Making everyday objects special

Design with heart

Design with heart

We’re hardly short of new products in the modern world. Our 21st century, techno-driven, global economy has become a giant engine, geared up to make and to market objects to us in their millions. But how often do the many products we rely on really excite us? Why do we so often favour big brand names in choosing the things we surround ourselves with? Is it really because we trust in their power to improve our lives and our world or because we lack the knowledge and confidence to be bolder? In this exhibition, I set out to get to the heart of why these choices matter by showcasing 70 products that encapsulate a quality I have christened ‘Design with Heart’. This personal selection of contemporary things that I love draws on values arrived at in a 25-year career as a product designer. But visitors expecting to find a collection of exclusive design ‘icons’ may be in for a surprise. Exhibits on show range from tableware to trumpets and cheeseboards to circus equipment. Some are beautiful; a few may not even appear to have been designed at all. The ingredients that these products have in common often transcend issues of style or aesthetics. Some are things distinguished by the spirit of generosity or integrity in which they were created; others are products with the power to create a special sense of community; still more stand out because of their unique sense of innovation or their sheer beauty. This exhibition aims to attract visitors to the Biennale Internationale de St Etienne with its exciting range, variety and presentation. Along the way, I hope it reveals the power of ‘Design with Heart’ to improve the way we work, interact, communicate and entertain ourselves and to change our contemporary world for the better.

Written with David Redhead

Design With Heart was designed and curated by Sebastian Bergne as part of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2013

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