Title: Products, interiors, events, ideas
Pages: 66 - 71
Text: Products, interiors, events, ideas
This regular review provides a cross section of interesting items from a variety of sources and reveals some of the current attitudes which are affecting the world of design. This month, the subjects include a new kitchen machine, a youth club on open plan lines, examples of Scottish engineering products, and a range of textiles from Manchester.
Industrialised parts for emergency building
A simple system of industrialised housing for use after emergencies such as natural disasters, or as low cost housing in underdeveloped countries, was designed by Daniel Chang as his major project during his industrial design course at the Central School of Art and Design. This type of housing calls for the bare minimum of elements - a roof, a frame and a floor - and in addition must be cheap, effective, easy to transport and simple to assemble on site by unskilled labour.
To fulfil these requirements, Mr Chang designed eight structural components - two vertical and the rest horizontal which form the structural supports for the walling, roof and services core. The components are intended to be made of aluminium alloy or plastics coated sheet steel, and can be predrilled for assembly on site according to specifications. Fixing is by aluminium alloy rivets. The building could be clad and roofed with any available local material. Where plumbing is possible, a single stack system could be incorporated.
The basic parts are designed to be transported in block board crates which can also contain the interior fittings. The fittings comprise a sitz bath of glass reinforced plastics, knock-down kitchen units, and a lavatory. Two crates (each one 8 ft 10 inches x 6 ft 10 inches x 4 ft 10 inches) could hold enough equipment for a house for four people. Nothing is intended to be wasted - when unpacked, the crate itself forms the flooring of the building, and the packaging material can be used for insulation.
The system is designed for flexibility and various layouts are possible, depending on requirements. It could be extended for use as schools, hospitals, etc. Mr Chang, who has applied for a patent for the system, hopes to continue working on the project in America.
Food mixer's baby brother
The sophisticated form, versatile performance and competitive price of Kenwood's new Chefette food mixer, shortly to be displayed in The Design Centre, suggests that it is destined for the same success already enjoyed by the Chefand the Dishwasher. (Both these two latter products are already included in Design Index.)
Moulded in white ABS, with blue relief, the Chefette has three speeds and costs £1212s. This price includes two beaters, a liquidiser, shown in the illustration above right, and a wall bracket. A stand with a mixing bowl, shown right, which costs £315s, is available as an accessory. Concentrating on domestic products and commercial catering equipment, the Kenwood Manufacturing Co Ltd has been strikingly successful and returned a profit of £924,211 for the year ending January 301966. This is an impressive figure by any standard and provides eloquent testimony to the fact that good design - Kenwood has Kenneth Grange as its consultant industrial designer - and commercial success are compatible. With the current emphasis on export sales it is also most encouraging to learn that a considerable proportion of that figure has been earned overseas.
New look for a familiar object
A new telephone kiosk has been developed by the GPO and will begin to appear in the streets in 1968. The main structure will be of cast iron, the material considered by the GPO to be the most durable and economical. An unusual feature will be the large plate glass windows of toughened glass. The large area of glass, which will make the occupant of the kiosk fully visible from the street, will, it is felt, help to deter the thief who is now the GPO's main problem. (Sheer vandalism is decreasing.) Test kiosks, with large glass windows, sited in vandal prone areas, have survived satisfactorily.
The number of component parts in the new kiosk has been reduced from 400 to 50, resulting in a considerable saving of costs. The body of the kiosk consists of six cast iron elements and assembly is by eight main bolts. The roof is translucent glass fibre. The kiosks will be painted in the new standard GPO red. The interior fitments will be the same as in existing kiosks.
The new kiosk was designed by Bruce Martin, whose design was chosen from a number submitted to the GPO. It was chosen in consultation with F. H. K. Henrion, design consultant to the GPO. The kiosk now most generally in use was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and came into service in 1 936.
New lines in furniture
Shown here are two pieces from a range of furniture, R 40, designed and marketed by Impetus Design and Marketing Ltd and made by Beresford and Hicks. The range, launched last month in The Design Centre, comprises a settee, a rocking chair, arm chair and table. The structural members of each item are of beech, coated with polyester paint and buffed to give a high gloss finish. The cushions are of high density foam, covered, on the chair shown here, with wool tweed (100 per cent wool) made by Donald Bros Ltd.
The furniture, available in a wide variety of paint colours and fabrics, was designed by Kenneth Reilly of Impetus, and is intended for both contract and retail applications. Prices are: settee about £149; rocking chair and arm chair, about £6910s; table (which has a glass fibre top) about £24.
A youth club gets a good start
The youth club in Horsham, illustrated here, which has the advantage of a lively leader and a well designed building, has proved so popular that instead of having the expected 80 people there each night, the actual number has often been double.
