I wish I'd designed that, top talents admit

FROM the original iPod to the giant double-decker Airbus A380, 25 of the world's best-known designers singled out their favourite designs of the last quarter-century.

Sir Terence Conran, one of the biggest names in the field, opted for Achille Castiglioni's Dry flatware, a range of cutlery produced by Alessi in 1982.

"Because of its design - plain, simple and useful - it is relatively economical to manufacture and sells at a reasonable price: design philosophies that I both admire and share," he said.

The clothes designer Paul Smith opted for the books and brochure that the illustrator Alan Fletcher created for Lloyd's of London in 1986.

The graphic designer John Maeda chose Sir James Dyson's 1994 DC02 bagless vacuum cleaner. Sir James picked the Alessi Whistling Kettle of 1983.

Their choices go on show in an exhibition that opens at London's Design Museum, founded by Sir Terence, today.

"It's not a 25-year design history, it's very much a personal response to people's favourite objects," said curator Libby Sellers.

The designers were asked to pick from thousands of objects in museum collections. Two Apple products, the 1998 iMac and the 2001 iPod, made it in.

"They go from everyday objects that affect everything on an everyday basis right through to the A380 Airbus," she said.

There are two items of clothing in the show. One is the Airplane Dress, by the Turkish Cypriot designer Hussein Chalayan, a tunic made out of fibreglass with embedded remote control technology and panels that lift and separate around the body. "That's the extreme of emerging technology and fashion," Ms Sellers said.

Dieter Rams, head of design at Braun, the German electronics manufacturer, chose the 1999 Air Chair designed by Jasper Morrison. "I like it. Plain and simple," he said.


Achille Castiglioni's Dry flatware (1982); chair by Donald Judd (1982); Alessi Whistling Kettle by Richard Sapper (1983); Lloyd's of London books and brochure by Alan Fletcher (1986); cheese grater by Enzo Mari (1987); Maarten Baas: Ron Arad, Big Easy (1988); the Guardian re-branded by David Hillman (1988); Rotis font book by Otl Aicher (1988-9); all issues of Colors Magazine (1991); Muji Shaft Drive Bicycle (1991); Aeron office chair, Bill Stumf and Don Chadwick (1992); Dyson DC02 cleaner (1994); Jim Nature TV by Philippe Starck (1994); Freeplay radio by inventor Trevor Baylis (1995); Issey Miyake's APOC jacket/bag (1997); Apple iMac (1998); tree-trunk bench by Jurgen Bey (1999); M/M, No Ghost Just A Shell poster (2003;) Air Chair by Jasper Morrison (1999); Airplane dress by Hussein Chalayan (2000); iPod (2001); Chair One by Konstantin Grcic (2002); Nymphenburg Sketches bowl by Hella Jongerius (2004); Orrefors Pastillo bowls by Lena Bergstrom (2005); Airbus A380 1:50 scale model (2005)

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