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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The 'Air Multiplier' - Overhyped & Overpriced

I previously mentioned my disapproval with smug inventor James Dyson's bladeless fan. Now the temperatures in London are pushing 30+ smug Dyson types are rushing out to buy them. Here's what I have against them.

The big selling point is that it stops "buffeting"; a problem that doesn't actually exist; well done marketing department. It doesn't need to be in the shape of an 'O' - it's an inefficient footprint and again, exists as a marketing gimmick; look a 'fan' without the middle bit! If you're going to draw influence from a traditional design, give the product character, not better-than-thou arrogance.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Plywood Roedeer by Vlaemsch

A postmodern take on the traditional icon, I picked up this beechtriplex deer head in New York. Originally mounted on an oval base, I had it framed which gives it a new dimension. Designed by Augustin Scott de Martinville for Vlaemsch.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Nambé Twist Coasters - Acacia and Alloy

It's not often that the coaster that you rest your drink on will cost more than the drink itself. These twist coasters designed by Lou Henry for American design house Nambé are examples of such coasters.

At $130 for the set of six, these acacia wood and alloy rectangles are quite something. Nambé justify the price by saying that the "witty design suggests a spirited style and dapper elegance". I think the spiraling design better suggests debaucherous excess and all-round Mancave goodness.

Devil in the Detail - The Delta Door Handle

The second 'devil in the detail' observation, the door handle is something which we interact with every day but have a tendency to largely ignore. But it's not for want of manufacturers trying; there are plenty of crazy handle designs available online.

Far from being crazy, these 'Delta' handles from Heritage Brass are made in Wales and caught my eye because of their solid simplicity. Chunky yet refined polished chrome, 90 degree angles and, most importantly, hidden screwless fixings. Flawless.

The Luxury of Inconvenience

This week I spent considerable time considering whether to purchase two of these nickel wall-mounted lights/scones for candles. I planned to put them in the bathroom; on each side of the mirror; and liked the idea of legitimising candlelight as a source of lighting by giving them 'fixed' hardware.

In the end, I decided that I didn't have the room, but it got me thinking about luxury and practicality. The fixed wall candle fitting, is clearly high-end, but also horrendously inconvenient- I couldn't see myself lighting candles when nipping into the w/c in the middle of the night! But I think it is for that reason, that they are high end. The sheer impracticality of them makes them uncommon and therefore desirable.

Could the same be said for other luxury items like log burning fires, ink-drawing fountain pens and my utterly impractical Japanese phone? Absolutely. High-end items, as mentioned before, can effortlessly improve our quality of life but also sometimes take us a step backwards.
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