Designed for flexibility on an open plan basis, the interior can be sub-divided by screens as required. The only totally enclosed space is the 'quiet room'. The Office is strategically placed near the entrance so that the leader can unobtrusively keep an eye on what is happening in most parts of the building.
In furnishing the club, it was decided to aim not at indestructability but at an environment that would be a source of pride to the members. The furniture is, of course, robust and practical, but in the 'snug' in particular it looks as attractive as that in any coffee bar. This enlightened approach has worked well, and there has only been one minor instance of vandalism.
Other features include the use of boarding to line the walls, pvc flooring and oil fired central heating. There is also plenty of lockable storage space.
The cost of the building, excluding furniture, was £13,400. The architect was Oliver Evans Palmer, and the client was West Sussex County Council.
Improving the light - and the view
Forests of lighting columns are usually necessary to illuminate complex road junctions, producing a confusing array of light sources and dominating the landscape by sheer weight of numbers. Now, high mast lighting schemes are being introduced to reduce the number of columns while maintaining good illumination.
One system, supplied by Osram (GEC) Ltd. has been used for the Cumberland Basin Bridges scheme in Bristol, far left Thirty masts, each one 82 ft high and equipped with four lanterns housing 1,000 W mercury lamps, have been installed. The number of conventional columns needed to light such an area would have been about 160. The masts are of steel, the lanterns of aluminium, and lantern maintenance can be carried out at ground level, left..
Good design from Scotland
This month, the ColD Scottish Committee is mounting the first ever exhibition of Scottish engineering products at the Scottish Design Centre. Exhibits from a wide range of Scottish industries, from electronics to heavy engineering and transport, are on display.
Products on show include the Hillman Imp car (in photographic form, but with a mockup of the driver's controls). The car is manufactured by Rootes (Scotland) Ltd, of Renfrewshire.
An example from the medical field is the diasonoscope and foetal cephalimeter, below left, manufactured by Kelvin Electronics Ltd, Glasgow, for Smiths Industries Ltd. This is a portable ultrasonic medical diagnostic instrument. Light weight and compact, the instrument was designed in consultation with Dugald Cameron.
The Chieftain boiler, belowright, made by Cochran and Co of Annan, has an interesting history. In 1962, the company produced the Chieftain package boiler which differed markedly from the traditional design of shell boilers, both externally and internally. The success of the new boiler encouraged the company to consider further improvements and, after consultations with the Scottish Design Centre, two industrial designers, Geoffrey Bonar and Alan Anderson of Appearance Control Design Group, were appointed in 1965 to work on the range of boilers. Julian Gibb was also commissioned to work on the graphics of the product. The redesigned boiler incorporates improvements in panel design, control layout, and overall appearance.
Shampooing the British way
As a result of an introduction by the ColD's Record of Designer's office, the Sterling Winthrop Group commissioned Leonard Wingfield to design a carpet shampooer to be sold in Europe by the group's various European national sales organisations.
The main body of the shampooer is formed of high impact polystyrene injection mouldings, and the handle is of polished aluminium.
The design of the appliance is intended to give the user good control over the flow of the detergent. The 'tank' is filled through the opening at the top, keeping the screw valve beside it closed. When ready for use, the valve is opened and can be adjusted to regulate the flow of liquid to the roller below.
The shampooer has not so far been marketed in this country.
A versatile, low voltage lamp
Designed in America, manufactured in Japan and distributed in Britain by Merchant Adventurers Ltd, the Lloyd Lamp is a low voltage, high intensity light designed for a variety of uses. The base contains a transformer which reduces main voltage to 12 v and makes it economical to use. The reflector is joined to the base by a hinged aluminium arm.
The collar switch at the top of the base can be turned to two positions, high or low, to give the intensity of light required. The lamp, with the base and reflector close together, right, and the switch turned to low, can, for example, be used as a night light. The light shines through the transparent plastics in the reflector. When the is 'opened' the reflector can be angled to direct the light where it is needed. To help balance the weight of the reflector, a stabiliser has been incorporated into the base and can be pulled out when required. The lamp can also be wall mounted using the metal bracket supplied.
The casing is plastics, and the lamp is available in white, beige, black or red: the price is £5 5s.
Textile designs from Manchester
The two fabrics, Saturn, shown far left and Carina, left designed by Peter Perritt form part of the new Constellation range which has been designed by Mr Perritt and Isobel Colquhoun for Simpson and Godlee Ltd. This range follows the Royal College Bevis range introduced three years ago, and the firm is to be congratulated for continuing its interest in modern textile designs, and for giving the designers considerable influence over the development of the designs and colourways used. There are seven designs in all, intended for both domestic and contract use. The suggested retail price for each fabric is 1 6s 11 d per yd.