Design

Home On The Grange

I went to see the Kenneth Grange exhibition at The Design Museum in London recently and thought I’d share this with you. If you don’t know about Grange, he is one of those hidden people behind all the familiar stuff we use every day.

One of the five founding partners of Pentagram, Grange has become probably the best of our less well-known designers, putting products into our lives elegantly, efficiently and with the minimum of fuss.

Perhaps the design he is known best for is the Intercity 125:

Before I begin to wax lyrical about this, or any other piece of design for that matter, let me just remind you of some of the visual landscape this design was launched into:

Britain in 1976 was not a particularly pretty or elegant place (at least not from where I remember it from anyway) so this sleek, shark-nosed train seemed to summarise the notions of the future that I had from such TV shows like Tomorrow’s World.

But Grange wasn’t just a ‘big design’ kind of guy; his designs for Pentel pens display as just much attention to detail…

I was particularly interested in his work for Kodak…

…and the quality of the sketches too – there is a real purpose and economy to all his drawings…

These speakers for Bang & Olufsen got me drooling, whilst I also dwelt upon the fact that my own watering can was a shabby utilitarian model and lacks the inspiring italic slant of these…

Heck, who of us will get the chance to redesign the London taxi?

There is a lot more in the exhibition, which is nicely displayed and well labelled, although would it kill someone to check on the hyphenation, widows and orphans? Surely they realise that this kind of thing will be a genuine frustration to many visitors to the DESIGN museum, especially the DESIGNERS who will make the effort to go to a DESIGN exhibition. I’m just saying, is all.

I’ll leave you with this; it’s a prototype bedside alarm clock that never made it. I want one of those.

Kenneth Grange: Making Britain Modern is on until 30 October. Get your skates on.

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2 thoughts on “Home On The Grange

  1. I too picked up on the hyphernations, I believe there was an apostrophe missing somewhere on one of the first pieces as well! Good exhibition nethertheless, very good designer.

    This article has been featured by Anglepoise 360 if you were unaware? Weird having your blog coming up under Anglepoise name on my Facebook and Twitter feeds!

    Now to get my hands on that new Anglepoise…

  2. Ah, if only they would answer their emails as readily! It’s all in the links though.

    Little details like that are obviously going to get picked up by designers and it is distracting, especially when the Grange’s work is about simplicity, economy and detail…

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