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Like it or loathe it ?
The new range of Race furniture, the Maxima collection, shown recently in prototype form to press and buyers, was something of a surprise. Race has always taken an experimental approach to furniture design, but this most recent line looked startlingly unusual - those wavy wooden shapes and fat Freudian cushions. First impressions mellow, however, and at a harder glance this furniture, designed by a young architect, Max Clendinning, revealed some serious design thinking. The collection is based on a series of structural members in preformed laminated timber, which, in different sizes, form the main seat support for easy chairs, dining chairs, and settee units. They are also used for table frames and other items. Variety of function is achieved by attaching additional timber units to the basic structure. The furniture, as far as one can tell from a short sit, is very comfortable and those buxom cushions are, according to the desig ner, needed to counter-balance the rigid wooden chair seats and the narrow arm members. It is a pity that these lively designs will be so expensive - they seem so suitable for common rooms in new universities, or for students' pads - but no doubt there are moneyed young to enjoy them or wealthy elders enthusiastic to get on a youthful wavelength.
The Wayne Kerr Type 201 capitance and conductance measuring bridge, illustrated here, is used to determine the value of electric circuit components. Work was carried out on the ergonomic and aesthetic requirements of the unit by the company in collaboration with their design consultants, London and Upjohn. As a result, various new features have been incorporated. The control outputs have been arranged in two vertical lines, one down each side of the instrument, for greater convenience for the user. The shape of the component connection block is dictated by the need to eliminate electric field. The position of the block on the bridge is necessitated by the fact that it must be close to the two vernier scales: the position also enables components to be easily changed if necessary.
Taking a new turn
Hull Traders Ltd. known primarily for printed fabrics, has now extended its interests to furniture. A complete range has been designed by Bernard Holdaway, who has aimed at exciting design at the lowest possible price: in fact, the idea is that the furniture should be cheap enough to be expendible. Apart from cost, the other considerations were toughness, washability, and safety no sharp edges. The furniture is made from a kind of hardboard, glossily enamelled in black, white, red, yellow, blue, green and purple. Cushions in complementary colours are available. The shape of the whole range is based on a circle. The most expensive item is the table, below left, 4 ft 6 inches in diameter, which sells at £6 17s 6d: most of the other items cost from £2 - £5.
Hull Traders' spring collection of fabrics contains nine new designs, all of which are produced in very striking colourways. The range includes op art effects, strict geometric designs, and an unusual abstract, Mandarin, designed by Linda Harper, which fits into no convenient category. Palace, illustrated left, is designed by Roger Limbrick, and is available in four colourways at £1 17s 6d per yard. Ziggy - Zaggy, shown right, is designed by Alexander MacIntyre. It is produced in four colourways at the same price.
Practical and low priced
A great deal of careful thought has been given to the design of the vacuum flask illustrated here. Following the discovery that breakage through falling is aggravated by rebound shock, the upper shoulder of the inner glass container has been given more support than is usual and the plastics casing shoulder acts as a shock absorbing spring. A positive fit has been achieved between the glass and the rim so that liquid will not seep in between the two. A patent selfsealing expanding bung has been used to eliminate unhygienic threading: it also provides a more positive seal than a cork. The polypropylene shell makes for good insulation, and represents a sensible choice of plastics for the purpose. The ribbing of the polypropylene provides a good grip but, combined with an 'embossed' surface, gives a slightly over - styled appearance. This and the slightly too narrow base (and the ribbing tends to make it appear even narrower) are the two small criticisms which can be made of the design. The colour range was devised by the Shell Colour Advisory Service and, while perhaps not to everyone's taste, combines the marketing requirements for hygienic looking colours with some measure of subtlety of tint. The flask has a further and very satisfactory feature it sells at 8s 6d. It is made by the British Vacuum Flask Co Ltd and was designed by the firm's chairman, M. A. Hassid. It is available from all branches of Woolworth's.
Prime ministers' profiles
A new company, Medallioners Ltd. has been formed to produce limited editions of well designed medals. The first series is of six British prime ministers, Churchill, Disraeli, Gladstone, the two Pitts and Walpole. A limited issue of 500 numbered and hallmarked sets are being produced and these will sell at £360 a set. In addition, an extra 1,000 Churchill medals will be struck, to be sold separately at £60 each. Two goldsmiths, Gerald Benney, who made the altar plate for Coventry Cathedral, and Stuart Devlin, the designer of the new Australian decimal coinage, produced the designs. They worked from statues in the Palace of Westminster and portraits in the National and National Portrait Galleries. One side of each medal shows the minister in profile, and on the reverse there is a portcullis motif which for centuries has been the unofficial symbol of Parliament.
