Pages: 64 - 67
Text: Successful venture The exhibition, Decorative Surfaces for Architecture, produced by the Croydon College of Art and mounted at the Building Centre, Store Street, London WC1, was the result of collaboration between staff of the college under the direction of James H. Matthews, lecturer in ceramics. The exhibition consisted of a series of relief surfaces, designed for use as free standing walls, pierced screens, ceiling and wall claddings. The surfaces are composed from units which can be arranged in diflerent formations, and are simple and economical to produce in a variety of materials. The illustration, left, shows a pierced screen designed by Mr Matthews and units for a wall designed by K. Bright. Such great interest was shown in the exhibition by members of the building industry that a design group, led by Mr Matthews, has been set up to provide a design service in this field.
Computer watching At the new head office of Pilkington Bros Ltd. visitors can inspect the company's computer through a window of plate glass. As a finishing touch, this window, and the two side windows and two doors, have been etched with a legend repeating "Computer Department, Pilkington Brothers Ltd. St Helens" in five-track teleprinter code. The effect was achieved by deeply etching the 'dots' end then lightly etching the background.
Airport furniture The new range of contract seating, Concourse, designed by Robin Day for Hille Ltd primarily for public buildings such as airports, is being used for the airside departure lounge and the restaurant lounges at Gatwick Airport. Concourse was designed to meet what was felt to be the need for a substantial chair that could be placed in informal and free arrangements, or grouped round tables. The range consists of a large, curved chair with a three seater settee to match. The back is in one curve, and tapers slightly to form the arms. The upholstery is foam rubber over springs with the cover in black Cirrus. The legs are chrome plated tube. Mr Day has also designed a table to be used with the chairs. The table is round, 4 ft in diameter and has a white melamine top with a black plastics edge. There is also a rectangular version which is 4 ft x 2 ft.
Exhibition centre An increasing volume of trade enquiries and the growing demand for economic exhibition space in London led the Scottish Council to extend its London office King Street, St James's, London SW1. The exhibition centre, above, has been completely redesigned and the office accommodation doubled. There is now ample space for displays of the products of the average Scottish small and medium sized firm, and the offices provide a useful meeting place for businessmen who wish to transact negotiations away from crowded trade exhibitions. The Scottish Council offers a trade service for exhibitors as well as advising on publicity and press conferences. The display area will house an exhibition of Scottish industrial developments and act as a briefing centre for businessmen interested in the location of a new factory in a development area.
Home of wool The International Wool Secretariat has a new centre at Wool House, a large modern building in Carlton Gardens, from which the entire IWS operation in 19 countries is now planned and directed. As well as housing the secretariat's world and European headquarters, Wool House is also the home of the UK branch which, it is said, can now provide the textile trade and industry of Britain with a technological, fashion and fabric service on a much more comprehensive scale than before. The photograph, right, shows the entrance hall with the wool mural designed by Keith Godwin. The exhibition hall, left, on the ground floor, will contain a regularly changing exhibition illustrating the use of wool. The architect for the building was D. M. Hodges and the architect for the interior was Hulme Chadwick.
Facilities for artists Editions Alecto, publisher and distributor of modern graphics, is at present in the process of extending its workshops to form a centre where artists of all nationalities can work and experiment in etching, lithography and serigraphy. A studio flat will also be built to house the artist from abroad coming to work in the studio for a time. When completed, it is thought that the centre will be unique to this country, a place not only where the artist can live and work, but where his work will be printed, published and distributed throughout the world. The centre will probably be completed early next year. Among folios published by Editions Alecto in the last 18 months are David Hockney's The Rake's Progress, Alan Jones' Concerning Marriages, and, more recently, Eduardo Paolozzi's As Is When, interpretations of Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Plastics in school A new plastics tray system has been designed for multi-purpose use in schools. It has been developed to replace the wooden trays which are used to store classroom impedimenta in infant schools. The plastics tray, moulded in Lustrex toughened polystyrene, is designed for both a 36 inch and a 40 inch module, according to the way in which it is fitted into the unit. The new tray is easier to clean, safer to use and lighter than its wooden predecessor. The system has been developed by the Second Consortium of Local Authorities and the Counties Furniture Group in association with Thermo Plastics Ltd.
Aid for the blind A transistorised transmitter/receiver in the form of a hand held 'torch' which emits an ultrasonic beam of energy whose pitch varies with distance, has been developed in the laboratories of Ultra Electronics Ltd as a mobility aid for the blind. (The idea was originally conceived in 1959 by Dr Leslie Kay.) By listening to and interpreting varying signals in an earpiece, a blind person is able to judge the distance and direction of obstacles ahead of him. The pitch of the signal varies with distance (a high note, for instance, indicating an obstacle at maximum range), and guidance is also given as to the type of object by a qualitative change in the signal. The 'torch' weighs only 10 oz. and is run for the equipment, which will be available shortly, is £60 in the UK.
Life and times The Nehru Memorial Exhibition, shown at the Festival Hall, London, recently, was designed by the National Design Institute of India in consultation with Charles and Ray Eames and Alexander Girard. The exhibition made use mainly of photographic records, with the addition of personal documents and objects representing Indian life and culture. The written commentary was taken from the writings of Nehru. The illustration, left, shows the Mahatma Ghandi stand, which gives a brief biography of Ghandi and his relationship with Nehru. The photograph, far left, shows Nehru on his wedding day.
Student projects The Hornsey College of Art's end of the year exhibition contained a number of student projects, among which was the equipment for a doctor's surgery, below. The doctor's equipment could become a long term design project of the kind advocated by Claire Rayner in Can Doctors' Surgeries be Improved ? (DESIGN 200/22-25). The equipment includes an examination couch; a desk with special provision for medical equipment and stationery; and a medical record unit which can contain al I the records kept by a GP in single practice. Another project was the redesign of telephone kiosks, both along the specifications laid down by the GPO, and in a completely revolutionary way, far left. Both designs incorporated a new press button dialling system suitable for international link-ups, left. The projects were carried out by students in the college's three dimensional department under the guidance of Clive Latimer.