As I was putting the needle to an album the other night (J.J Cale, Naturally for the record), I had a moment of pause to reflect on how much I love my Technics SL-1200 turntables.
Years ago I sold my once-loved drum kit to finance them and have never looked back – not only do they look and sound fantastic, they have never missed a beat, despite a fair bit of punishment. Multiple house and country moves, heavy use under various ‘conditions’, and attempts to test their true capabilities, they still soldier unfalteringly on. Whilst various models have been released over the years, the ‘improvements’ have been minor – even the 2015 audiophile’s model (read, extortionate price tag) is more superficial bling than radical change with the design and technology remaining largely unchanged.
It seems increasingly that when we talk about design, we also talk about technology playing an integral role in that design. Well, never more so than with the new Adidas Futurecraft Biofabric – a new prototype performance shoe that has an upper made from 100% Biosteel® – a nature-based and completely biodegradable high-performance fibre. In layman’s terms – biodegradable artificial spider silk that will fully decompose in your sink once you’ve finished running them down. Amazing.
My mental pictures of everyday product design often leans heavily on what has already been created – design, materials and function based on pre-established designs using available technology to solve a problem or perform a task. Take the humble kitchen knife for example – I’ve said before that I’m a big fan, but my ‘ideal’ knife definitely falls into the ‘traditional’ design category. In-depth kitchen knife history aside, I think it would be fair to say that the iteration and replication of tried and tested solutions has led to the well-recognised designs we see today.
As a designer I like to think I have a good eye for photography – at least where family photos and ‘arty’ compositions are concerned (although my wife may disagree with this). I’m certainly no professional, but having the right tool for the job definitely helps me out. However, having something beautifully crafted and technically innovative to shoot with must really add to the experience.
Ok, I know technically Sean Connery drove a DB5 in Goldfinger (not pictured above), but watching the Bond films as a boy really cemented Aston Martin as the quintessential British cool for me – beautiful curves (echoing something I could only innocently wonder at), raw power and effortless style – one day I would have one…