Newsletter 3
Summer 2003

Updated on 01Jul2003



Bad Chair Days
Dam Busters
Great Place to Work
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Hookerís Engines
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The following TV review appeared in The Guardian, for Monday March 17, 2003, whom we thank for permission to reproduce it.

"The 60s have been blamed for all sorts of things, but one crime which continues to cause trouble in the world of television is the wretched elevation of designers to some kind of priest-like status. Designing the Decades (BBC2 Saturday) spoke reverentially of Robin Day - not the one with the spotty bow tie, but the one who designed the plastic stacking chair. For reasons that have always escaped me, we are supposed to regard this mundane item with awe, and there were some unappetising design experts with tumbling locks to tell us just why. But it's a chair, for God's sake - a moulded polypropylene stacking chair, such as one might sit on in a local housing office. Lower than that it does not get.

Only marginally more convincing was the case for Sussex University being an architectural masterpiece, or Tupperware being an agent for social change. Otherwise, Designing the Decade was an agreeable stroll through territory made familiar through a hundred similar documentaries. It was all minis and Minis, Mary Quant and Alex Issigonis and dozens of their admirers. Quant closed the circle rather neatly by saying that the Mini was rather like a handbag, and that during the 60s she practically lived in hers.

The only design that really looked exciting in the whole show, perhaps because it hasn't been deadened by pop documentaries, was the Harrier Jump Jet, the brainchild of engineer Ralph Hooper, who's much more deserving of adulation than a man who made bum-numbing plastic seating."

© Rupert Smith

Hooray to that!