In the 1980s, following the disaster of Brutalism,
architects turned their hand to the re-design and mass manufacture of everyday objects.
to lemon squeezers
if an architect designed it, it was THE object to be coveted.
Old companies were re-born and design tomes were created.
That was the 1980s and as fate would have it, little events like world recessions did away with such seemingly frivolous design quests. The irony of architect-designed everyday objects priced beyond the annual salary of most people was not lost though.
Luckily for us all, the little known Swedish furniture retailer IKEA
chose this moment to expand into USA, Italy, France and the UK. The rest is history. Today, as anyone in a loving relationship will tell you, the success of a trip to IKEA is directly proportional to the day and time visited over individual skill level required to assemble the design object.
In 2010 Ikea offered its employees a bike for Christmas
and in doing so, closed the loop between architecture and everyday life.
I say this because I recently discovered this posting of a bike designed by architect Ron Arad
Exceptionally beautiful yet apparently practical, it took me back to the halcyon days of the 1980s when style and function were redefined. No longer the product of modernist determinism, this bike presents a vision of the future of everyday life. I wonder whether, like the pasta, lemon squeezers and watches before it, a new found architectural interest in the design of bikes may lead to a new era in cyclespace.
(please excuse my potted architectural history. Its been a while...)
You may also be interested in this new book Pasta Design with a forward by MOMA curator, Paola Antonelli