Few designers are as overtly influenced by the objects that they collect as Sebastian Bergne. The precise graphics of his rulers and other measuring devices appear in silk scarves and cheeseboards, and even the coat hangers that he hoards have been reimagined as candelabra.
Since the launch of his first store in 1970, Paul Smith has mixed his fashion designs with the collection of curiosities that inspire them. He refers to this ever expanding hoard, which overflows his disorderly office and fills storage facilities, as The Department of Silly.
The fragmentary patterns created by kaleidoscopes have long enchanted the New York architect and helped to add a sense of the spectacular to many of his biggest projects.
Études sur Paris, André Sauvage’s 1928 cinematic ode to the French capital, is a stroll through a city on the brink of change, says Isabel Stevens.
Richard Rogers has always urged people to consider the dialogue between structures in a cityscape, rather than just individual buildings – an interest that can be traced back to his mother’s arrangements of ceramic pots that occupy a central space in his home
The London-based designer is fascinated by imperfections in everyday objects – the “runts of production”. It is only when things go wrong, he says, that we can appreciate how things are made.
An updated reissue of Charles Jencks and Nathan Silvers’ 1970s celebration of improvisation provides glimpses of the prescience and naivety of another age, says Douglas Murphy.
Charles and Ray Eames’ 1977 attempt to capture the scale of the universe on film is both a fascinating Cold War relic and a giant leap towards the contemporary fascination with aerial imagery.
The architect’s esoteric collection of objects plays past against present, with ancient Greek pots alongside Sex Pistols magazines. It is a theme she explores in many of her buildings, from Selfridges Birmingham (Icon’s first cover) to the new V&A courtyard
Studio Small has updated Frank Hornby’s beloved toy for the digital age, so that you can create your own designs at the touch of a button.
Icon is ten years old this month! For this special “collectors” issue, we asked Paul Smith, Richard Rogers, Amanda Levete, Sebastian Bergne, Madelon Vriesendorp, Peter Marigold and David Rockwell to show us their private collections of objects that influence their work. And we also invited all our past cover stars, from Maarten Baas to Daniel Libeskind, to complete the Icon psychological test.