My 20th Century Design Icon

Giant1227 Anglepoise In Anthracite Grey

At the moment Little Greene is running a  bloggers’ competition to celebrate 20th century design. The company’s recent research into authentic paint colours from the 1950s, 60s and 70s lead Little Greene to think about the huge impact of changing materials, technology and manufacturing techniques on the shape of modern design. So they launched a competition asking bloggers to reveal the products or objects that they feel are 20th century design icons and are just as relevant today as when they were first conceived.

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Ekokook Kitchen for better waste disposal

Designed by Victor Massip and Laurent Lebot of design studio Faltazi, assisted by Céline Bécu, Arthur Senant and Danielle Wielezynski, the Ekokook kitchen concept was developed as an entrant in the annual VIA Carte Blanche awards, which recognises young talent, promotes French creation and awards a grant to designers whose originality and maturity of creative approach are outstanding for the period.

Ekokook as a concept was conceived to help households reduce their ecological footprint by improving waste management through intelligent storage. The kitchen therefore incorporates built-in fittings for selecting, processing and storing all kinds of waste from organic matter, to solid and liquid waste. Solid waste can be compacted for storage therefore reducing the frequency of collection by the local authorities. The kitchen incorporates five separate units for processing glass, paper, plastics, metals and miscellaneous solid waste and can be customised to suit the user profile and interact with services offered by the community.

Organic waste water used in the kitchen can be stored and reused for tasks such as watering household plants. The built-in double sink features a double plug allowing the user to direct waste water either down the plug or into a reservoir situated below , which collects filtered waste water that has no grease scum. Similarly organic waste is broken down in an earthworm kitchen composter, which after three months releases ‘lumbri’ compost and a liquid effluent which drains into two jugs and can be diluted and used to feed plants.

With this project Faltazi is echoing the ecological revolution that has already begun and Ekokook simply extends the measures that have already been initiated by the public authorities in France into the realm of private homes.

A light on the tiles

Billie Jean tiles inspired by Michael Jackson

Billie Jean is an innovative wall covering concept that incorporates a collection of translucent glass tiles designed to illuminate the bathroom. The design, by Finnish designer Henrik Amberla, was a submission for a competition run by home design company DNA+.

Amberla took his inspiration from a Michael Jackson music video in which the mere touch of Jackson’s feet is enough to trigger lights in the pavement tiles. When not in use the tiles appear to be made from one simple material, however, when illuminated the translucent glass bulb allows a soft, atmospheric lighting of the bathing environment.

With his design, Amberla wanted to highlight the demise of the traditional incandescent light bulb whilst at the same time offering a modern alternative.

Landscape bathroom for Roca

The Roca Landscape by Yar Rassadin

The Roca Landscape by Yar Rassadin

Russian designer Yaroslav Rassadin has designed this intriguing bathroom concept for Jump the Gap, an international design competition held by sanitaryware manufacturers Roca.

Landscape is made from thick silicone or rubber and can be moulded into different shapes depending on how it is to be used. The use of an air-pump can completely change the nature of this bathroom allowing both space and water to be saved.

From a shower tray to a deep bath and a shallow seated bath to a Japanese style Ofuro bath, this is one versatile bathroom suite. Rassadin was voted a finalist in the competition, but was pipped to the top post by an entry from China.

You can view the other finalists and the winning entry here.

The Landscape collection

The Landscape collection

You can read my interview with Yar Rassadin here

Future Talents

The winning design by John Walsh

The winning design by John Walsh

This year saw the launch of a brand new competition in bathroom design. ‘Future Talents’ is run by brassware manufacturer Triflow Concepts and was held as part of this year’s London Design Festival in September.

The competition aimed to encourage students and designers to submit designs for a pioneering new kitchen or bathroom tap or accessory. Triflow received over 80 entries for the competition which was judges by a panel comprised of renowned architect Zaha Hadid, editor-in-chief of Wallpaper* magazine Tony Chambers,  interior designer David Collins and Times columnist Caroline Roux.

The judges chose a shortlist of their favourite five designs, which were then put to a public vote4 on the Triflow stand at 100% Design last month. According to Triflow all entries received great interest, but one design in particular racked up 35 percent of the public vote making it the most popular entry.

‘Trees’ by John Walsh will now be produced by Triflow Concepts and Walsh will receive royalties from sales of the tap as well as walking away with £1500 in prize money.

The four runners up

The four runners up

Design fit for a Prince

Design has come more under the spotlight recently and, perhaps in part due to the recession, people are starting to reassess the role and value of design. The Design Council‘s Value of Design fact finder is proof that people’s attitudes towards the importance of design are changing.

Moreover, the European Commission recently launched a public consultation on its working document ‘Design as a driver of user-centred innovation’  which provides an analysis of the rationale for making design an integral part of European innovation policy rather than something which is left to individual Member States or a regional level.

However, there are some people who have been interested in and have actively been promoting the value of design for over 50-years now, namely Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He has been one of Britain’s most outspoken design critics and champions. He launched his Designers Prize, which is the UK’s longest running design award, 50 years ago to put the spotlight on the designers who are improving and influencing our daily life and business success.

Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs had the pleasure of interviewing Prince Philip and had the opportunity to discuss the Prince’s passion for design and how the role of design has progressed over the past five decades.

You can read Kevin McCloud’s article for the Times here or you can watch the video of the interview below.

Easy Living

Easy Living is a modular washing machine

Easy Living is a modular washing machine

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve needed to do washing but haven’t had enough to make up a full load of either coloured or white washing.

One design that could go a long way in solving this is called Easy Living, a concept which was conceived by French designer David Genin as part of this year’s James Dyson Award.

Easy Living is a perfect concept for those who want to do their washing individually. The system comprises a single wall unit that has three separate, detachable pods, ideal for when you want to do two or more loads of washing simultaneously.

It also offers an advantage for families or house-sharers in that the pods can be removed and used in individual rooms, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. They can be used to store dirty washing and when full they can be hooked up to the base unit.

And because each of the four drums is relatively small, the appliance uses less water and takes less time, therefore saving energy as well as space. Genius!

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