Posts Tagged ‘RCA’

product, Paolozzi & Prima: David Keech on design & music

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Multidisciplinary designer, musician and teacher David Keech was an Associate with architects Foster and Partners, the first non-Japanese designer at Yamaha Design in Japan, and now runs his own product and interior design practise, Keechdesign.

Kumu chair by David Keech with James Johnson. A Japanese word meaning to join together or assemble, Kumu has only five components, no screws or mechanical fixings and is cut from a single sheet of plywood.

What inspires you? Everything.  That’s a serious answer – not just design.  Only a small percentage of my inspiration comes from that world, a very congested one, everyone following each other – I think it’s good not to be too involved in that.  I probably get more of my inspiration from sculpture, fine art, music, popular culture, than design per se. I spend a lot of time and energy pursuing inspiration, it’s a big part of what I do.  In teaching I kick off with slides about inspiration to surprise students a bit, not work by Phillippe Starck or Arne Jacobsen (much as I love them both)… I was at the National Gallery yesterday looking mainly at pre-17th century religious paintings, and I just thought to myself ‘this is fuel’.  It’s profound, the human energy involved – let alone the skill.  If you could get to half that level, you’d be going some…


a conversation with Cathie Felstead

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Award-winning illustrator and creator of book covers for novels by William Golding, Iris Murdoch, Isabel Allende and Alice Walker, Cathie Felstead has illustrated numerous childrens’ books and worked for big-name clients like British Airways, Channel 4, Ballet Rambert and Oxfam.  An RCA graduate, she also teaches final year Illustration at University of Hertfordshire.  She talks here about inspiration, deadlines, Angela Carter, Industrial design, Cheryl Cole and Arsenal Football Club…

Do you think you have a particular approach to illustration? There is a difference between the work I do for clients and my own work.  My approach to work for clients is quite businesslike: I get a script, look through it and see if there is something interesting about it… (a good fee can make the dullest script more interesting!).  The starting point of an advertising job can be less engaging, and more of a challenge.  Books and editorial work are generally more inspirational and better suited to my approach…



Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

© DC Thompson

Hats off to RCA graduate Min-kyu Choi, who has won the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award.

The award – a slightly weird exercise in comparing apples with oranges (if not bananas, guava, macadamia nuts and kiwi fruit) – last year favoured Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster and this year pitted the late great Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer collection, a light aircraft and a social housing project against Mr Choi’s clever folding plug design.  Anyone travelling any distance with a thin laptop will appreciate the value of his elegant solution to the problem of the ugly bulk of the UK plug when travelling. The new plug, which folds to 1cm or less, may not save lives but solves a daily irritation for potentially millions of people.  Amazing a) that no-one did this sooner and b) that it is not in production already.  We may now have to put up with endless ‘plugging the market gap’ headlines, but Min-kyu Choi deserves the success that will surely result from his clarity of thought and keen eye for a missed opportunity. Demos here and here.