Ten principles defined Dieter Rams’ approach to “good design”:
Good design is innovative
Good design makes a product useful
Good design is aesthetic
Good design helps us to understand a product
Good design is unobtrusive
Good design is honest
Good design is durable
Good design is consequent to the last detail
Good design is concerned with the environment
Good design is as little design as possible
Back to purity, back to simplicity
In 1971 Braun introduced the AB1 Alarm Clock, designed to do what is required — keep accurate time and wake you up in the morning — no more no less. By adhering to design principles, Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs, created an icon of modern design.
For nearly 30 years Dieter Rams served as head of design for Braun until his retirement in 1998. He continues to be a legend in design circles and most recently designed a cover for Wallpaper* magazine. Many of his designs — clocks, coffee makers, calculators, radios, audio/visual equipment and office products — have found a permanent home at many museums over the world, including MoMA in New York.
Braun AB1 Alarm Clock, by Dieter Rams, Dietrich Lubs, 1971, for Braun
Bruce Munro’s iconic Field of Light sculpture is now installed at the Eden Project in Cornwall. The piece can now be seen on the sloping grass roof of the visitors centre, called the Link building, between the famous Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, and will remain there until Spring 2009. The sculpture first came to widespread public attention when a scaled-down version was exhibited in the Pirelli Garden at the V&A in 2004.
Bruce Munro and five assistants worked over three days to install Field of Light at the Eden Project. It is made of 6,000 acrylic stems, through which fibre optic cables run, each crowned with a clear glass sphere.
Field of Light, by Bruce Munro, through Spring 2009, at the Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
The Dutch Ministry of Finance organized an architecture competition to design a five-euro commemorative coin with the theme ‘Netherlands and Architecture’.
When someone looks closely at the portrait of Queen Beatrix, it becomes clear that her portrait is constructed with names of important Dutch architects. On the outside the names are clearly readable, while they slowly get smaller to the center.
Five-Euro Commemorative Coin, by Stani Michiels.
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The Domino monobloc sofa system is characterized by the slim seat pad and square cushions. It is composed of modular sofas, bases and pouf.
Domino, by Emaf Progetti, for Zanotta
After the success of luxury crash helmets, Atelier Ruby has come out with a new model called Belvedere. It offers one integral visor, with a excellent hinge detail, delivered in three different colours.
Designed by Mies van Der Rohe for the Bauhaus in 1927. The wicker-work for the chair was created by Lilly Reich, assistant to Mies Van Der Rohe. It is the Icon of Modern Furniture Design. This chair is one of the classics in the history of furniture. Bauhaus became a dominant force in architecture and the applied arts in the 20th century. The main theory was that all design should be functional as well as aesthetically-pleasing.
Tom Dixon has designed an electrical pylon-like suspension lamp comprising a lightweight geometric frame in anodized metal, with blown satin glass elements.
Lightweight, by Tom Dixon, for Foscarini
The time indicated is actually the reverse reflection of the digital clock placed on the bottom. Made from the finest Kiso Urushi lacquer finish in three colours: vermillion, ebony and “tame’
Dancing on the Water Alarm Clock, by Yukio Hashimoto, for YOnoBI
When Alexander “Sandy” Calder (1898–1976), arrived in Paris in 1926, he aspired to be a painter; when he left in 1933, he had evolved into the artist we know today: an international figure and defining force in twentieth-century sculpture. In these seven years Calder’s fluid, animating drawn line transformed from two dimensions to three, from ink and paint to wire, and his radical innovations included openform wire caricature portraits, a bestiary of wire animals, his beloved and critically important miniature Circus (1926–31), abstract and figurative sculptures, and his paradigm-shifting “mobiles.”
Exhibition: Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933, at the Whitney Museum October 16, 2008 – February 15, 2009
For over a century, wooden gabled grain elevators, known as Wheat Kings, have defined the Canadian prairies. They are faintly anthropomorphic, with a pointy head, sloping shoulders, and stout torso. But one by one, they are vanishing, going the way of the small-town railroad station and manned lighthouses.
The first grain elevator sprang up alongside the tracks of the newborn Canadian Pacific Railway at Gretna, Manitoba, in 1881-four years before Riel’s Northwest Rebellion. By 1933, close to 6,000 grain elevators dotted Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. These simple and durable railside appurtenances became focal points in prairie social and economic life.
But the consolidation of small farms into mega-farms and the abandonment of railway branch lines spell the end for the traditional elevator. Today’s farmers increasingly ship their grain by long-haul tractor-trailer to regional “high-throughput grain handling centres” where super-efficient, steel and concrete plants each do the work of a dozen old-style elevators.
Fewer than 1,200 prairie cathedrals remain standing, a handful may survive as heritage artifacts. The rest will succumb to demolition crews.
Flickr Set: I Love Grain Elevators