Peter Farran

Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Design Classic Number 43: Anglepoise Lamp Review

In Design, Design Classics on May 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Type 75 Anglepoise LampImage by Peter Farran

Anglpoise Lamp Shines under the Spotlight


Creator:  George Carwardine
Created: 1934
Origin: Bath, England

The Type 75 Anglepoise lamp arrives attractively packaged in a printed carton. The polystyrene clamshell inside affords protection in transit but is a little disappointing not least environmentally. The package is surprisingly compact for what is a large lamp but  this does mean there is some assembly but which can be achieved in a couple of minutes with only the tightening of one small bolt with the provided allen key.

In use the lamp is beautifully elegant due to the Kenneth Grange update on an already tried and tested design. It’s well engineered, carefully finished and functions superbly. There are some nice details which set it apart from its’ numerous imitations such as the inset Anglepoise badge at the foot of the lamp and the extra sturdy brushed aluminium base.

The design and engineering can’t be faulted for what is a mid range price tag and this lamp looks as good close up as from afar. It feels like it will last a life time and it’s just a pity they’re still not made in the UK. Having said that it’s a beautifully elegant well engineered design classic at a fair and affordable price.


Design Classic Number 42: Twister Game

In Design, Design Classics on July 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm

TwisterImage by Steven Snodgrass

Twister Continues to Turn Heads and More


Creator:  Charles Foley
Created: 1966
Origin: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

I decided to write this in honor of Charles Foley, whose death at the age of 82, on July 1st 2013, was announced today. Twister is a game, which involves having to place a specified hand or foot, on a particular color of dot, on a large mat, printed with large colored dots laid out on the floor. The specified hand or foot and color of dot, is determined by spinning a pointer on a printed board.

The Twister game fulfilled a need for Charles Foley’s company to diversify into the games industry. The creation of Twister happened in 1966 and became instantly popular after the game was featured in an episode of the Tonight show with Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor in the same year, where they played the game together on the show.

Design and production originated in St. Paul, Minnesota where Charles Foley had moved to, to take the job, that led to the creation of ‘Twister’. Charles Foley was an avid inventor who designed from a young age and after that for many years to come. Charles Foley’s will be remembered most for his classic design and it’s enduring popularity over many years and it’s appeal to all ages.

Design Classic Number 41: Brighton Beach Deck Chair

In Design, Design Classics on July 10, 2013 at 1:53 am

Deck ChairImage by spjwebster

Deck Chair Doubles Up as a Dutiful Design Classic


Creator:  John Thomas Moore
Created: 1886
Origin: Macclesfield, UK

The origin of the humble deck chair, in it’s most common form, of hinged, interlocking, rectangular, wooden frames with brightly colored, striped canvas seat  is prolific where ever  sun and sea are in abundance. It can be carried flat and with a little practice can be assembled in a few simple steps and the level of inclination, adjusted to individual preference.

The deck chair became increasingly popular, as the working classes flocked to beaches such as Brighton where deck chairs were rented by the day. Although folding wooden chairs in various forms have been known since Egyptian times, it wasn’t until 1886 that the current form was patented and manufactured in quantity for customers such as Brighton Beach and even the Titanic.

First production, of the classic deck chair, took place in Macclesfield, near Manchester in the UK in line with it’s significance as a centre of the industrial revolution. The creator of the deck chair John Thomas Moore deserves credit, through his patent for standardizing the design and bring it to the masses in such a practical and enduring form.

Design Classic Number 40: Airstream Trailer

In Design, Design Classics on July 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Airstream TrailerImage by mwichary

Could This Be The Grand Daddy of All Design Classics?


Creator: Wally Byam
Created: 1929
Origin: Jackson, Ohio, USA

I’m not sure why I waited this long to write about the Airstream since it could very well be the grand-daddy of all design classics. The airstream is an aluminum clad camping trailer with characteristic streamlined form. The Airstream was born out of a need for an inexpensive means of living autonomously on the open road.

The Airstream is fabricated from aluminium panels riveted over a hooped aluminum framework. Whilst Wally created his first prototype Airstreams in his garden in the late 1920s and sold self-build plans in great quantities shortly afterwards it wasn’t until 1936 that he started large scale production based on increasing consumer demand.

Although Wally Byam started putting together prototype Airstreams in his backyard in Masonite, Los Angeles, it wasn’t until he acquired an ailing aircraft factory in Jackson, Ohio that he was able to supply Airstreams in larger quantities. Wally Byam was an offbeat inventor, a natural showman and a successful businessman but above all, he had the vision for a design which has brought happiness to many and become an icon of American culture.

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