celebrating a little design classic

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Duralex Glasses

Synonymous with school dinner halls and work cafeterias of yesteryear, the iconic Duralex glass is making a comeback.

Made in France, the fluted-edge Picardie and straighter-sided Gigogne tumblers (pronounced je-go-ne) date from the late 1920s. I love their stylish, yet functional hard-wearing style. The original publicity for the glasses claimed that they could be “used as hammers”.

Though I haven’t yet tried to knock in a nail with my set, they are indeed practical for many other uses. The 9cl Picardie glass measures out the perfect shot of espresso for my Sunday morning latte, and the 22cl Gigogne glass is great for serving wine when eating al-fresco with the piece-of-mind that they are shatter-proof.

They are sure to bring a little bit of vintage charm to any table.

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stepping inside the world of Charles and Ray Eames

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I managed to get along to the Barbican’s exhibition celebrating the work of the influential American design duo, Charles and Ray Eames. Perfecting the pioneering use of moulded plywood, they created some of the most important examples of 20th century furniture. Their leather lounge chair and ottoman created in 1956 is truly iconic.

But what I didn’t know and learnt whilst exploring the two floors devoted to their creative pursuits, is firstly that they were husband and wife and secondly, that their body of work also encompassed film, photography and architecture as well as graphic, textile and product design.

The exhibition showcases the Eames’ philosophy of design not as the pursuit of originality for its own sake, but as the process of thinking about problems and their connection to surrounding historical, social and technological conditions.

It was interesting to see how ahead of their time they were, and how much of their ideas and concepts are still very much on trend today.

What finally matters is that your house works the way you want it to. And that it is a pleasant place to be in. Ray Eames 1959