Anglepoise® invited design writer and blogger, Gerard McGuickin of Walnut Grey Design to review the Maison&Objet interior design fair, which took place in Paris from 23 - 27th January. Here are his reflections ...
What characteristics denote a truly iconic design? Firstly, it stands to reason that it must be above all well designed. Secondly, any good design will be innovative and pioneering, as well as useful, self-explanatory and long-lasting. Thirdly, an iconic design will likely give rise to a strong emotional attachment, impacting positively on well-being. And lastly, a truly iconic design will be aesthetic, appearing pure and simple in its form and disposition.
British design has unquestionably made a huge contribution to the genre of design icons and one of its most prominent and celebrated benefactors is Anglepoise®. The Original1227™, launched in 1935, is widely regarded as the archetypal Anglepoise® light with a design that is undeniably timeless. Many of us can no doubt visualise the classic profile and somewhat jaunty shape of this characterful light, so famous is its construction and persona.
During the past decade Anglepoise® enjoyed something of a renaissance and newfound confidence with several signifiant achievements. Kenneth Grange, the lauded British industrial product designer and the brand’s Design Director, created the noteworthy Type75™, a now quintessential icon in the Anglepoise® collection. The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre commissioned a giant version of the Original1227™ lamp (the ‘Original’ had stood on the desk in Dahl’s writing hut). The Giant1227™ garnered so much attention it is now in volume production. Marking the 75th anniversary (in 2009) of the Original1227™, it featured on a Royal Mail stamp alongside other British design icons. And bringing 2014 to a close, Anglepoise® collaborated with British fashion designer Paul Smith who produced a clever rendering of Kenneth Grange’s Type75™ in his distinctive colour handprint.
For Anglepoise®, 2015 got underway with a presentation of its handsome new collections alongside enduring favourites at Maison&Objet in Paris from 23rd - 27th January. Three recently introduced product ranges were on display:
Kenneth Grange’s new Type75™ Maxi collection encompassing both a modern, large-scale and elegant floor lamp and a beautifully contoured and clean pendant light (see Maxi floor lamp below right);
An Original1227™ Brass five piece collection with brass detailing (see pendants below left), heritage inspired colours and woven cable, resulting in a dapper and dashing new interpretation of the definitive Anglepoise® light;
The aforementioned Anglepoise® collaboration with Paul Smith.
With a reverence enjoyed by few design brands, Anglepoise® was featured in other parts of Maison&Objet. To celebrate the launch of Irish crystal brand Waterford’s punk-esque ‘Rebel’ glass, metal and jewellery collection, a one-off installation titled “Textures & Treatments” held at Idem Paris was curated by Disegno magazine. The exhibition featured six Type75™ desk lamps in silver. Image © Brian du Halgouet for Disegno.
Maison&Objet, a trade show that brings together many of the great and the good from the world of design, is a veritable treasure trove of design gems. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, this vast multifaceted event provides a worldly context for business, creativity and design innovation. Exhibiting at such a prestigious event, Anglepoise® was well-placed to showcase its industry stature, integrity and influence across design in the broadest sense. With an almost boundless compilation of products on show throughout Maison&Objet, this writer has selected just a few that would doubtless complement the Anglepoise® product line:
Ruttu (meaning diamond or square in Finnish) is a collection of ten vases in five sizes and seven colours designed for Finnish brand Iittala by Parisian brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Image © Iittala Group.
The small and stackable Nikari Oy Café Scandi stool, designed by Kari Virtanen, is inspired by the Monocle Café at Maison&Objet. Image © Nikari Oy.
These spun-brass and leather-lined trays are designed by Copenhagen studio GamFratesi for the Swedish metal company Skultuna. Image via Dezeen.
Webby by Italian manufacturer Porada is a collection of upholstered solid wood stools, ottomans and benches. Image via Azure Magazine.
Finnish brand Artek presented smaller furnishings, lighting and objects from its ‘abc’ collection. From its archives, Artek reintroduced Alvar Aalto’s 114B Wall Drawer in birch. Image by Tuomas Uusheimo © Artek.
Contemporary British brand Another Country has reimagined its Series Two coffee table in rich and beautiful walnut. Image © Another Country.