The premise of the Design Museum’s book is that in a world in which that supposed icon of Britishness, the current Mini, is owned by Germans and designed by a team led by an American, and the original Mini was designed by an ethnic Greek, born in Turkey, it is pretty hard to use the word British about any kind of design. Design in Britain is something else. And I would vote for Margaret Calvert’s work on road signs. They’re elegant, lucid and optimistic – all the things that any culture should want to project about itself.
Deyan Sudjic, Director, Design Museum
The functional ingenuity of Sam Hecht; Vivienne Westwood’s talent for parody and Alexander McQueen’s for 3D form; Danny Brown’s way with code; Terence Conran’s nose for business; Hilary Cottam’s social leanings and the combined efforts of a thousand branding consultancies. All are regrettably constrained by an absence of intellectual ambition or synthesis, as if we are, in the end, a nation of shopkeepers. I hope this is the book that pulls it all together.
Emily Campbell, Director of design, Royal Society of Arts
I think the Charpoy daybed captures perfectly today’s definition of ‘designed in Britain’. Manufactured by the small, avant-garde Italian furniture company Moroso, and designed by Royal College of Art graduates Nippa Doshi and Jonathan Levien, a husband-and-wife team working in London, the Charpoy project synthesises traditional Indian crafts and social customs with a dash of Scottish industrial design and a twist of Italian glamour. That hybrid sums up British design today.
Paul Thompson, Rector, Royal College of Art
It’s probably a little obvious, but I would say Jonathan Ive and his contribution to Apple sums up British design very well. Despite Apple being a US entity, Ive’s work is very British in its sense of style. He perfectly embodies what Apple is famous for – design. Ive is probably one of the most influential British designers of our generation, and designed the iPod, the iMac and many more of Apple’s most iconic products. He is recognised across the globe as someone who has shaken up both the music and electronics industries.
Matt Clugston, Creative director, Clusta