Vision of the future

This year’s Ideal Home Show promises to be strong on design with a major showcase of ideas for future domestic products.

Designers have griped for years about London’s legendary Ideal Home Show doing a lot to perpetuate gadgetry, but having little merit in terms of design. It’s a far cry from the much vaunted German trade fair Domotechnica, where genuinely new ideas for household appliances tend to get a serious airing. This year things promise to be different. There is a special showing scheduled for this year’s Concept House of domestic product ideas for the 21st century by a handful of top designers.

The Concept House idea has been going for the past three years, via an annual architectural competition run by the show’s organisers to design a house for the future. The 1998 winner, the Oyster House, was designed by architect Branson Coates. It resulted in, among other things, the internationally acclaimed Oxo range of public seating, designed by Nigel Coates and manufactured by Hitch Mylius. Last year was the turn of architect Pierre d’Avoigne with the Slim House and this year The HangerHouse Company unveils its own creation, HangerHouse.

The HangerHouse Company comprises a mixed bag of designers and others. These include Deborah Dawton of Design Events, who studied product design at Newcastle, and her husband Jim, a product designer at Seymour Powell, as well as architects Katy Ghahremani and Michael Kohn. Structural engineer Philip Kwan, services engineer Michael Burton of Oscar Faber, exhibition consultant Alex Ely and management consultant Nader Elm complete the team.

The product content, dubbed 2020 Products, came from a brainstorm by the HangerHouse team. Product designers were invited to create domestic products for the year 2020, including FM Design, Factory Design, Geoff Hollington, PDD, Seymour Powell, Tangerine and Therefore. The only project not at early prototype stage is the hand-held Shopping Mate, designed by Tangerine in collaboration with its client, Pace Micro Technology.

Here are five of the models. Do they coincide with your own view of your domestic future?

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2020 Products will be on show in the HangerHouse at the Ideal Home Show at London’s Earls Court from Friday March 17 until 9 April.

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