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.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Viral Advertising-Infectious or Affliction

My flatmate studies Fashion Marketing and Branding and was commenting on how she is getting irritated by the increasing trend for viral advertising campaigns that involve short films featuring expensive clothing, extravagant settings and influencial models, actors and actresses, thus, I began considering how effective and cost-efficient viral advertising campaigns can be for designers and manufacturers.

From the perspective of brands that are identified using celebrity names and linear symbols and features, viral campaigns spread the links between products and marketing features that allow them to be easily and automatically identified by consumers when they go to shops or are purchasing products online. This also allows marketing departments to effectively create association with certain qualities such as expense, luxury, quality, beauty, class, functionability for their products without having to repeatedly spell it out in every form of advertising. This can be done using music, photography, iconography and endorsement.

Considering viral advertising campaigns past and present I would lean towards arguing that they are very effective in marketing a product and will most-likely increase sales, however they are very expensive, require a lot of very accurate direction so as to portray exactly what they are attempting to promote and as they become more popular and increase in number, the effect of them becomes more diluted and less cost-effective. Therefore, I feel it is time for an entirely new and unique form of advertising and marketing to be brought forward and exploited.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Peg Pencil

I came across this 'Peg Pencil' on the Gizmodo design website. I feel the retractable pencil design by Yuta Watanabe is so simple but really catches the eye. As obvious and as unoriginally novel it may be, it has actually not been marketed before and is technically original. Furthermore, cleverly, the design allows for the user to extend the lead rather than sharpen it and even replace the lead rather than replace the pencil. This will be popular for the eco-freaks and novelty driven consumers alike!

Anonymous Design

'Many product designers that we take for granted in our daily lives have evolved anonymously over decades or even centuries, through a process of natural selection that is driven by practical need rather than aesthetic concern.'- 'Design Handbook' by Charlotte and Peter Fiell.

I feel this statement really sums up the way that there are people who maybe only ten people in a billion were even aware of at the time influenced the 'tools' and products we use in daily home, office and luxury life today. So this post is to recognise all the designers who are left unrecognised for their life altering products.

One of the most famous and commonly used examples of anonymous designs (particularly in England) is the 'Brown Betty' teapot which was manufactured brown so that it does not get stained by tea; no other teapot can boast this as an original feature.