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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Banking back in Style - Ballograf Epoca

So the public backlash against bankers has subsided. Ever ahead of their time, the Japanese realise that it's about time banks and bankers should be celebrated (not that I'm biased or anything). I spotted the beautiful Epoca Bank pen last year in the Scandinavian Design House at Omotesando Hills in Tokyo.

Manufactured by Jan Johansson's and Tommy Kvistsuper's Ballograf AB in Sweeden, this is an iconic ballpoint with black/chrome satellite stand and classic ball bearing rope. It deserves to be on every desk, by every telephone and on every counter in the Square Mile. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Le Fridge by Veuve Clicquot


Had to get this one posted before winter rolls in. Every year Veuve Clicquot commissions a designer to create a new 'ice box' presentation case. Iconic in so many ways, the charming 2010 design by Denis Boudard manages to incorporate Veuve's trademark yellow with a simple 50's fridge form. Does what it says on the door, keeping the bottle of brut cool for up to 2 hours. Do grab one before they run out.

100% Design London - Stephen Johnson

I mentioned that some of the events and exhibitions held as part of the London Design Festival weren't commercial enough - 100% Design at Earl's Court was probably on the other end of the scale, with all it's high-budget corporate stands and weighty press kits.

I liked Stephen Johnson's 'Happy Happy' chrome/aluminium bows. Commercial, at £3,000 each and similar in style to the works of Jeff Koons, Stephen was refreshingly forward about his inspiration - A bow is a commercial 'folly' intended purely to look pretty and make people happy. Like the work by Dixit, I think it sits at the design end of the Art-Design scale, and is certainly less twee than his other work.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Tent London - Design Trumps Art

Highlights from the Tent London exhibition this weekend included Dixit Design Lab. In particular these Yes No art pieces caught my eye for the interesting use of colour and 3D layers. The artworks are made from stepped, hand carved and lacquered segments in Y and N patterns with graduating colours and embossed/raised text reflecting the positivity (or negativity) of the word.

I particularly like the use of light to make shadow emphasis the design. Interestingly the rep made it quite clear that the pieces were not art, but actually design. Fantastic to hear somebody finally make the distinction between the two and hail design as something that can command a £2,500 price tag.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Designersblock London - Top Picks

I was invited to a preview of the Designersblock London exhibition last night as part of the London Design Festival. A few most designs were highly conceptual and un-commercial, but a few did stand out.

Gerald the Dog from Lazerian (pictured) is a £10 cardboard do-it-yourself kit that takes the form of the company's mascot. Charming and accessible, the angular cardboard form replicates Lazerian's more ambitious designs like the £1,700 Bravias armchair - made from over 200 hand cut components.

Also of interest was the Light Light by Charlie Sekers; an iconic representation of a table lamp made entirely from a neon tube-light, and the luxury flat-pack Baba Lounger chair by Objekt International.
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