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Design Landmark

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Sometimes Design Landmarks are obvious. They are showy, consumer items, flaunting their plasticity: those sinuous chairs, those candy-coloured consumer electronic devices and those items that had previously been thought impossible to manufacture in plastic. 2 June 2015
Apple’s at it again. First it gunned for the smartphone. Then it aimed at the netbook. Now its sights are on Switzerland’s territory: the luxury watch. With a starting price of €11,000, for its Watch Edition, Apple wants the wrists of those who usually wear Omega or Rolex. 18 May 2015
It’s been around for nearly 70 years for the trade, and over 60 years for the consumer market. Yet this month’s landmark is a product so generic, nobody (in the English-speaking world) can agree what to call it.  28 April 2015
There is a photograph being spread across social media. Depicting a Compact Cassette and a pencil, the caption asks: “Hit ‘like’ if you know the relationship between these two objects.”  6 March 2015
Now devoted to telecoms infrastructure, just a few years ago Sweden’s Ericsson company was synonymous with mobile phones. For a brief while in the 1990s and early 2000s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia had a virtual duopoly on the mobile phone handset market. 12 February 2015
Design Landmarks have featured on these pages for over 20 years. But the Rubik’s Cube is the only one to have been designed and manufactured in an Eastern Bloc country. 16 January 2015
Before Apples there were Tangerines. Today Hoxton, in London’s East End, is a global design and technology hub. The Old Street traffic island, that marks its south-western border, is now known as “Silicon Roundabout”. But in 1990 the area was something of a wasteland. 1 December 2014
Few technologies get a second chance once they are superseded. The steam train isn’t coming back anytime soon. Neither is the VHS video recorder. 18 November 2014
Superstar French designer Philippe Starck is not someone you would accuse of making functional objects. His citrus press, shaped like a rocketship, is undeniably pretty but has nothing to collect the pith and pips.  18 November 2014
Some products are so ubiquitous, so everyday, that one forgets that they were ever designed. They just are. Bubble wrap is one of these products – overlooked, taken for granted. 5 September 2014
The styling of Braun products, in the company’s 1950s to 1970s heyday (before its acquisition by Gillette, in 1984) was mostly characterised by restraint. 17 July 2014

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