invention and technical development of the hovercraft.
ColD appointment Anthony Key has joined the ColD as industrial officer for capital goods. Trained as an engineer, he has worked as a product designer for R. and A. Main Ltd and Morphy-Richards Ltd. and has also spent four years working on mechanical development for the oil industry.
Appointments in industry Pel Ltd has appointed Professor R. D. Russell as design consultant. Harris Lebus Ltd has appointed Design Research Unit to develop a corporate identity programme for the company. Lewisham Borough Council has appointed Allied Industrial Designers to develop a corporate identity programme covering all borough activities. Wedgwood Ltd has appointed Professor Richard Guyatt as design consultant. Caps Design Group, a member of the Caps Group of Companies, has appointed Sydney King as director of design.
On the move Woudhuysen Design Group Ltd has a new address at 275-281 King Street, Hammersmith, London W.6. As part of the firm's plan to develop an international design organisation throughout Europe, Allied Industrial Designers Ltd is planning to open an office in Paris.
Who's doing what Brian Best has been appointed head of the design research department of the Cement and Concrete Association. He succeeds Geoffrey Base, who is leaving to take up a senior lectureship at Melbourne University. Mr Best takes up his new appointment on September 30. George Somerville has been appointed deputy head of the department.
Price changes Readers are reminded that, due to recent Government measures, some of the prices quoted in this issue may have been increased.
Photographer Christopher Ridley, who took the photographs for the article on Public Inconveniences in this issue, was also the photographer for the feature on Carnaby Street in August.
Products, interiors, events, ideas, 212/49: the chairs shown in The Eagle public house were designed by Race Furniture Ltd.
Designers and manufacturers lists in this issue appear on page 96.
LETTERS The cost of design in engineering Sir: In the article Calculating the Cost/Benefits of Design (DESI G N 211/23), you refer to the important aspect of industrial design related to economics and profitability
I would like to point out that the engineering industry (in which I operate) is actually made up of many companies, the vast majority employing less than 400 people. Within such companies, the design team has usually grown up with the firm. In such an organisation, the men most fitted to take a course in industrial design are an integral part of the present effectiveness of the company. In a company manufacturing products with a high technical content, the primary role of the designer is to harness 'know-how' to reliability, and this is the foundation on which the business stands or falls.
To apply industrial design in these circumstances, the only way open is to employ consultants, and the usual volume of production of any one item makes the cost of this line of action a matter of high financial risk.
We need real evidence as to the kind of reward industry can expect from investment in industrial design. Publicity in The Design Centre, in trade and technical journals, and at trade exhibitions, all shows the results of good design and commercial success; but data on failures, or design efforts which did not make the grade-by which a calculated risk could be measured in relation to the other factors controlling commercial judgements-are not available.
I quite agree that a rapid expansion of our design effort is needed, and I would suggest two positive approaches towards this end. First, the Ministry of Technology should provide industrial designers to look at those export products which in their view would benefit the export drive. Once the study had been made, the results would be put before the company concerned and if the benefits forecast were achieved, then fees would be paid (out of profits) in the same way as a licence from NRDC.
Second, some elements of industrial design should be introduced into courses for Ordinary and Higher National Certificates, and endorsements to HNC should include industrial design. R. H. Joyce, joint managing director, Joyce, Loebl and Co Ltd
continued on page 79
Criticism on car safety denied Sir: Our attention has been drawn to an article entitled More about Safety in Cars (DESIGN 211/24).
In the article, reference is made to criticism in the United States of our new Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. The Silver Shadow, as far as we are aware, has not been criticised in the United States and, to date, no model of the only recently introduced Silver Shadow has been available for anyone to test.
We have received no evidence that a deliberate crash test has been carried out at the University of California, or anywhere else in the United States, on any model Rolls Royce motor car, from which there could be any conclusions as to the reliability of the bonnet, door and latches in an accident.
We can only express surprise that a magazine of the standing of DESIGN should have seen fit to publish these comments without reference to us. D. E. A. Miller-Williams, Rolls-Royce Ltd
Comments on town cars
Sir: I question the assumption in the article In Search of the Town Car (DESIGN 211/28-37) that the town car "must be able to carry one or two adults plus children and luggage". Urban road congestion is caused mostly by empty car seats, empty luggage boots, and large bonnets housing engines intended for long-distance touring. Most cars taking people to work carry the driver only. The correct notion is, I think, the 'commuter car', a single-seater to take dad to and from the office.
