The Brit Insurance Design of the Year was announced yesterday at the Design Museum in London. A panel of judges selected the Plumen low-energy (and aesthetically pleasing) light bulb designed by Samuel Wilkinson and Hulger (left). Judge Stephen Bayley explained, “The Plumen light bulb is a good example of the ordinary thing done extraordinarily well, bringing a small measure of delight to an everyday product.” Last year’s winning product was also related to energy use. Designer Min-Kyu Choi created a slimmed down version of the UK electrical plug (right). It’s nice to see that in the glut of design junk that gets produced, thoughtful designs can still rise to the top.
Posts Tagged ‘London’
One of the last exhibitions I helped with at Spring Projects was the Crate Series by Studio Makkink & Bey. The show is currently on display at the gallery until mid-January. For the exhibition, Studio Makkink & Bey created a collection of new furniture pieces reinterpreting the wooden shipping container. Each unit contains a common household item, offering travelers the ability to use familiar spaces in unknown places. The BathCrate and BedCrate are particularly nice, creating a small intimate zone within a larger setting. Also on displays is the Blue Cabin, a mobile unit made from blue architectural foam which serves as a blueprint for possible living environments.
Here’s a nice project from London based designer Rupert Blanchard. Blanchard combined two iconic chairs to create a wooden version of Starck’s famed Ghost Chair. Using the idea of low cost materials from Gerrit Reitveld’s 1934 Crate Chair, Blanchard used repurposed wood to create a new affordable version of Starck’s original. I wonder if he would sell the design like Reitveld did with a do-it-yourself kit.
Norwegian architecture studio PUSHAK recently presented Moss Your City at the Architecture Foundation in London. “Responding to a long history of moss in architecture from traditional Japanese gardens to Victorian mosseries,” the designers filled the exhibition space with a lush moss landscape. After the show, the living moss was transported to a community garden in Dalston.
During the RCA graduation show in London, Korean designer Ji Young Shon exhibited ‘Whispering Leaves’, a new flexible sound system. The sound emanates from a thin plastic film speaker, which for this installation was cut into the shape of leaves. The irregularaity of the leaves allows for, “…slightly different volume and tone depending on shape, size and bending.” You can check out a video of the leaves’ sound quality here.
Stopped by the pop-up Danish Modern Warehouse on Brompton Road today. Housed in a former garage, this temporary shop is filled with mid-century modern furniture through the end of March. It was a pleasant surprise to see the work of a contemporary Danish designer, Nina Tolstrup, also on display. Above are her ‘Reveal Cabinet’ and chandelier. Outside the space, the organizers have set-up a bar, which occasionally houses a Danish hot dog stand – must have to stop by on sunny day to see that in action (Nina’s pallet project chair is in the foreground).
Nina Tolstrup uses a 3-D scanner to make rapid prototype models of tree branches. These casts can then connect real branches to create trestles, stools or coat racks.
The 2010 Brit Insurance Designs of the Year are now on display at the Design Museum in London. While the show includes some very worthy nominees, somehow several of the products fall short. Some items seem like newer, shinier versions of very old ideas, while others are simply just uninspiring. Sugru, a moldable silicone material developed by Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, is one the highlights.
Sugru is a fix-it persons dream – a substance that can be used to repair (or customize) just about anything. The clay attaches to most surfaces and is waterproof, dishwasher-proof and, since it sets in 30 minutes, pretty much foolproof. The idea of extending the life of the products we have, rather than churning out new ones is both refreshing and significant.
The Museum of Everything is a new London venue showcasing the work of the, “untrained,unintentional and unseen creators,” of our world. Founder James Brett has done an amazing job of transforming an old dairy and recording studio into a the perfect space to celebrate these secret artists. In Exhibition #1 over 200 hundred drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations are on display. The stories behind the pieces are as interesting as the work itself and I can’t even begin to describe them here. It just wouldn’t do the project justice. If you live in London or are planning a visit soon, I highly recommend a visit. Free.