Fast Forward: Art of the ordinary

On show Not all designers shun the mundane. Martin Skegg and Michael Oliveira-Salac discover `Stealing Beauty', an exhibition that positively embraces real life

A new exhibition, Stealing Beauty, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, focuses on British-based artists and designers who take a less stylised approach to living. Their work addresses the mundane aspects of life - the behaviour of real people and the ordinary things around us. Exhibition curator Claire Cotterall describes the designers as "drawing on the palette of the ordinary and everyday".

Clockwise from top left

Cow's Foot Light by Fashion, Architecture, Taste (FAT) A consortium of architects and artists, FAT envision the future as rustic and picturesque, rather than shiny and rounded. The Cow's Foot Light is a piece of anti-design, the antithesis of good taste and function - it doesn't even stand up.

pounds 500 from FAT, 0171-251 6735

Millennium Fever CD by Alex Rich The Millennium Fever CD is a device that randomly creates lottery numbers. Put the disc in any CD player, press shuffle, and the numbers come up on the track listings window, as well as being "spoken" through your speakers.

pounds 5 plus p&p, 0171-923 1092

Ice Bucket by Azumi Shin Azumi used to design laptops and games consoles. Now he and his wife, Tomoko, create elegant, transformable furniture, such as a bench that turns into a single bed. Much of their work involves using objects and materials in new ways. The Ice Bucket, commissioned specially for Stealing Beauty, is made from test-tube glass.

pounds 40 from the ICA, 0171-925 2434

Cave Man Floor Light by Georg Baldele Inspired by childhood memories of playing with a measuring tape, the Cave Man Floor Light is made from a roll of industrial paper, that sits on a metal base. There is a light bulb in the middle of this and when the tape is extended it creates a cone-shape of paper which acts as the lampshade.

pounds 275 from Same, 0171-247 9992

Overdue Invoice Brick by Bump The Overdue Invoice Brick typifies the playful attitude of Mike Watson and Jon Morgan, aka Bump. It's part of their experiment with basic communication, objects that carry a message but avoid personal confrontation - you just put it through the window of someone who owes you money. Bump favours the craft approach - each brick is hand-finished. pounds 50 from Bump, 0171-407 7482

La Lu Cable Light by El Ultimo Grito Spanish design group El Ultimo Grito makes objects that are never quite finished until the user has got their hands on them. The La Lu Cable Light is inspired by baskets woven in Africa from recycled telephone wire. The bulb is powered by a length of orange flex, woven in on itself to form a shade

Not available to buy

`Stealing Beauty' is at the ICA, the Mall, London SW1, from 3 April- 23 May

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