Sports Footwear Designer (1960-)
After a successful career as a professional footballer for Middlesborough FC and Liverpool FC in the 1970s and 1980s, CRAIG JOHNSTON developed the early versions of the best-selling Predator boot for Adidas and has since designed the equally innovative Pig boot.
When Craig Johnston was a professional footballer playing for Liverpool FC in the 1980s, he analysed the team’s boots to identify how the design could be improved to enable the players to increase their control of the ball. After retiring from professional football, he worked for Adidas on the development of the Predator, which is now the world’s best selling boot worn by David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Jonny Wilkinson. Continue reading
Graphic Designer (1925-1970)
15 October 2005 to 26 February 2006
Combining audacious imagery with ingenious typography, illustration and found objects, ROBERT BROWNJOHN (1925-1970) was among the most innovative graphic designers in 1950s New York and 1960s London, where he designed titles for James Bond films, graphics for the Robert Fraser Gallery and artwork for the Rolling Stones.
Throughout his life Robert Brownjohn loved music. Many of his closest friends were musicians and his most playful and inspiring work was related to music. When it came to designing an album cover for the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1958, he fused his love of music and of typography by transforming blocks of disused wooden type and wooden bricks from his daughter Eliza’s playbox into a striking graphic composition which is also a commentary on the process of typographic production. Continue reading
Product + Furniture Designer (1958-)
Celebrating 25 Years of Design
29 March – 22 June 2007
Working from his Milan studio, the London-born industrial designer JAMES IRVINE (1958-) develops products, furniture and automotive projects for companies including Canon, Danese, Magis and Whirlpool. He also designed the Mercedes Benz city bus fleet for the German city of Hannover.
“Always question why you’re doing something,” opined James Irvine, “unless you are being paid a ridiculous amount of money, then really question it.” This combination of rigour and irony not only characterises Irvine’s approach to his work as an industrial designer, but the part-purposeful, part-humorous spirit of the products he develops. Continue reading
GILES GILBERT SCOTT
A bastion of the architectural establishment in early 20th century Britain, GILES GILBERT SCOTT (1880-1960) fused tradition with modernity by applying historic styles to industrial structures in his designs from the Battersea and Bankside power stations in London, to Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, and to the K2 telephone kiosk.
At the top of the splendid Portland stone tomb of the 19th century architect John Soane, his wife and son, in St Pancras Old Church Gardens, north London is a dome is a surprisingly familiar shape. Designed by Soane in 1815 as a monument to his beloved wife, the tomb is one of his most romantic designs, ornate in form and decorated by stone carvings of snakes and pineapples. It is familiar not because of its association with Soane’s family tomb, but because of its influence on the design of the red K2 telephone kiosks which were once a common sight throughout Britain. Continue reading
Design Strategist (1965-)
Designer of the Year 2005
From radically rethinking the design of the UK’s schools, the prison system and health service, to her work as director of the Design Council’s experimental RED team, HILARY COTTAM (1965-) is championing a more inspiring and efficient approach to design in the public sector.
Design affects every area of our lives – whether or not we are aware of it. One area where the quality of design affects us most is in the public sector: in the design of our schools, hospitals, housing and the prison and transport systems. Hilary Cottam champions a more inspiring and efficient approach to public sector design by demonstrating how design can be used as a tool to “tackle some of the more intractable social problems of our day”. Continue reading
Aircraft and product designer (1928- )
03 March – 17 June 2007
“Whenever we talk about ‘biodesign’ we should simply bear in mind just how amazingly superior a spider’s web is to any load-bearing structure man has made. From this insight, we should look to the superiority of nature for the solutions. If we want to tackle a new task in the studio, then it’s best to go outside first and look at what millenia-old answers there may already be to the problem.” Luigi Colani, 2007.
LUIGI COLANI is one the great mavericks of 20th century design with an independent spirit, a flair for showmanship and a willingness to engage the wider public that has kept him outside the design mainstream. Continue reading
Graphic Designer (1934-)
As a child, DEREK BIRDSALL (1934-) loved stationery shops: infinite stacks and reams of paper, pads, notebooks and ledgers; instruments for writing, duplicating and erasing; virgin ink and paper in endless configurations of possibility. He speculates that this feeling was inherited from his grandfather, a clerk in a chemical works, and by Birdsall’s admission, a fountain-pen fetishist.
Birdsall’s first commercial work was hand-drawn and lettered posters for the local cricket club, for which he earned sixpence a week for six posters, including installation and drawing pins. Fifty years later, and still an obsessive pad collector, he has developed a grid-system of revelatory simplicity for book design based on the standard graph paper measured in millimetres that is available from just about any stationer in Europe. Continue reading