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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Mini Dolmen Grows Up

One of the first items on Design Trawler, the Mini Dolmen by Lexon is a soap-sized utilitarian field radio [pictured, rear] that sits nearly in the bathroom broadcasting news every morning. Three years on, and it's been challenged by the Goliath that is the Bose Soundlink.

A bluetooth behemoth in the bathroom may sound like overkill, but the bassy true-audio stream from any device means a greater variety of morning music. In particular, the Monocle 24 digital radio stream replaces utilitarian breakfast news with rich, curated commentary and current affairs.

At five times the price of the Lexon radio, the Bose is in a different league all together - But from a design point of view the Mini Dolmen exudes charm with it's circular speaker and telescopic aerial. Bluetooth or not, it would have been nice to see more character behind the [otherwise excellent] Soundlink design.

Design as Metaphor - Under the Sea

I've mentioned the concept of design as metaphor before - when one object, in the right setting as another, takes on the qualities of the second object. Useful for turning sideboards in to metaphorical grand pianos and such.

Recently, I returned home to find the monitors on my desk glowing with the underwater hues of the aurora screen saver. Clearly it's not an aquarium, but in a setting where a Bond-villain shark tank wouldn't look out of place, the displays create a cool, and somewhat foreboding ambiance.

Design Hobby or Folly?

I'm not sure if it's post Olympic nostalgia, or a global gymnastic conspiracy, but vintage hobby horses seem to be trending at the moment. First spotted in Lloyds Antiques in Tokyo, next at the Brussels Design Market and now even Liberty of London is offering up the athletic props.

Don't get me wrong, faded tan leather and classroom nostalgia are all well and good, but I haven't yet found an answer as to how to use them. Too tall for a chair and too uneven for a display surface - the conclusion seems to be that they're pure folly. If you have the space to swing multiple cats [or a penchant for handstands], then a hobby horse is the trophy to prove it... alongside your matching actual trophies.

A Smart and Stelthy Massacre

I've been meaning to massacre a Louis Vuitton belt for a while now. While the check daimer design is subtle and synonymous with dodgy markt stalls purveyors of fine steamer trunks, the LV monogram buckle is as understated as a wall of Cristal champagne labels.

Browsing in Gieves and Hawkes this weekend it struck me. The team at #1 Saville Row now carry a range of superb shoe laces in a variety of colours. A quick chop of the luxurious leather and a bow stolen from a brogue is enough to make two smart and stealthy curtain tie-backs.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Tabletop Fun for the Red Trousered

I've long maintained male-orientated design involves more than a beer fridge, 42 inch television and foosball table. While there are many [#1 #2 #3] a designer shish-kebab tabletop soccer game on the market [yes, I do realise that my flippant referral to football as soccer, and then likening it to a foodstuff suitable only for drunken students, is likely to result in the declaration of some kind of Yorkie Bar war] - the proper way to hurtle ping pong balls across a pint sized pitch, is to put down the pint, and pick up a flute. Expect this brilliant Veuve Clicquot folly at a red-trousered sporting event near you soon!
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