Time Warp: July 1999

id-mag-cover-july-1999

What got Stuck in Time, good or bad design that was clearly of the moment. Ahead of Time will be a look at something that had brought some insight to the future and finally, the Test of Time will soon be design classics, at least imho.

Hey how about that, my friend Paul Pierce’s work ON THE COVER!  I wonder what he thinks of this thing now!

ID Annual 1999, there’s gotta be some good pickin’s for this post:

Stuck in Time:

astro-1999

group shots are always stuck in time…can you say big balls!

Ahead of Time

audi-tt-1999

OK i may be biased, I lined up and paid extra to get this car…call me a sucker.

Ahead of Time AND Stuck

ebooks-1999

above, dated, below better, but those triangle buttons, dated, the concept of ebook readers….AHEAD

WAY Stuck in Time, actually BEHIND the times…

printer-1999

Memphis Group disbanded in 1988, this was designed in 1999…uh hello?

Test of Time

fluke-1999

So this may not win a beauty contest, (oh wait, it did!) but this aesthetic has definitely stood the test of time for this type of product.  The colors have a stood the test of time…Rugged.

So I’m a little disappointed that there weren’t more things that stood the test of time or were ahead of time.  Some things that made this issue I had already covered…Karim for Issey Miyake but that’s about it. LOTs of stuff that got stuck, frog, lunar (me!), apple, ideo, phillips all guilty.

There was one product from Design Central that was way ahead of time, but only got a shitty black and white spot and honorable mention. They did a rubberized shoe, form fitting, all one piece, molded in tread…copied several years later, or uh borrowed or mistakenly reinvented by the likes of fuseproject, crocs and any student who did a shoe project and knew how to use alias.

shoe-copy

From ID Magazine July 1999

ID Annual – Nokia Pocketable Speakers

These are small (122 x 32 x 33.5mm) about the length of a candy bar style phone and about 2-3 times as thick (depending on which phone you’re comparing it to). Here’s what I wonder, in the ID magazine shot, the red detail looks very shiny, in the shot from Nokia above, the red accents have matte finish, are more saturated and darker in value. Personally, I like the matte finish, seems more sophisticated and if they are the functional rubber component of the driver, then it really makes sense. The glossy finish from the ID shot makes it look like a toy.

Things this small demand exquisite attention to detail and flawless execution.

The retractable cord is a very nice feature, nice detail.

mistake of judgement or lack of experience?

So when I started this blog, I thought I would be reviewing and criticizing products. Realizing that I cant really do that without having the actual product in hand…I have to rely on the same old sources…ID annual, T3, iF selections, etc. etc.

After reading the latest ID Annual and seeing that the Herman Miller Leaf lamp was selected best of category, I thought to myself, “wow, this must have impressed the jurors”. I thought this because in print and pictures, this lamp really didn’t seem all that impressive. So i promptly went to the local Design Within Reach to check this thing out. Lighting design is no easy feat, especially if you’re attempting to defy gravity without utilizing some of the traditional structural elements that go with lighting, cables, pulleys, springs, etc.

The good? There’s nice detailing around the LEDs and diffuser; the fact they used LED’s is a nice progression towards efficient lighting solutions. A small detail caught my eye at the base of the lamp. A Ying-Yang like detail was sculpted into the surface…running your fingers over the surfaces acts as a dimmer for the lamp. Nice touch. Visually, it works as its a play off the lamp arms as they fold together.

The Bad? Upon first sight, I unfortunately was underwhelmed. My thoughts hadn’t changed from pictures to in person. At first touch, the lamp shakes like an inexpensive ikea lamp…maybe the shaking is part of the “leaf” metaphor…blowing in the wind? Visually, the lamp arms look similar to some of the new, modern bicycle frame components using stamped construction, only AFTER a bad wipeout or an unfortunate encounter with a car, bent and twisted. I’m not sure how this is the “21st century sequel to the Tizio.” Interesting, if you read the ID magazine review, it states…”Priestman was reticent because he hadn’t seen the lamp in person…” well how the hell do you judge something when you haven’t had the chance to experience it first hand? (topic for another post…judging books by their covers)

Interestingly, I hired Yves Behar, the designer of this lamp while I was VP of Design at Lunar Design. Yves is extremely talented and much of his work shows this. I’m just not that happy with this latest piece, I wonder if he is?