SHERIDAN COAKLEY ON DESIGN CLASSICS

March 16, 2015 / OLD news posts
Sheridan Coakley

‘A design classic is a functional object that was created in a previous generation but still works and looks good. That’s it. It’s not nostalgic about a past era that has become fashionable again. Most pieces that we regard as classics were designed when a new material or manufacturing technique came along, such as plywood (Alvar Aalto), tubular steel (Marcel Breuer) or injection-moulded plastic (Jasper Morrison). All of the designs that come after a classic are just variations, pastiches and bad copies. My top three classics are the “Air-Chair” by Jasper Morrison for Magis [(1); 1999], which is modern yet timeless; the cast-aluminium Stanley knife (2), which is functional design at its best; and the current version of the Honda Cub motorcycle (3). It has been in production since 1958 and while it has changed a little, it is still true to the original.’

Sheridan Coakley, founder, SCP (scp.co.uk; @SCPLtd)

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