Wallpaper* Handmade with Jaguar at Harrods

Being invited to the launch of an exhibition is always intriguing and usually exciting, so when Jaguar asked me to come along to the unveiling of Wallpaper* Handmade with Jaguar at Harrods I was eager to get to see it first hand.

Having just made it to its fourth year, the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition has become a must-see of the annual design calendar. Having now amassed an extensive collection of products in which to launch a satellite show of Handmade, Wallpaper* set about creating five new products with the design team at Jaguar.

The display runs from 4-22 October 2013 so there is not much time to hot-foot-it down to see the display, but as I was lucky enough to be invited by Jaguar to see the unveiling, I snapped a few images.

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© Jaguar. C-X17 Concept Car Make London Debuts at Harrods

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Watering can by Barber Osgerby

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Coloured pencil box by Johanna Grawunder, Prismacolor and Bonetti Bolgan Woodwork & Lighting

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Diptych Landscape II by Fredrikson Stallard

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Lawn Table by Andreas Engesvik

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‘Miracle Chips’ marble installation by Michael Anastassiades and Henraux

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‘Revolution’ lighting installation by Moritz Waldemeyer

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Stationery set by APFEL and Emform

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Hand tools by Chauhan Studio and Fiskars

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‘Steamer’ bag (circa 1901) from Louis Vuitton Collection

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Scissors by Dentsu London, Ernest Wright & Son and Jamie McLellan
Writing set by OeO, Stellar Works and Japan Handmade

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Wine coolers by Joe Doucet and Neal Feay Studio

The handmade exhibition is dedicated to the marriage of craftsmanship and design. Taking this philosophy to the automotive industry, Wallpaper* worked with Jaguar to create five new products which are only on show in this display. And to celebrate the occasion, Jaguar Advanced Design presented some a new concept car, the C-X17, for the first time in the UK alongside two other Jaguar design concepts; the C-X75 hybrid hyper-car and Jaguar heritage-inspired Project 7 sports car.

The five new products which Jaguar created for this display included the ‘Wild Feast picnic basket’ designed by Neri & Hu, ‘Table F’ designed by Jaguar Advanced Design and produced by Salvatori, ‘Toutou pet transporter’ by Mathieu Gustafsson, a large installation of ‘Revolution lighting’ designed and realised by Moritz Waldemeyer and lastly the ‘Diptych: Landscape II’ designed by Fredrikson Stallard.

The real show-stopper, for me, was the ‘Table F’ in solid marble, which gave the sense of motion. Usually I find automotive designers are not so successful when translating this to furniture but the attention to detail of this table and quality of production were enough to make the object worthy to sit amongst these other pieces. Embossed with the Jaguar lozenge icon, this referenced the heritage of the brand and added texture to the smooth table which proved a really successful decision.

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Tony Chambers, Wallpaper* Editor-in-Chief commented: “Our Handmade project is testimony to the power of good design, great ideas, creative collaboration and quality production. We are delighted to bring some of the best pieces from our annual celebration of art, craft, skill and vision to London – with the best British partners one could wish for: Harrods and Jaguar.”

I even managed to snap a photo of Bethan Gray stood next to her marble piece for the Handmade project which encompassed some other, more intricate, pieces which were clearly too large for this display.

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Wallpaper* Handmade with Jaguar runs from 4 to 22 October 2013 at Harrods. 87- 135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X.

Richards Rogers at Royal Academy

Until October 2013, the Royal Academy of Arts will be showing an exhibition on the the great architect Richard Rogers. Elected a Royal Academician in 1984, Rogers has been one of the world’s leading and most influential architects for the last four decades. Timed to coincide with Rogers’ 80th birthday, the exhibition examines his social, political and cultural influences and their connection to his architecture.

Italian born Rogers is known for his designs on buildings such as Centre Georges Pompidou, the Lloyd’s building, London Heathrow terminal 5 and even the Millennium Dome. His latest practice, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, is a collaboration with Graham Stirk and Ivan Harbour, previously known simple as Richard Rogers Partnership. In recognition of his work, Rogers was knighted in 1981 by Queen Elizabeth II and was created Baron Rogers of Riverside in 1996.

