Otto the anti global car concept

There is a growing trend across the automotive world to champion the global car – the world car. This is generally a small urban vehicle that is pretty non-descript with little indication as to its origin – where is was designed or indeed made. One emerging designer has set about to question this by offering a contextual mobility solution. ‘I can never understand how a Swiss designer living in California can design a car for Thailand without knowing the culture,’... Read More

Book review: Design as Politics

Our world is nearing a state of structural unsustainability- a truism so obvious that even global-warming deniers deny it under their breath. In Design as Politics, author Tony Frey develops his previous thesis on the role of design in preventing the coming catastrophe  somewhat further. Sustainability (with a capital S) is to be achieved and catastrophe prevented by placing design at the heart of vital social transformations. Here Fry uses design not in its politically neutral... Read More

Second chance for forgotten spaces

How do you make use of forgotten sites in cities? This was the question raised by the Royal Institute of British Architects in its recent competition Forgotten Spaces where it challenged architects, designers, artists and students to find alternative uses for overlooked spaces in London and Sheffield. #gallery-9 { margin: auto; } #gallery-9 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-9 img... Read More

Dyson encourages design engineering

The UK government has just announced its five ‘golden’ subjects for the education curriculum. Sadly engineering doesn’t feature in this. The reality is that the country is suffering from a lack of trained engineers. The figures are quite shocking: the UK produces only 24,000 engineering graduates a year, compared to around 300,000 in China and 450,000 in India. Students in this field are often lured to work in the finance sector with the offer of better pay. What’s... Read More

Marek Reichman on Aston Martin’s Cygnet

Luxury, bespoke, customised – overused words that run the risk of losing their true meaning. But what does it really mean to design a car in today’s saturated market that encapsulates all these words yet is relevant to our changing world? Aston Martin has created such a car – co-created is probably the more accurate definition given that the base is the work of Toyota. In a nutshell the Cygnet is a very small commuter runaround designed ideally for urban mobility.... Read More

Music as design: Kafka Fragments

Less is plenty. With some clever lighting, a single trapezoid block of blue-grey wood as both background and foreground around which Elizabeth Watts (soprano) and Alexander Janiczek (on violin) dressed in simple black, moved, sang, acted, and performed only meters away from the audience, they were able to take us through an emotional range that seemed to span the entire experience – humour, fear, pathos, angst, being tong tied, boredom, challenge, amazement, love, life,... Read More

Chipperfield’s Turner Contemporary

David Chipperfield Architect’s new Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate does appear a little unworldly as you weave into the British seaside town that seems half stuck in the everyday grind of small town life and half harking back to its bygone glory days of British seaside resort. It is stark, grey and modernist and not even in keeping with the accruement of more contemporary cafés and galleries that form part of the Margate regeneration team’s dream, of café culture... Read More

Thierry Metroz on Citroën design

Thierry Metroz has spent his entire career of 25 years working for the same company, Renault. And even though many assumed he would replace Patrick le Quement as head of Renault design in 2009, Metroz decided to leave in 2010 and join rival French marque PSA Peugeot Citroën, to become design director at Citroën. Design Talks caught up with the designer a year into his new role. Design Talks PSA Group design director Jean-Pierre Ploué already created the strategy and... Read More

Clerkenwell Design Week: Highlights

The sun shone on the second instalment of Clerkenwell Design Week in May, which secured its spot in the design calendar this year with a steady throughflow of specifiers, architects and designers. Devoid of the tired trademarks of traditional trade shows CDW showcased the parades of showrooms that populate Clerkenwell Road, St Johns Street and the surrounding area in central London, each branded for the event with hot pink signage inviting onlookers in to look, drink and chat. #gallery-14... Read More