Saturday, December 22, 2007

Everyday Art

food presentation
kitchen sink

Things all around you were designed by artists, from tissue boxes to trash cans to hairbrushes to soap. If you google "award winning designs," you'll get lots more ideas.

On the "Good Design" pages you can view severalcategories: automotive/transportation, electronics, kitchen/bath, furniture, fabric/textiles, lighting, household products, household appliances, tabletop, children's products, medical equipment, personal care, office products, hardware/tools, sorts, urban furniture/architecture, graphic and packaging design, and industrial equipment.

The earliest year for which they have a site is 1996:
and the newest is 2005: and you can see the years in beween by replacing that number with another year. This is an international competition, and the site lists the winners (though not always photos) in all those categories. The designs in the changing .gif are from 1996. The John Deere 544J 4WD Wheel Loader won in 2004.

Those images are gone, but here's the new site, with categories, of design winners, with photos:

Maybe you'll find your keyboard, or your mouse, or your monitor, in the award winning designs. Is there a certain spoon or knife or mug that people in your family especially like because it feels good in your hand, has a good balance, or something? What about favorite towels or sheets? Pillows? Maybe discuss where these things came from, who made what kinds of decisions about them, and how rich the world is in design artistry of all sorts.

The comments on this blog won't accept photos, but I can put photos on a webpage linked here, and links and stories galore, if you have any thoughts to share. Some art is seasonal and fleeting—does someone in your family wrap gifts beautifully? Make beautiful cookies? Elegant punchbowls? This is the week to catch those images before they're gone!


zamozo said...

My stepfather is an accomplished industrial designer, retired in Florida now. Your topic prompted me to do a search on him and I was delighted to find this bio for him:

I'm familiar with his life and accomplishments from 1987 on but it was fun to read about his younger years. I plan to save this bio and share it with his grandkids!

Sandra Dodd said...

Today we shopped for a new range (stove/oven; hob for the Brits, which came to mind because one of the salesmen was English). I wish I had had my camera! The grates to hold the pans on the burners have gone all artsy! Swirls and angles.

Last week I worked on a gingerbread house, and that's some seasonal (kind of "everyyear" but more special) and temporary art. I should've included food art more. Cakes! That can be a life study. But the gingerbread house can be viewed here:

Ria said...

We went to a home improvement store for plumbing supplies and spent some time in the lighting about ART! The chandeliers were amazing...all sparkley and shiny; and then there were the funky ones...high-heeled shoes and airplanes. : )

Sandra Dodd said...

We live walking distance from a big home improvement store (Lowe's) and I love the lighting aisle, especially in the summer when the fans are all on. The combination lights and ceiling fans are more beautiful there than they can ever be in a home or a restaurant. Even when a restaurant has six or ten, they'll all match. In the store where each is different and they've been arranged in an artistic, appealing way, it's as close as Albuquerque will get to "It's a Small World." Bummer there's no song to go with ceiling fan aisles!

Window dressings and floor displays... there's another kind of art some people are fantastic at. Playing with Barbies and Lego can be good preparation!

Sandra Dodd said...
The blog of a writer and designer, and there are some great comments
in there, and links to other artsy places.

The first few look too dainty and dangerous for families with kids,
but there are other things. And there's a link to a collection of

I found this looking for something so unrelated I can't imagine...
tic marks/hatch marks for keeping score for card games. I don't know
how I came to a link to it, but there it is...

I know some of you have artistic kids who might get some ideas here
for making their rooms or your living room or their Barbie house-for-
the-day more chic.

Deborah in IL said...

Where would the button be without the button hole?
Unsung heroes of anonymous design

From my mail this morning. The sample pages of twisted wire objects and direction arrows are wonderful.

Sandra Dodd said...

Deborah, I ordered a copy immediately. THANK YOU! I collect (well, I gather and use regularly) measuring spoons, and some of my kitchen tools are odd and perfect and I don't know exactly what they're called or where I might ever find another one. I love the feel of something solid and functional. There's an elegance of solid tools.

I liked the arrows, too, in those samples. Here in Albuquerque there's a display on the history of personal computers (and the Albuquerque connection) and there's a section on the woman (Susan Kare) who created the icons we take for granted.

Here's the account of my first visit, I've been again, and I'll go back!

Julie said...

I've never thought about everyday things being designed by artists. I think I'm going to see these types of things in a new light now and explore more fully the design and perhaps the thought process that goes into "everyday art".

Your dash shots remind me of driving my dad's old 1962 Buick when I was in my teens:)

Sandra Dodd said...

Zamozo's link went bad, but the WayBack Machine has it!