Sunday, 28 November 2010

Tiffany & Co.

Not surprisingly, I am often accused of not being particularly feminine in my priorities and interests. However, every so often something comes along and reminds me exactly why every woman in the first world will mentally turn into their very own version of Audrey Hepburn and feel compelled to promise forever to any man that presents them with that petite, egg-shell blue box that symbolises all things lovingly luxurious, but superbly subtle.

Tiffany & Co have been creating beautiful jewellery and gifts since 1837. They pride themselves of being classy and traditional, but always aspire to design innovative pieces and promote new designers. They define themselves as groundbreaking and glamorous. For me this is an exquisite product design in an area that many people overlook when considering 'good design'.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Vintage Breakfast

I am often impressed by new, unique and kitsch homeware products. The idea that design is in ever tiny part of our day really inspires me. However I sometimes think that I overlook the things I use everyday mealtime, everytime I make a cup of tea and everytime I boil an egg. We often design and buy 'vintage inspired' or 'retro' pieces of homeware (particularly kitchenware), but what about the genuine articles?

When I moved away from home to live at uni my Gran went into overdrive. Plates, side plates, saucers, mugs, glasses, pans, cutlery and even a teapot and an egg-cup. This is a woman to be admired. She is the queen of the auction room and the car boot expert. Therefore, I have an interest collection of vintage kitchenware. These are two of my favourites. The Sandringham egg-cup and the 'Fresh Milk' mug. No-one else I know has them, and they brighten up my day.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

New Minimalist

To reduce is a key feature in many design principles, particularly in the contemporary market. The aim is to reduce negative impacts on cost, the environment, the consumer, the manufacturing processes, the material sourcing, the transportation and the disposal of the products involved.

By doing this designers are not only increasing their social awareness and conscience in design terms, but are also making their products more appealing to the current consumer. Advertising and the media tells us that we can be 'better people' by using products and adopting new habits that reduce negative effects on the world we live in both environmentally and economically.

One method of marketing products recently has been to make one product that has the features of a multide of different products, therefore meaning a consumer only needs one piece of technology/one material product rather than two, three, four or even more. Therefore, less materials, manufacturing processes, advertising, transportation and disposal is needed.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

BoConcept Rock Chair

The Rock Chair from the 2011 BoConcept collection is a re-release that is a fun and attractive combination of aesthetics, humour and function. The buttons in the cushion are placed to look like eyes and the curve of the seat (based on ergonomics) is reminiscent of a smile which turns the piece of furniture into a face. The bright colour and fun nature of the design means that this product will be popular to a wide audience.

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition took place from May 1st to October 15th 1851 in Hyde Park, London. It was one of the World's Fairs that displayed thousands of examples of art, design and engineering from the countries in which they were created. These were popular 19th century features.

It was organised by Henry Cole and Prince Albert, the spouse of the ruler at the time, Queen Victoria. It was attended my six milion people (a third of the population at the time in Great Britain) and made £186 000 (£16 190 000 in 2010) profit which was used to found The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Science Museum, The Natural History Museum and The Imperial Institute.

Karl Marx claimed that the exhibition was an emblem of the capitalist fetishism of commodities. It was also attended by famous people from history such as Charlotte Bronte, Charles Darwin, Lewis Carroll and George Eliott.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Origami Clutch

This Origami Clutch by Itay Laniado looks and feels like paper but it’s made out of Tyvek®, so it’s strong like plastic or fabric with a zipper is sewn inside. It is available for purchase on Etsy. I think this an extremely interesting piece of design as it very successfully demonstrates how material replacement and alternative material technology can be used even in the circumstances of textiles and fashion.

If further colours and perhaps other alternative materials were explored in the design of this type of product then it would promote the eco-friendly and cost-efficient properties of using a variety of materials to replace less eco-friendly ones which leads the way for other manufacturers to improve their product's efficiency and costs.

Monday, 4 October 2010


These modular 'ZipZip' cushions by Pling collection are a new take on the minimalist theme has been popular for the past twenty years. They can be zipped on all sides and positioned on the floor against walls, between other pieces of furniture and are not only comfortable, but an aesthetically original and interest space saving product. As they are not like ordinary sofas and chairs that have legs and a base and then cushions as well, they are very lightweight, easy to transport and also cheaper to manufacture.

Furthermore, this type of zip together cushion furniture is clearly popular and appreciated by consumers and designers alike as I have seen a similar kind of design theme and idea that is sold by IKEA and probably other similar homeware stores.