Philippe Starck is probably best known for his ‘Juicy Salif’ metal citrus squeezer or polycarbonate ‘Ghost’ chairs. However, he’s such a prolific designer – he has turned his talents to such an array of products. He has designed motorbikes and cars, clocks and wristwatches, restaurants and hotels, mineral water bottles and bottles of Champagne, spectacles and shoes. Is there anything he hasn’t designed?!
Earlier this week, we featured a book-filled sitting room that contained a Vitsoe 606 Universal Shelving System. Today, we’re featuring it’s designer, Dieter Rams.
Born in 1932 in Germany, Dieter Rams is considered the king of industrial design. Yes, he has designed his fair share of furniture, but it is his everyday electric and electronic items for which he is best known. He makes the mundane and practical, beautiful and desirable. Alarm clocks, men’s electric shavers, calculators, radios and heaters have all received the Rams treatment.
He designed for Braun for many years; his products are pared back, unfussy and, most of all, thoroughly usable.
We think this might be the first time we’ve featured a designer who is also an accomplished architect. Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was a Finnish product designer who worked in furniture, textiles, glass and lighting.
He designed many buildings that are located all over the world and include churches, museums, hospitals, private homes, a sanatorium, a library and an event venue.
Many of his products are still in production today. We’ve linked to a couple of the places you can find them below.
One of the things near the top of my wish list is a cherry red vintage Valentine typewriter designed by Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti in 1968. The ones in good condition and complete with their carry cases sell for over a hundred pounds on eBay.
We love lots of his product and furniture designs, although much of his output from the Memphis Group period isn’t our cup of tea – perhaps it’s because we were both hip & trendy young adults in the 80s and we don’t need reminding of the time! 🙂
Recently, Hillary’s Blinds contacted us asking us to chose what we thought was an iconic interior design item from the past century. We found it really hard to narrow it down!
What era should we choose from, what type of item? We eventually decided upon Robin Day’s Polo chair designed in 1975. It’s British, has been produced in the millions (and still counting!) and has been exported all over the world. Chances are most of our behinds have graced a Polo at one time or another!
We recently acquired this gorgeous vintage coffee percolator.
It’s the Cona Model Rex – a design classic by the renowned artist Abram Games.
Not only is the appearance striking, but it works really well and the build quality is excellent. It’s got quite an industrial or science lab look to it.
We love the little details like the drip catcher and this hinged wick cover.
A number of institutions, such as the British Museum and the Science Museum, have examples of this model of percolator in their collections. Here’s a video demonstration of how the Cona coffee maker works…