I am very interested in the process and evolution of design, although there are very few actual products I really desire. We just have too many things. My selection is connected by ideas of making. I’m rather put off by craft but I am completely drawn towards things where knowledge and creativity is embedded in making or manufacturing. These objects are also recognisable but mainly anonymous, which also appeals.
I met Elizabeth Radcliffe seven years ago when I was teaching architecture in Cambridge. After graduating, she retrained at the London College of Fashion and on Savile Row. She recently set up on her own, tailoring for men and women. Younger and more contemporary than the “Row”, she still has all the knowledge for great cuts and quiet details. I’d like to think that some of it comes from her architectural education, but it might just be talent. (top image)
20oz claw hammer (English pattern)
It’s rare to be able to have “the best” of anything for under £30, but this really is the nicest tool that lasts for ever and gets better with age. Head and handle forged in one piece and a leather grip. A beautiful thing, whether you use it or not.
There are some classic undesigned objects that just can’t be improved. I thought trestles were among these until I saw the cross-legged wooden ones by Simon Jones. A beautiful piece of thinking of unusual modesty and elegance.
I really like the new generation of LED bike lights in silicone rubber skin – a nice marriage of LED technology and new polymers. No more obsolete clips on saddle stems and handlebars, living on my bike like old barnacles for years after the matching light has been lost. They feel nice in the pocket too.
I teach in Zurich where there is a really energetic independent publishing scene. Rollo Press produces lovely books printed with the rather obscure Risograph GR 3770, “in a way that includes all steps of the process: from concept to design on to printing, binding and distribution”. Single colour grainy publications on art, the city and life’s ephemera.