The bubble cars of the 1950s represent a poor job of packaging (persons and engine) by today's standards. Good packaging of the driver only plus engine (under the driver's knees ?) could result in a vehicle no more than 5 ft 6 inches long, which could truly be parked nose to herb. (The Isetta, which was the shortest of the bubble cars, was 7ft 6 inches long.)
I suggest that, to be acceptable to the public, such a vehicle must be pleasing aesthetically (which Eric Roberts' sedan is not), and must be comfortable (which the bubble cars certainly were not).
There is no reason why a 'cub-miniature' car should not be well sprung -the Citroen 2CV proves that good springing need not be limited to larger cars. Indeed with a single seater the springing problem is easier, since the laden weight is almost constant.
Quick misting-up is a problem, and strong forced ventilation would be essential.
Even a thoroughly practical and attractive vehicle of this kind would represent poor value for money as compared with an orthodox car, and would appeal to neither buyer nor manufacturer unless the Government were to offer strong incentives (justifiable because of the contribution such vehicles could make towards easing the urban traffic problems). Special parking provision for such vehicles could be the incentive needed, but probably more is required say favourable taxation, and perhaps Government investment in the development of the vehicle, which could then be licensed to manufacturers. R. Hadekel, London SW7
The signwriter's view
Sir: Having, as a sigawriter, used design manuals for many years I would like to make some comments on your article The Designer V Jack with the Paintbrush (DESIGN 210/40-51).
One of the best design manuals I have used had no signwriter grids. The instructions stated that only logos and typefaces enlarged by optical means would be good enough. 'Jack with the paintbrush' can lose a lot of accuracy by using the grid method, especially on typefaces.
Anyone who has seen a signwriter work will know that for him to use any optical aids to enlargement would increase the price of the job. Even firms with design manuals are not always prepared to pay this increase, small though it might sometimes be. They all too often accept the lower quotation without enquiring exactly the method of enlargement to be used.
A year ago I started enlarging all type faces, logos, etc. optically, and with extreme accuracy. So far I have accumulated one appreciative customer. The rest complain about the price and say that the signwriter down the road has always done the work 10 per cent cheaper than me. I am not complaining (at least I can live with the work I do in the aesthetic sense, and just about in the physical sense).
The tone of the article suggests that the signwriter is an inferior link in the chain. In most cases he does the best he can in the time allowed, usually working down to a price. A glance at the typeface to be reproduced is very often all he gets - and a warning not to get paint on the manual.
The signwriter should be regarded as a very important link in the chain. He should be encouraged to use every available aid to reproducing good design accurately. The designer and the signwriter should get together more and share each other's working environment and problems, and in this way design manuals would be further improved and simplified. In some cases they might even be found to be unnecessary. G. Arthurs, Sign Designs, Birmingham
Not so frustrating
Sir: I find the letter from Patricia Northrop on The Frustrations of Free-lancing (DESIGN 210/69) particularly interesting, for I am amazed that anyone can be so right on one or two points yet so far off the mark on others.
Britain leads the world in advanced design in furnishing fabrics and wall papers and has done so for many years, a situation which has to some extent only been made possible because so many free-lance textile designers earn a living subsidised by teaching or education grants.
The textile industry cannot altogether be blamed for not buying or producing more advanced designs. The industry is already over-produced and suffering from an archaic cost structure, and while better design might help, it is far from being the complete answer.
In spite of what Miss Northrop might like to think, supply will eventually keep pace with market demand. If the public demand from the few avant-garde design firms was greater than it is, they would be making fortunes. You can take it they are not, though they are selling every possible yard they can.
The producer's customer is invariably a wholesaler or store buyer who comes between the manufacturer and the general public. The middle-men invariably get a bashing for not being adventurous. This is often true, but it is not entirely their fault, for stores are concerned with stock turnover.
The remarks about internal design studios just could not be further from the truth. In my experience of producing and commissioning printed furnishing fabrics, practically all designs produced came from outside sources. This is also very much the case with the wall paper industry as well. Mill studios are invariably concerned with making original designs suitable for production, colouring, and creating designs to make use of specific factory techniques of which a free-lance designer is often unaware. Edward Pond, the Wall Paper Manufacturers Ltd. Reed House, London