Under a fiver

The best things come in small packages, or so the old idiom goes.

A new book, Usefulness in Small Things by Industrial Facility’s Kim Colin and Sam Hecht, combines the best of small with ‘cheap and cheerful’ in its exploration and documentation of everyday, mass-produced items from across the world – all of which cost under a fiver.

The book's cover
The book’s cover

The items, which include plugs, Nepali leaf bowls, soaps and paper urinals, are separated into five categories (care, modified, duality, straightforward and situation), each explaining why the item has piqued the interest of Colin and Hecht and its larger relevance.

A cheese knife from Japan
A cheese knife from Japan

A paper urinal from the UK
A paper urinal from the UK

Industrial Facility commissioned Angela Moore to photograph the 150 or so objects, and her clean, minimal style makes every product, however commonplace, look like a glamorous art object. Copper toilet floats look like hoard treasure and Dutch finger toothbrushes look like super stylish vinyl toys.

Fashion designer Paul Smith and Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic have both contributed forewords to the book, the former discussing how collecting has influenced his work and the latter, giving a thorough introduction to Industrial Facility and its work.

A combined watering can and spray bottle from Malaysia
A combined watering can and spray bottle from Malaysia

A cheese knife from Japan
Leaf bowls from Nepal

Usefulness in Small Things by Kim Colin and Sam Hecht is available from April, published by Rizzoli International Publications, priced at £19.95

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