Simple everything done by Dieter Rams, who defined industrial design. If you have to explain design to an ageing aunt, show her the difference between a Dieter and a Dansette record-player and everything is there; simplicity of function and use, elegance, refined material choice, an object with an almost overwhelming sense of clarity. And then there is the Dansette, a 1950s icon it may be, but one born out of a visibly less rigorous design process.
Adam White, Director, Factory Design
I’ve always carried a pocket knife since I was a kid. I can’t go on holiday without one. I use it to make bows and arrows for the kids and I like peeling fruit with it. It’s hard to explain, but it just makes me feel closer to nature. When the new Leatherman skeletal CX came out it became my pocket tool and blade of choice. Its aluminium construction with tungsten means it only weighs 140g while still being strong and practical. It’s so beautifully designed and ergonomic that I just can’t put it down. It’s got everything you need to survive in the wild. And the attention to detail is awe-inspiring. I can’t think of a better pocket tool on the market. It’s simply the best in every way.
Marksteen Adamson, Partner, Arthur Steen Home Adamson
My favourite piece of industrial design is the USB memory stick. This tiny piece of kit has liberated me from lugging my workbag, paper files and laptop to and from the office. I can now get everything I need from the office, stick it in my pocket and go for a drink on the way home safe in the knowledge my bag will not be lost or stolen tonight. And you can get them modelled to look like R2D2.
Lloyd Hicks, Director, Met Studio Design
The humble paper clip. Universal and completely fit for purpose, it requires no instructions for use, has no complicated interfaces it just works. It has a complete economy of materials nothing is wasted in its production and it can be reused indefinitely, as long as it is not strained beyond its mechanical limits. And how often is it adapted for uses other than that which it was originally intended for? It is what all great design strives to be indispensable, yet invisible.
Richard Eisermann, Strategic director, Prospect