Vox Pop

In light of this week’s launch of Comic Relief’s long-nosed raspberry-blowing money box (DW 9 March) designed by Brandhouse WTS, what is the most off the wall/ daftest thing you’ve ever been asked to design?

‘In my distant bachelor days I was asked by Mothercare to design a breast pump…

I recall that this required extensive research, and testing, of course. Naturally, a little more of a “hands on” approach to development was needed, compared to say designing a bra, for instance. We went for a “soft-tech” approach, with a squeezable bulb (not unlike the soft PVC red noses, come to think of it) to provide the firm, but gentle suction required – a very different approach compared to the Swiss made industrial-dairy device we hired when we had our first child. Fraught, but fond memories.’

Sebastian Conran, Director, Conran & Partners

‘When I was a freelance designer I was asked to illustrate a magazine article about the seduction of selling. The idea was a close-up of a woman’s hand provocatively holding a bottle of champagne with the champagne gushing out, while also wearing a ring which subtly spelt out F**K in diamonds. Although the image was received with good natured humour in most markets, it resulted in an entire issue being seized and destroyed in Canada.’

Geoff Halpin, Creative Director, Identica

‘A few years ago I spoke to a client about a possible architectural project. The client lived in a house with views into an expansive garden and had too much time to spend ogling at nature. Anticipation was building for a juicy project, when the client suddenly got sidelined and terribly excited about a quick project we could work on first. With eager ears I listened as he proposed the development of a radical new kind of squirrel-feeding table. Diplomacy skills were seriously called for. I am not sure I managed to deliver them.’

Thomas Heatherwick, Director, Thomas Heatherwick Studio

‘An unusual commission has just landed on my desk. It involves the design of a new identity for “a private gentlemen’s club”, a project that appears to be less “off the wall” and more “on the pole”. Obviously, the research could prove particularly demanding, but it could mean that we corner this interesting market.’

Alistair Sim, Director of operations, Tucker Clarke-Williams Creative

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