Vox pop

Sherbourne Contemporary Arts’ Past Perfect – Why Restore Things? exhibition begins this week, asking how we choose what objects to admire and why they become valuable. What design work past or present do you think is undervalued?

‘Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes. The geodesic roof system is a perfect, large-span roofing system, invented over 60 years ago. It is economical, lightweight, environmentally sound and an exciting design.’

James Dyson, Chairman and founder, Dyson Appliances

‘The design press heralds the UK as a world leader in product design, lauding the latest iteration of Marc Newson’s shape or some niche thing by Jasper Conran. But what of low-profile designers who create products that delight and engage, within the constraints of the mass market?’

Mike Woods, Senior designer, Tangerine Product

Direction and Design

‘Private space, public dustbins, and the people inside organisations just below directors and management, without whose commitment things really cannot happen.’

Nick Crosbie, Creative director, Inflate

‘The Sinclair Cambridge calculators of the mid-1970s were influential in the computer industry’s development. They were carefully considered designs, accessible and desirable objects to own – I loved mine.’

Nigel Goode, Director, Priestman Goode

‘As a design student in the late 1970s I was influenced by the purity and elegance of my first Braun shaver with its novel co-injection dimpled rubber grips. Braun was a truly design-led company whose products reflected the value of craft in a technical age.’

Nick Vessey, Managing director, Alloy Total Product


‘I’m not sure we should restore things. Repair may be appropriate, so we can continue to use things. Restoration often interrupts the ageing process to “freeze” the object at a particular moment in time. It also too often means a contemporary interpretation that obscures the original object and replaces the friendly patina of age.’

Hilary French, Head of design products, Royal College

of Art

‘Any of the beautifully simple pieces of everyday design whose true value comes from the fact they go so unnoticed.’

Ben Tibbs, Partner, Automatic

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