Richard-Rogers-Photo-portrait
© Andrew Zuckerman

 

“I believe history judges us on the physical and social quality of our cities, and this exhibition aims to explore the role of architecture both as a physical discipline and as a framework to interpret our wider society.”
Richard Rogers

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© David Noble

 

While studying at Yale, Rogers met fellow architecture student Norman Foster and planning student Su Brumwell. On returning to England he, Foster and Brumwell set up architectural practice as Team 4 with Wendy Cheeseman (Brumwell later married Rogers, Cheeseman married Foster). This partnership was more important than the projects it produced because it started two fantastic careers for whom would go on to create some of the most memorable modern buildings of the Twentieth Century.

A number of high-profile projects that incorporate Rogers’ architectural principles will be showcased in the exhibition at the Royal Academy. The Centre Pompidou, designed alongside Renzo Piano which opened in 1977, the Grade 1 listed headquarters for Lloyd’s of London, and the Bordeaux Law Courts.

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© Janet Gill

 

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© Duccio Malagamba

 

Exhibition open to the public: Thursday 18 July to Sunday 13 October 2013, 10am – 6pm daily. Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm.

£8 full price; concessions available; children under 12 free.

26 typewriters

“Wrongful practicing of xylophone music tortures every larger dwarf” or “Falsches Üben von Xylophonmusik quält jeden größeren Zwerg” as it should be, is a sentence with the 26 letters of the alphabet – in German natch as clearly it is missing ‘bjkqz’ in English. This was the perfect way to test the functioning of every key on a typewriter. This method of communication, obsolete nowadays, is the ancestor of many major innovations.

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26 typewriters exhibition 1

“26 Typewriters” was a very successful exhibition held at Envoy Enterprises gallery in New York for one night in September 2011. 50 vintage typewriters were collected, reflecting 70 decades, including classic models such as the “Groma”, built in Germany in 1944 and the “Olivetti Valentine” by Ettore Sottsass in 1969 as “antimachine machine.” Exit Content chose 26 images to produce a series of prints and published a book of 36 pages in limited edition. Can you hear my geeky heart pounding?

26 typewriters exhibition 2

26 typewriters exhibition 3

To fall in love with this even more, watch this type-omatic video…

You can buy the book from colette for £34.31. If you would like to buy me one, feel absolutely free. :)

Still + Co for Sit and Read

I wrote about Sit and Read in February last year and have kept a close eye ever since. I love their latest project, working with Still + Co to create a collection of rugs, hand-dyed in Brooklyn.

Mike Strout of the burgeoning Still + Co made a series of overdyed rugs that went on display in January with a limited edition chair part of the exhibition.

If nothing else, this beautiful film with a soothing background tune makes me want to run away to the country and sell hand-knitted jumpers and backed apple pies. Now, I’m sure I had some hair dye somewhere from 1997…

Still + Co for Sit and Read

Robin Day’s polystool

Designed in 1972 by Robin Day for the education market, the e-series polypropylene range of chairs and stools uses the same principles as his classic polypropylene chair; a low cost, mass production piece of furniture. It shows extreme strength and durability making it ubiquitous in educational establishments.

Hille polystool robin day

Although and odd choice for the home, given its purpose was for science labs the world over, I have had a fondness for this simple stool for some time. First seeing it used as a bar stool in a London apartment, adorned with a yellow plastic seat to tweak the well-known dull grey that we saw at school, this stool is chameleon-like in its ability to blend in to its surroundings.

Even the takeaway establishment ‘The Japanese Canteen’ uses these stools with their interior as they stack super-easy and are utilitarian in their design making them practical, yet in my opinion, quite stylish!

Between £15-£20 each, these are cheap too. It makes Ikea hang its head in shame that a stool designed almost 40 years ago is still in production, still in use and one of the most famous stools known to us now.


Courtesy of Robin Day for Pallant House Gallery

A new exhibition at the Pallant House Gallery, which opens tomorrow, draws from the collection of H Kirk Brown III and Jill A Wiltse in Denver, USA, and guest-curated by Shanna Shelby to focus on the furniture designs of Robin Day and textile designs of his wife Lucienne and will fittingly be held in Chichester, the Days’ home town.

If you get an opportunity to be in Chichester between 26 March and 26 June 2011, do head to the Pallant House Gallery for this momentous exhibition.

More information can be found at www.pallant.org.uk.

Britain Can Make It, can’t it?

