Sprechen sie Geek?

I’m just back from a trip to Hamburg. I went to see a show called “Stylectrical” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. This interesting exhibition explored the complex process of industrial product design in the context of cultural studies. It focused primarily on the industrial design of products by Apple and Braun, mainly by Jonathan Ive and Dieter Rams respectively.

Seeing all these products displayed, It was apparent where Apple’s Ive got his inspiration and equally how others have taken what Apple has done and used it, to varying degrees of success. In some ways it was like being at home, as someone who appreciates good design, I own or have owned a lot of the stuff on display, from the colourful 1990s telephone by Swatch to a lot of the more esoteric Apple products like the charming eMate.

It never used to be all about sleek, shiny white straight lines. Once upon a time, gum drop colours ruled and curves were where it was at and I still think the original iMacs look great in their amazing array of colours. Seeing current Apple designs alongside products by Braun, it’s clear that Apple evolved this iconic machine with an awareness of the Braun aesthetic. The cheeky posters promoting the show even pictured Braun/Apple hybrid products with a simple line of type (in Myriad Pro font, of course) declaring “Neu. Seit 1958” (New. Since 1958, etc.) I’m not sure Apple would like this, but I did.

A rather lovely book of the show has been published, full of technology and shiny objects, enough to make a geek pass out and here are some films for you to enjoy:



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