Home > Design, Design + Australian, Event, Exhibition, Ideas, Object > &made: Great Brits in Milan

&made: Great Brits in Milan


Having followed design and design concerns over the years it is apparent there has been a dramatic shift to environmental and sociological concerns. From designing for pure aesthetics and ego to a now growing concern for the people who use design and helping to solve real problems rather than just adding more dross to landfills whilst helping celebrity designers fill their pockets in the process. Design is no longer just for those who can afford it.

Well of course there has been a changing climate, pardon the pun. With the advent of global disasters and the need for housing and disaster relief, more and more organizations, designers and architects have made their practices more ethically concerned with ‘real’ needs and ‘actual’ problems solved to deliver identified needs. Along with this stream of consciousness came the increasing realization that we are living in a time where our climate is changing (note …not warming as it would be misleading to think it’s just about temperatures rising). A shift that reminds me of the frog in the pot analogy – we ‘re all in a pot of cool water and unconcerned until one day we realize we’re reaching boiling point – too late!
Designers David Cameron and Toby Hadden of the &made beg to entertain design from this standpoint

Although we are all becoming more aware of climate change, we felt that it is still a subject that is often put aside. It is not pleasant to consider that we are gradually destroying our own environment, which has led to an increase in natural disasters and extreme weather. The effects of climate change can leave us facing dangerous situations in our own home, where we are affected by destructive elements such as flooding and earthquakes. Rather than shy away from these negative processes, our ideal was to offer functional solutions in these increasing times of crises. In the case of the earthquake series, these objects rely on the vibrations of an earthquake to then offer themselves as emergency aids.

Hence the birth of the ‘climatised object’ and ‘either oar’ in 2006 – a table that converts to a life raft with paddles.

Libby Sellers , curator at the Design Museum says

The Climatised Objects address the fact that in a crisis people generally improvise with whatever is to hand, not matter how ill-suited the object or material may be. In response, &made have embedded dual-functionality into this new range, offering practical and covetable domestic products that moonlight as life-saving devices.

By crafting a sturdy but buoyant dining table with removable legs which convert into oars, &made offer an ad hoc raft in the event of a flash flood. In earthquake scenarios, an unassuming vase switches to an emergency torch on impact if knocked from its ledge, while a series of picture frames convert to flashing navigational aids, much like floor-based emergency lighting on airplanes, at the first instance of a tremor.

Far from being alarmist – the Climatised Objects not only merge concept and solutions led design into a desirable range, but are a wry critique on the production of sensational but purposeless objects at a time of environmental crisis.

As a continuation on the theme

‘Standby’ instead looks at the responsibility of objects and how they can make a difference. Focusing on the consumption of electricity through standby appliances and adaptors, the objects in this collection consider the responsibility of the switch and how it can make itself more available. Rather than hiding industrial sockets and switches behind furniture and in corners, these furnishings bring the switch out into the room with an ability to adapt to any environment.




An interview with David and Toby can be found here

&made website

  1. May 14, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Wel done i read this blog and look as very interesting. Rgds Richard

  2. May 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Nice post!! I have read some of your posts and is really impressed. I am adding your blog to my RSS Feed reader.

  1. September 24, 2009 at 8:31 am

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