Information on the move
A mobile display vehicle has been produced by ICI Fibres Ltd to take general information about the company, and also displays of end products, to employees and interested organisations in various parts of Britain. Exhibitions are mounted on a flexible arrangement of display panels within the vehicle. The unit was designed by Michael Fetherstonhaugh of George Collett Associates.
Winners in print
Design for Printing, a competition sponsored by the British Federation of Master Printers was divided into two sections, typographic design and graphic design. In the first section, competitors were asked to design an invitation to an inaugural crosschannel hovercraft voyage and a menu for an end-of-voyage lunch. In the graphic section, entrants were asked to design a record sleeve for a 'Teach yourself a language' course and for a direct mail shot promoting it. The gold medal in the typographic section went to Anthony Shorthose, a student at Coventry College of Art, and the silver medal to Peter Dallas, a student at Leicester College of Art. In the graphic section, silver medals (no gold awarded) were given to John Robson of the College of Art and Industrial Design in Newcastle for the design shown leR, and to Alan Stuart, now of Scotsman Publications Ltd. Edinburgh, for the design illustrated far left.
The second International Competition for Carpet Designs, sponsored by Carpet Trades Ltd. attracted more than 2,000 entries from 36 different countries. The designs were judged by a panel comprising Lord Cottesloe (chairman), Sir Nicholas Sekers, Misha Black, Helen Challen, Ake Huldtand Paul Reilly. The competition was divided into three classes: a design for a Wilton carpetfor contract use, one for a Spool Axminster for domestic use, and a third requiring a design 'from the arts'. Three prizes were awarded in each section. The three prize winners in each class were as follows: Class 1, Louise Fougstedt-Carling (Sweden), whose winning design Streamline is illustrated lefl, Renata Kuhl (West Germany) and Dana Horakova (Czechoslovakia); Class 2, Gretl Wollner (Austria), whose winning design Mikado is shown far left, Ingederd Hadarsson (Sweden) and Hans Krebs (West Germany); Class 3, J. Palmer (Britain). Mary King (Britain) and M. Woest (Canada). Various other designers received commendations. The judges were very impressed by the volume and quality of the work submitted, and Lord Cottesloe in his speech at the prize giving held in February warmly praised Carpet Trades Ltd for promoting the competition. He hoped that other textile manufacturers would follow the firm's example. Carpet Trades Ltd has already manufactured carpets using all the winning designs, and they were on show at Carpex 66 in February. The winning designs and carpet samples were shown in The Design Centre in mid - February.
Bank clerk breaks out
Having worked in telecommunications for the Post Office and as a bank clerk, Alex Everitt decided that he had to get out and work at something creative. So he started designing and making jewellery in his spare time, and last September he was accepted in the jewellery department of the Sir John Cass College. He has already carried out a number of commissions, and he hopes to combine freelance work with teaching craft subjects to disabled people when he finishes his course. Mr Everitt is interested in working on geometrical shapes, and he is also experimenting with the texture effects which can be achieved by using gold and silver together in the same piece of jewellery.
Making a very dashing stand at the National Contract Furnishing and Interior Decor Exhibition, held at the Old and New Horticultural Halls in London recently, was H. C. Shepherd and Co Ltd. At an exhibition containing displays of an overall high standard, Shepherd's nevertheless caught the eye with a stand entirely decorated in red. Also attracting attention were the 11 new furniture designs by Jack Stafford.. These ranged from prestige unit seating to an inexpensive coffee table. The seating system, shown above right, comprises a chair, a stool and a table. The frames are in chromium plated square section tube. (Information about the seating given in a handout sheet available on the stand contained a Government - pleasing sentence: "The construction facilitates packing for export"). Prices for the units are: chair, from £48; stool, from £28 16s; table, from £24. The coffee table mentioned earlier matches two chairs, one with arms and one without, above left. Prices are: table, from about £11; chair without arms, from about £18; chair with arms, from about £21.
Stage one The sports hall shown here is the first stage of a new Sports Centre for the University of Hull: the remaining stages will be built as money becomes available. The hall provides facilities for a wide range of sports: the building contains a multipurpose hall, shown above, and two gymnasia which can be linked to form a smaller hall. A gallery for spectators has been included at first floor level, and a tea bar provided. (Part of the gallery and tea bar area are shown top right.) Overlooking the gymnasia, at second floor level, is another gallery which houses a students' common room, a lecture room and staff rooms. The structure is of precast concrete. The architect for the hall was Peter Womersley, and the architect in charge Paul Jones. The structural engineers were Ove Arup and Partners.