The iMac, the Dyson and the Bic ballpoint pen: these three items have made their way into our lives with ease and have now become objects upon which we now rely every day for work, writing and, of course, keeping our houses clean. To become ordinary, these devices first had to be extraordinary. They had to stand out from the other objects which performed their jobs in less satisfactory ways. Their designers – Jonathan Ive, James Dyson and László Biró respectively – had to be extraordinarily inventive.
London’s Design Museum is celebrating extraordinary designs by some of the world’s greatest designers with a new permanent exhibition, called Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things, which includes chairs by Charles and Ray Eames and Marcel Breuer, the Anglepoise lamp by George Carwardine, the classic British telephone box and postbox, and fashion designs by Karl Lagerfeld (for Chanel), Issey Miyake and Alexander McQueen among many others.
Many of the pieces on display have been in storage for over six years and have been brought out especially for this exhibition, which will go on to form part of the permanent collection at the Design Museum’s new residence in Kensington in 2014.
This show is a chance to see many design classics which have become part of everyday life and are still in production today in one way or another.