Design is copyright
Parliament has performed an emergency operation to help industrial designers gather the fruits of their labour and inspiration. This has been done by the new Design Copyright Act, which became law on 26 October.
Of previous legislation, the Registered Designs Act, 1949, gives protection to industrial "designs," whereas the Copyright Act, 1956, gives protection to artistic works. Section 10 of the 1956 Act provides that an artistic work loses the protection of the Act if it is registered under the Registered Designs Act, 1949, and also if it is used as an industrial design but not registered as such under the 1949 Act. Now the Design Copyright Act, by simply amending this Section 10 to postpone its effect for 15 years, automatically extends copyright protection to industrial designers for this period, even without registration.
Under the old law, the only protection available to the owner of an industrial design involved registering the design at the Patent Office.. Searching in the Patent Office for similar designs caused delay and, in addition to this, the registration system is generally considered to be unsatisfactory for certain industries, particularly toys and jewellery. Now, under the new law, the owner of a design will, during the 15 years following his first marketing of the goods, be able to sue under the Copyright Act, 1956. (Protection under this Act means that no one else may copy your design, whether in two or three dimensions.)
A further effect of this new Act is, automatically, to provide protection for United Kingdom designs in a number of European countries, without any need to register in those countries. The Act does this by providing the reciprocity needed for protection under the Berne Copyright Convention in countries which protect "works of applied art" under their copyright laws.
Now that the immediate need for additional protection has been met, industrial designers can expect that further recommendations of the 1962 Johnston Report on Industrial Designs will be implemented.
Roumania goes to the fair
When the British Industrial Exhibition in Bucharest ended on 27 October, its organisers, Industrial and Trade Fairs International, estimated that sales totalling between £300,000 and £400,000 had been made. However, judging by the results of the similar Moscow exhibition of 1966, a true picture will only emerge gradually: recommendations of factory managers and ministry officials may take months to materialise as orders.
Exhibitors report intense interest on the part of the Roumanians. Attendance over the 10 days the exhibition lasted was 138,851; offcial Roumanian appreciation was shown by Gheorghe Radulescu, the equivalent of deputy prime minister, who opened it in the company of three other ministers and Lord Brown, Minister of State at the Board of Trade; and by Mr Ceausescu, Roumanian head of state, top, who paid a visit accompanied by a whole team of government experts. Bucharest daily papers made the exhibition front-page news, while the Communist party paper, Scinteia, which rarely notices foreign shows, made a full report.
RSA honours Marcus Brumwell
The Royal Society of Arts Bicentenary Medal for 1968 is to go to Marcus Brumwell. The medal is awarded to a person who "in a manner other than as an industrial designer has exerted an exceptional influence in promoting art and design in British industry."
Marcus Brumwell's particular concern has been bridging "the two cultures" - and his interest in both science and the arts has been far-sighted. From the early 20s, when he founded Stuart Advertising Agency, he helped foster the work of the new generation of artists, persuading his clients - among them Shell, Fortnum & Mason, Imperial Airways - to use the work of Paul and John Nash, Graham Sutherland, Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo, and Ben Nicholson; he was the first person to commission the work of Moholy-Nagy when he came to this country. On the scientific side, he was editor of This Changing World, and is still on the management committee of the Science of Science Foundation.
In 1944, Mr Brumwell anticipated Britain's postwar need for industrial designers: he founded Design Research Unit, persuading the late Sir Herbert Read to write its manifesto and become its director. Now aged 67, Mr Brumwell is still an active partner in DRU, but lives mostly at Feock, in Cornwall.
One of his most recent projects was sited in Feock, where he was behind the award winning architectural scheme by his son in-law, Richard Rogers, and Norman and Wendy Foster. This suggested dense clusters of housing on the coast to preserve larger areas from piecemeal development. It has so far been turned down by the County Council, but of course this is not the first pioneer idea fostered by Marcus Brumwell to meet with initial opposition.
Dutch Design Centre to close
The Dutch Design Centre is closing down at the end of this month following the withdrawal of the Dutch government's grant of £34,600 a year. Economy is given as the reason for the government's action and appeals from Icsid, for example, which recently approached the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, have failed to achieve a stay of execution, while Dutch industry has made it clear that it prefers to support industrial designers rather than a showroom of industrial design. The Centre has been open since 1962.
Although the Centre is closing, the Instituut voor Industriele Vormeving (Industrial Design Institute) which runs it will stay in existence and is hoping to establish a new exhibition area of 4,306 square feet at the Utrecht Trade Fair which comes into being in 1970. The area will be used to present thematic displays instead of exhibitions solely of products, and will also be linked to courses and conferences aimed at exploring the theory and purpose of industrial design and evaluating the goods of Dutch manufacturers. But for this, a government grant will also be needed and the institute, having failed to get a subsidy of £46,100 to arrange the thematic exhibitions in conjunction with the Centre itself, is now seeking £17,300 for the new proposal.
New directions at D & AD
The Designers and Art Directors Association's move to Nash House is placing heavy financial demands on the association, according to Edward Booth-Clibborn, its vice-chairman. Only a strong fund-raising approach, he says, will make possible the continuation of D & AD's many and expanding activities. At the moment, it is supported by yearly payments of £150 each from corporate members and £250 each from sponsors, but not enough people in the business are prepared to undertake this support.