How much do you know about British Manufacturing and export? Nor me. But it is in decline. It wasn’t always like this…

‘Britain Can Make It’ was an exhibition held in 1946 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It was organised and held under the auspices of the Council of Industrial Design (later renamed the Design Council) which had been established by central government in 1944 ‘to promote by all practicable means the improvement of design in the products of British industry’. We still have the Design Council and I have to admit it can be hard to know what they get up to sometimes, although this is a nice reminder of their purpose back then.


Image courtesy www.vads.ahds.ac.uk

‘Britain Can Make It’ displayed the consumer goods which, the government intended, would form the basis on which the economy of post-War Britain would be renewed. Six years of war had left the country in severe debt. The government’s main concern was to ensure that income could be generated through trade, particularly with countries overseas. Hence all effort in production was aimed at the export market while the British market remained subject to a rationing even more severe than in wartime. This situation was made clear at ‘Britain Can Make It’ where all the goods on display were for purchase only by the export market and would not be available, at least in the short term, to home consumers (hence the popular nickname for the exhibition, Britain Can’t Have It).


Image courtesy www.vads.ahds.ac.uk

I wish I had seen this exhibition as it would have been ground-breaking to be seen. Instead, I had to see a later incarnation on a smaller scale, by David Nicholls for Liberty of London in an exhibition he entitled ‘Britain Can (Still) Make It‘ which showed some fantastic examples of British Manufacturing still going strong. Favourites of mine (not all shown in David’s exhibition) are Ercol, Vitsœ and Anglepoise… three really wonderful products with fantastic heritage that I could never imagine being without. In fact, my flat is adorned with all three of them but I’m not biased.

 

Still want to read more? Seriously?
Okay, there are further resources for ‘Britain Can Make It’ here:
http://vads.ahds.ac.uk/learning/designingbritain/html/bcmi_intro.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_Can_Make_It

Lawrence Weiner, sculptor?

Born in the Bronx, New York on 10 February 1942, Lawrence Weiner is one of the most important living American artists.  A key member of the New York conceptual art world of the 1960s, for over forty years he has been using language as his primary material.  Whilst usually taking the form of large typographic wall texts he refers to his work as sculpture, and the words, phrases and statements he employs are often representative of states or processes grounded in the physical world.

Lawrence has lived in the UK since the 1960s and has almost lost all of his US accent to be replaced by a distinctly smokers tone.

Portrait of Lawrence Weiner, Fundació Suñol, Barcelona

Courtesy of latitudes-flickr

I saw the work of Lawrence Weiner at Tate St Ives during a visit two years ago and was really taken by how strong the work seemed and how simple it was that it really brings the viewer into the work and you are not distracted by any other visual noise.

Not to mention that I have always been such a fan of typography in art, and am always drawn towards any work that uses strong type in the work.

Here are some more images of Lawrence’s work…

Lawrence Weiner

Courtesy of locomomo

Lawrence Weiner 'Under The Sun' EACC Castelló

Courtesy of latitudes-flickr

Lawrence Weiner 'Under The Sun' EACC Castelló

Courtesy of latitudes-flickr

Less and More: the design ethos of Dieter Rams

In 1955 Dieter Rams began working for a little known electrical company called Braun (pronounced ‘brown’) and quickly became an influential force within the company. From 1961 Prof Rams was head of design until his retirement in 1995.

Suntory Museum, Osaka and the Fuchu Museum, Tokyo have put together an exhibition to show a vast amount of the products that were designed at Braun during his tenure at the electrical giant. Amongst this work is also work for the other companies that Dieter Rams put his hand to, namely Vitsœ and FSB.

During the recent visit I had the opportunity to view the exhibition with Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs (who had designed most of the clocks and watches during this period).

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The object that most stood out to me, was the FS 1000 portable television. Having seen most of the popular products before (the T 1000 world receiver, SK 4 record player et al) this was quite a surprise to see. This was just a prototype but Dieter Rams explained to me that “it was planned to sit alongside the T 1000 [world receiver]“. It never went into production, but now I look at Fukasawa’s portable television in a very different light – I see a clear influence, deliberate or not.

The most striking part of this television was the tilting screen and the way in which Rams dealt with the tube at the back of the television, only creating a case for the shape of the tube. I am sure that this product could have had a life if only it had made it beyond prototype stage.

Less and More: the design ethos of Dieter Rams is at Suntory Museum, Osaka until 25 Janaury 2009 and at Fuchu Art Museum from 23 May to 20 July 2009.