My “most wanted” are objects that combine qualities. They all work hard to achieve their ambitions, but do so with some humour. They are materially reduced, but at the same time conceptually full. They are all fragments of much wider bodies of work, which they can also be seen to epitomise. I am drawn to objects that feel like they could accompany you on a journey.
Braun Lectron minisystem
At the 2009 Dieter Rams show at the Design Museum, one exhibit particularly stuck in my memory. It was an electronics kit designed by Rams and Jurgen Greubel for use in schools and universities. Comprising electronic components embedded in perspex cubes labelled with symbols, the system brilliantly and simply communicates something highly complex. I recently came across a full kit through my neighbour, Peter Kapos, who has recently set up a company selling Rams collectables. (top image)
Joseph A David
Graphic designer James Goggin used this extraordinary little device to produce all of the large-scale signs for the opening event we designed at last year’s Milan Furniture Fair. A tiny, simple steel stencil designed by Joseph A David in 1876, it produces a handsome and full sans serif outline font. Goggin and colleague Dries Wiewauters produced a limited number of reproductions of the stencil in 2010.
credit Dries Wiewauters
New Series SPEED bicycle
Moulton Bicycle Company
Having lost more bikes to cities than I care to remember, I finally decided to buy a small-wheeled fold-up a few years ago and to have it stay with me indoors. If my pedal budget had stretched to it, however, I would have chosen a Moulton. Designing a rideable bike that looks like
it has been crossed with a space-frame is no mean feat.
credit Moulton Bicycle Company
In an exhibition in the Architectural Association’s Front Members’ Room at the moment is a new desk by the late Cedric Price. According to the catalogue, it is a reproduction of prototypes designed by Price in the 1960s. It has a curious mix of qualities: economical in its form, sensual in its materials, humorously precise in its drawers. Much like Price himself.
credit Architectural Association
Limited edition house numbers
I live in the Whittington Estate, a beautiful Brunswick Centre-like concrete carbuncle on the southern slopes of Highgate Cemetery. When I couldn’t find a door number that suited, I decided to ring up the company that makes speed restriction signs to ask if they could do one for 79mph. Very good value, both generic and unique, and a little bit of Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert’s seminal road signage system all for yourself.
credit David Kohn