D & AD's fifth annual general meeting clarified much of what its members expect of the association, calling for: a paid director to manage its affairs; elected specialist juries to judge the annual show; a new top award judged by ballot; more activities overseas; the admission of copywriters to membership. New committee members elected are Ross Cramer of Cramer Saatchi Ltd; David English of Davidson, Pearce, Berry & Tuck; Douglas Maxwell; Phillip Meyer; Michael Peters of Klein Peters; David Puttnam; Michael Wolff.
The D & AD sales tour of the United States, which followed hard on the meeting, proved the worth of this kind of venture. Members of the mission found big receptions in all the cities visited, and have returned with many new contacts. The greatest excitement was generated in Chicago, which was receiving its first such mission. Bill Novy of Chicago is planning a return visit, with major buyers in the field, for next year.
The last award from Aeropreen
Brian Long, 33, of Long Eaton, has won the 1968 Aeropreen Award. Two of his designs reached the final seven, but it was the bed, above, which qualified him for the £350 award. Vacuum-formed from abs plastics sheeting, it uses a mould which can be adapted for linked single beds making a six-foot double bed or an individual single bed. The table is also vacuum formed ads. Aeropreen was bought by Dunlop in 1967; the award will be replaced next year by the Dunlopillo Design Award.
Archigram for Osaka
The Archigram group have been invited to design a part of the Theme Pavilion at the 1970 World's Fair at Osaka. The other five contributions, on the theme of new cities and new ways of living, will be Moyshe Safdie, Christopher Alexander, Yona Friedman, Giancarlo de Carlo, and Hans Hollein.
Archigram are working on the design of a full-scale "living capsule," with "environmental television" and audio-visual chairs. In the Theme Pavilion, the capsule will be located 60 feet in the air, supported by a giant steel structure designed by the Japanese architects, Tange, Maki and Kurokawa. Archigram have been working on living capsules for the past four years, but the World's Fair will give them their first opportunity to build a full-size prototype.
Redesign saves money for British Rail
Redesign of pocket timetables has saved the Railways Board "up to 40 per-cent" in paper and printing costs, according to its design officer, Ellis Miles. The new timetables are the work of consultant designer Jock Kinneir in association with BR's industrial design and publicity departments.
The saving is made by replacing small book-type timetables by folded sheets containing the same information. The new format offers considerable variety in the amount of material that can be accommodated, providing two, four, six, eight, or 16 pages. Organising data onto two sheets instead of a number of small pages avoids repetition of details like town names and saves space. For example, the London-Manchester table, which made a 20-page booklet, is now a 12-page folded sheet of the same A7 size.
Awards' competitions and conferences
Silverware competition Prizes totalling £1,200 are being offered in a two-tier competition organised by the ColD in association with the Design and Research Centre of the the Gold, Silver and Jewellery Industries. A "Silver to Win" section will cover trophies for all types of competitive event; "Silver to Buy" will include items for domestic and personal use, but not cutlery and jewellery. The competition aims to stimulate new thinking in the design of modern silver for quantity production. Closing date for entries is 30 June, 1969. Full details can be had from Brian Marshall, Industrial Division, ColD.
Packaging design Walter Herdeg, the Graphis Press, is planning a second volume of the book Graphis/Packaging to appear next autumn. Some packaging designers will have received invitations to submit outstanding material, but others should write for an entry form to Graphis Press, Packaging II, Nuschelerstrasse, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland.
Poster awards Entries for the British Poster Design Awards should be submitted to the ColD, marked BPDAs, between December 2 and 20. The competition is open to work displayed on public hoardings at any time in the period January 1 to December 31, 1968. Forms and a brochure with full details of the competition are available from the ColD.
Design management The ColD announces the third series of Royal Society of Arts Presidential Awards for Design Management, which it is organising in association with the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. The awards, which were instituted by the RSA under its president, the Duke of Edinburgh, are made for design achievement over a wide range of company activities, including quality and efficiency of products, premises, transport, graphics, and public image.
Closing date for entries is 1 March 1969; full details are obtainable from the ColD.
Design administration Industrial and Commercial Techniques announce a seminar to be held in Manchester, December 2-3, and London, January 6-7; concerned with management techniques which can be applied particularly in the field of design to gear it to an objective of maximum productivity at minimum cost, it will be conducted by Barry Turner, adviser on technical administration to English Electric. Further information from InComTec, 30 Fleet Street, London EC 4.
Zinc design awards The Zinc Development Association has made three awards in their recent competition. First prize of £200 went to the zinc die cast reflector of the Superjet spotlight made by Rotaflex Concord; second prize of £100 to the motor car seat back adjuster by Fry's Diecasting for Plessey; highly commended was a complex plate guide for an IBM punch machine, also by Fry's Diecasting.
Textile scholarships The Textile Council have awarded three scholarships this year: to Sandra Dare, aged 18, of Chard, Somerset, who will study for a BSc in textile chemistry at Leeds University; to Michael Gilbert, aged 19, of Carlisle, who will take a BA in textile marketing at Huddersfield College of Technology; and to James Bowler, aged 20, of Ripley, Derbyshire, who will take the Higher National Diploma in textiles at Bolton Institute of Technology.