Where can I buy a future design classic?
Whether it's experimenting with innovative manufacturing techniques, working with bees to create a vase or using geometry to design shelves that don't need to be attached to the wall, young designers in Britain today are developing outstanding products. We asked design specialists to pinpoint the classics of the future - design that is likely to hold its own in 10, 20 and even 50 years time and give classics of the past a run for their money.
Sunday 30 March 2008
Sajjadah 1426 prayer mat by Soner Ozenc
Selected by Rory Dodd, founder of Designersblock
"This electro-luminescent prayer mat contains a compass so its design glows more brightly as it points towards Mecca," says Dodd. "Simultaneously modern and deeply historical, it mixes technology and tradition to enhance everyday usefulness." Turkish-born, British-based designer Ozenc, 27, creates products that combine tradition with contemporary materials and technology. Though not a Muslim, he became interested in rugs and prayer mats while studying at Central St Martins. ("Sajjadah" is a Persian-Turkish word meaning prayer rug; 1426 stands for 2005 in the Islamic calendar.) Price Available on commission, price on application. Production pieces will be available later this year, price to be confirmed. Contact 0779 287 0007, ww.sonerozenc.com
Make/Shift shelves by Peter Marigold
Selected by Libby Sellers, design dealer and gallerist
Make/Shift, says Sellers, reflects the virtues of temporary living. "You don't need any fixings to hold it to the wall so it's versatile and ideal for the increasingly nomadic nature of our domestic arrangements," she says. Marigold (pictured), 33, has a Fine Art sculpture degree from Central St Martins and spent almost 10 years in theatre and stage design. Make/Shift is his first commercial project; made from polypropylene, the shelves are simple yet arresting. "I think creating banal objects that are highly polished but have no substance is a bit of a crime," he says. Price £79 each. Contact 07812 525 245, 020 8880 0690, manufactured by www.movisi.com
Mechano chair by Andre Klauser
Selected by manufacturer and retailer Thorsten van Elten
"This chair is an existing form, but Klauser's design gives it a new lease of life," says van Elten. "It has the aesthetic of mass production and well thought-through design qualities, such as the ability to flatpack, which make it simple to produce, yet none of this takes away from its striking and individual lines." German-born, London-based Klauser (pictured), 35, is an RCA graduate and worked with the British designer Jasper Morrison before founding his own studio in 2002. "The chair was inspired by industrial shelving," says Klauser. "In my work I take inspiration from everyday objects whose beauty is often overlooked." A table launches later this year. Price £210. Contact 07966 724 728, www.andreklauser.com
Fold light by Alexander Taylor
Selected by Emily Campbell, head of design and architecture at the British Council
"Fold is constructed by folding a single cut sheet of steel into a lamp of improbable elegance and firmness," says Campbell. "This ingenuity marks Taylor out as a natural heir to Britain's industrial designer-engineers." Taylor (pictured), 32, launched his first collection in 2003. In 2005, Fold was produced by Established & Sons and Taylor won Elle Decoration Young Designer of the Year. "Form was born out of what was available in my small studio at the time," he says. "I started with paper and acrylic to get the structure right and then decided I wanted to work with aluminium or steel." In 2006, the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired the Fold lamp. Price from £76.50. Contact 07990 971 202, www.alexandertaylor.com, manufactured by www.establishedandsons.com
Coffee maker for Muji by Sam Hecht and Industrial Facility
Selected by Deyan Sudjic, Design Museum director
Sudjic sees the coffee maker in the tradition of Dieter Rams, chief designer at Braun from 1961 to 1995. "Sam Hecht's coffee maker is reduced to simple geometry and a neutral colour scheme," he says. "Dieter Rams did it first but this takes his example into the future. It's an object I would keep even if it stopped working." Hecht (pictured), 38, formed Industrial Facility with Kim Colin in 2002. The group's designs are in MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. "I looked at coffee makers and they were very machine-like; I wanted to create something simpler," he says. Price £25. Contact 020 7253 3234, www.industrialfacility.co.uk, manufactured by Muji but as yet only available in Japan '
The Dutch Tub by Floris Schoonderbeek
Selected by designer Wayne Hemingway
Hemingway believes the Dutch Tub's sustainability without worthiness makes it a classic of our time: to heat the water, you light a fire beneath an ingenious coil mechanism. "It's a piece of funny, striking modern design," he says. "A bright orange tub heated by fallen branches; you can even cook some prawns on the by-product heat. It's what sustainability is all about, having fun and being thrifty." Dutch designer Schoonderbeek (pictured), 29, says he's interested in products that help link urban and rural environments and that inspire people to spend more time outdoors. There is a pleasing down-to-earth directness about this bright orange tub, with its simple half-bowl design and spiral heating system. "Dutch Tub is sober and decadent at the same time," says Schoonderbeek. "Hot tubs are a luxury product but the design of the Dutch Tub brings it back to the essence of outdoor bathing. It's a way of engaging with your environment wherever you are." Price £2,995. Contact 0800 0121795, www.dutchtub.com
Honeycomb vase by Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny
Selected by Marcus Fairs, design writer and commentator
"Beautiful, fragile and completely organic, these vases are made by bees," says Fairs. "Each is unique and different hives produce vases with different colours and scents. It's a wonderful example of the way contemporary designers are turning away from industry and towards the natural world for inspiration." It took 40,000 bees a week of hard work to make this striking and unusual vase. Dutch designer Libertiny (pictured), 28, calls the process "slow prototyping" and says it was inspired by his desire to move away from overly slick design. To create the vase, Libertiny first designed a vase-shaped bee hive embossed with a honeycomb pattern. The bees colonise the hive and build their hexagonal honeycomb around it. "It seemed logical to choose a vase as a design. Beeswax comes from flowers and the vase ends up serving flowers on their last journey," says Libertiny. nPrice on application, limited edition made to commission. Contact www.studiolibertiny.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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