PARIS — Fashion fanatics have their must-have shoes and bags. But industrial designers have their seasonal fetishes, too. WWD asked some of Europe’s top industrial designers and architects to name the current object of their affection.
Electronic gadgets got the most votes, but in all cases, designers valued practicality with a bit of whimsy. Here are their choices:
This story first appeared in the September 27, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Sir Terrence Conran: Dyson vacuum cleaner, “For its terrific design and function. People love the attachment for pet-hair removal.”
Ross Lovegrove: Issey Miyake backpack from the fall 2002 collection. “They are like organic angel wings and are made from an incredible micro-textured material formed in a 3-D shape that sits high and elegantly on a woman’s shoulders.”
Richard Hutten: “Dombo” mug by Richard Hutten. “The mug has big handles, so it looks funny. It is as wide as my 4-year-old son, so when he drinks, the movement he makes is very nice.”
Marti Guixe: Camper “Wabi” shoes. “They are only for indoors, designed by Guillem Ferrer and produced by Camper. I got them as a present.”
Tom Dixon: Panasonic digital voice recorder. “It hangs around the neck and it works as a sort of high tech digital pendant. It’s a fantastic conversation piece as no one can work out its function. I record snatches of conversation or music.”
Ora Ito: Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 2 MP3 player. “It’s the most simple-looking MP3 player I’ve ever seen. Most of them are quite outrageously designed to appear futuristic, but they rarely do. This one is tremendously functional and it looks good. Moreover, it has a great sound and is easy to handle and use.”
Andree Putman: Apple iPod MP3 player. “It’s pleasant to look at and smooth to the touch. The sound is huge and impressive. It changes your life and goes straight to your soul. An almost ‘non- design’ object. I love the fact that it looks so modest.”
Patrick Jouin: Silicone oven mitts. “Imagine a chain-mail glove like the one used by knights or oyster shuckers, but made of malleable clear silicone. It sits on the hand like a shimmering force field…part computer rendering, part decorative lace, part protective armor. It is something that is so specifically designed for its intended use — a mitt for handling hot objects — but at the same time it reads like an art object: the surrealist mug with fur interior or something out of a Matthew Barney film.”
Marcel Wanders: Suspended Christmas tree. “I buy this wonderful design item on the Haarlemmerplein in Amsterdam. Every year, I have a moment of serious bargaining with André, who makes it. He lives in Florida the whole year and comes over for a month to sell trees and then lives off the money for the rest of the year.”
Nina Farkache: Muji CD player. “The fan-like design communicates at first glance what to do with the object: just pull the thread and listen. It also gives a feeling of something that is spread around, like a small fan that spreads air, but this time it is music.”
Adrien Gardere: Palm Pilot m500. “More than just an agenda, it has entirely transformed itself into a wallet, if not a handbag, if you consider everything I put in it.”