Heads Up: Kenneth Grange
The Guv'nor – how one man shaped modern Britain
Sunday 03 July 2011
What are we talking about?
An exhibition at London's Design Museum of prolific and influential product designer Kenneth Grange's work, entitled Making Britain Modern.
The making of modern man.
Kenneth Grange, who has given the museum access to his archives. A founder of Pentagram Design, he's the man responsible for the shape of many of our domestic appliances, vehicles and daily products, from post-boxes to black cabs to Parker Pens.
The objects themselves. Functional and normal though many of them are, this retrospective hopes to make you look at the design of everyday items in a new way. Classic items include an Anglepoise light, the Kodak Instamatic camera, the London black cab, the InterCity 125 train, a Wilkinson razor...
The Early Buzz
Edwin Heathcote wrote in the Financial Times that "Kenneth Grange is ubiquitous. The day before I went to talk to him I'd taken a trip on one of the trains he designed and had got into one of the London taxi cabs he designed. I shaved with one of his razors, opened a door using one of his handles and waited for a bus at one of his bus shelters. No other designer has had the same impact on the London environment." Writing for lifestyle magazine The Quarterly, Grange identifies the key to his success: "Product designers must be in a state of perpetual disaffection with what they see around them. It spurs them on to create something better."
Grange's own favourite design is his 1968 streamlined, tube-nosed train for British Rail – a shape which has since influenced the look of many high-speed trains.
It's great that...
The exhibition should blur the boundaries between the commercial and the artistic – Grange himself saying: "I am often associated with Modernism, but I see myself as being a commercial animal first and foremost."
It's a shame that...
Given his designs are so ubiquitous, it might be hard to persuade people to stump up for tickets to an exhibition.
Sure to be popular with design types, and probably has enough quirky charm to tempt a more general punter too.
Kenneth Grange: Making Britain Modern is at the Design Museum, London SE1 2YD (designmuseum.org), 20 July to 30 October. Holly Williams
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
lifeIt takes year-long dedication to get Selfridges ready for 25 December. And they're already working on plans for 2015...
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Arts & Ents blogs
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
Coriolanus, theatre review: 'Tom Hiddleston has blazing stellar power'
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
A special delivery: Behind the scenes on the set of 'Call the Midwife'
Justin Bieber's mishaps and controversies
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >