Sardine Collector’s Cabinet by Michael Marriot

Design Classic – Influential and important design

Sardine Collector's Cabinet
Cabinet by Michael Marriot

Sardine Collector’s Cabinet

  • Designer: Michael Marriot
  • Material: MDF, sardine tins, wing nuts
  • Manufacturer: Space UK, London England

In 1996 the Crafts Council in London put on an exhibition called “Recycling: Forms for The Next Century”. The show investigated the rising interest in an alternative design, material reuse, and the search for a design future that took environmental concerns and less aggressive use of raw materials into account, as the title suggests. Michael Marriott, a graduate of the Royal College of Art’s furniture department, whose unusual and amusing pieces piqued people’s interest, was featured in this exhibition. His cabinet was made out of medium-density fibreboard, and the drawers were made out of sardine cans. This humorous, simple, and elegant approach proposed a different design agenda, harkening back to Victor Papanek and the Whole Earth Catalogue in the 1960s.

Marriott made use of the tradition of discovered items in his work. He saw a civilisation with many unused resources and realised that he could use materials with exciting properties. Found materials, in his opinion, created not just lovely accidental effects but also generated familiarity with the piece. So far, a table made from an old oil drum, castors, and a chipboard top, as well as a wall light made from a classic glass lemon squeezer, plywood, and shelf brackets, have been created.

Sources

McDermott, C. (2011). Modern design: Classics of our time. Carlton Books.

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    AEG (Allgemeine Elektrizitäts Gesellschaft) (established 1883)

    Engineer Emil Rathenau founded AEG as the Deutsche Edison Gesellschaft für angewandte Elektrizitäts (DEG) two years after seeing Edison’s lighting at the Paris Exposition Internationale de l’Electricité in 1881.Read More →

  • Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) Father of Anti-Design

    Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) Father of Anti-Design

    Although trained and active as an architect, Sottsass secured a permanent place in pop culture with his designs of everyday items. From 1957, he was a consultant designer at Olivetti, where he designed computers, adding machines, typewriters, and systems furniture. Read More →

  • Peter Behrens (1868 – 1940) – German architect and designer

    Peter Behrens (1868 – 1940) – German architect and designer

    Peter Brehens (1868 – 1940) was a German graphic artist, architect and designer. He studied at the Karlsruhe and in Düsseldorf and Munich.Read More →

  • Pierre Balmain (1914 – 1982) French fashion designer

    Pierre Balmain (1914 – 1982) French fashion designer

    Pierre Balmain (1914 – 1982) was a French fashion designer and the influential postwar fashion house Balmain founder. He described the art of dressmaking as “the architecture of movement,” and he was known for his sophistication and elegance.Read More →

  • James Evanson (1946 – 2022) American furniture and lighting designer

    James Evanson (1946 – 2022) American furniture and lighting designer

    James Evanson has been at the forefront of the “functional art” movement around the world. His work has travelled worldwide since his first exhibition in 1979 at the Art et Industrie Gallery in New York. For the Memphis Collection in Milan, new work was created just for the occasion. The “Lighthouse” lamps gained international acclaim and became an icon of the 1980s.Read More →

  • Gianni Pasini (b.1937) Italian Designer – Electronic Machinery

    Gianni Pasini (b.1937) Italian Designer – Electronic Machinery

    Gianni Pasini was born in 1937 in Venice and professionally active in Milan. Some of his clients were Olivetti, Fabbrica Italiana, Magneti Marelli, and Crin hospital. He worked with Sandro Pasqui in a design studio from 1974 onwards.Read More →

  • Electrolux – Swedish domestic appliance firm

    Electrolux – Swedish domestic appliance firm

    Electrolux was the first electrical appliance manufacturer to produce a horizontal-cylinder vacuum cleaner. Its flexible hose made it possible to clean in places other floor models could not reach. In 1924, the Electrolux vacuum cleaner was successfully introduced in the U.S.Read More →

  • Walter Crane (1845 – 1915) British designer, artist and writer

    Walter Crane (1845 – 1915) British designer, artist and writer

    Walter Crane (1845 – 1915) was a British designer, artist and writer. He designed textiles, stained glass, wallpaper, and ceramics as a strong proponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement. His books were available in both original and pirated copies in the U.S. Crane designed stained glass, tiles, wallpapers, embroideries, textiles, mosaics and decorative plasterwork.Read More →

  • Harry Bertoia (1915 – 1978) Italian sculptor, furniture designer

    Harry Bertoia (1915 – 1978) Italian sculptor, furniture designer

    Harry Bertoia was a sculptor, printmaker, jeweller, and furniture designer. He was born in San Lorenzo, Udine, and worked in the United States professionally. During World War Two he worked with Ray and Charles Eames on moulded-plywood technology. He worked primarily as a sculptor from the mid-1950s onwards. His sculpture was prominently featured in many of Eero Saarinen’s buildings.Read More →

  • Antonia Astori (b.1940) Italian designer co-founded Driade

    Antonia Astori (b.1940) Italian designer co-founded Driade

    Antonia Astori co-founded Driade with her brother Enrico and Adelaide Acerbi in 1968. She was able to create a unique network of furniture designers, galleries, and shops.Read More →

  • Masakazu Kobayashi (b.1944) Japanese textile designer

    Masakazu Kobayashi (b.1944) Japanese textile designer

    Masakazu Kobayashi studied at the University of Arts, Kyoto, Japan. He manifested traditional textile techniques and aesthetics in his work. Between 1966 and 1975, he worked as a textile designer for Kawashima. His 1982 fabric evoked komon, a textile dyeing technique which uses paper patterns with small motifs.Read More →

  • Alma Eikerman (1908 – 1995) American jewellery designer and silversmith

    Alma Eikerman (1908 – 1995) American jewellery designer and silversmith

    Alma Eikerman (1908 – 1995) was an American jewellery designer and silversmith. Eikerman was born in Pratt, Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State College in Emporia with a B.Sc. in 1934 and an M.Sc. in 1942. Read More →

  • Coffee scoops for your inner barista

    Coffee scoops for your inner barista

    A standard full coffee scoop typically holds two tablespoons of coffee grounds. The traditional standard scoop holds approximately 10 grammes (0.36 ounces) of ground coffee. Take a look at some of our lovely coffee scoops.Read More →

  • Bertel Gardberg (1916 – 2007) Finnish Jeweller and Metalworker

    Bertel Gardberg (1916 – 2007)  Finnish Jeweller and Metalworker

    Bertel Gardberg was a Finnish jeweller and metal worker. Between 1938-1941 he studied at Taideteollin Korkeaukoulu, Helsinki. He began his working life in Copenhagen. Gardberg moved to Helsinki where he maintained a studio between 1949-1966. He was responsible for stainless steel and silver designs produced by the Georg Jensen Solvsmedie; Galeries Lafayette department store, Paris and Kilkenny Design workshops, Dublin. Although he was known for his metal wares, he also worked in wood and stone.Read More →

  • Jacques Gruber (1870 – 1936) French Stained Glass artist and designer

    Jacques Gruber (1870 – 1936) French Stained Glass artist and designer

    Jacques Gruber (1870-1936) was a French stained-glass artist, designer, and teacher, born Sundhausen, Alsace. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, under Gustave Moreau. He was distinguished as a designer in the Art Nouveau idiom. Read More →

  • Art Deco Books from Amazon

    Art Deco Books from Amazon

    Art Deco, also known as Deco, is a visual art, architecture, and design style that originated in France shortly before World War I. Buildings, furniture, jewellery, fashion, automobiles, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday items like radios and vacuum cleaners were all inspired by Art Deco. The Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) held in Paris in 1925 inspired the name. Read More →

  • Metalarte – Spanish lighting firm

    Metalarte – Spanish lighting firm

    The Riera family owns Metalarte. In the 1960s, the company began producing a Modern line of lighting alongside its historicist turned-brass models. The 1975 Calder halogen swivel table lamp by Enric Franch was an exception to a return to conservative production. Read More →

  • Memphis Group – it has little to do with Tennessee

    Memphis Group – it has little to do with Tennessee

    Memphis was a movement in interior design introduced at the annual Milan Furniture Fair in 1981. It consisted of a group led by Memphis guru Ettore Sottass of avant-garde Italian designers. With outrageous interpretations of traditional furnishings and accessories, Memphis shocked the traditionally quiet industry.Read More →

  • Oscar Onken (1858 – 1948) and the ‘The Shop of the Crafters’

    Oscar Onken (1858 – 1948) and the ‘The Shop of the Crafters’

    Oscar Onken (1858 – 1948) was an American entrepreneur. He was professionally active in Ohio. Onken was a prominent businessman and philanthropist. Impressed with the Gustav Stickley and Austrian stands at the 1904 St. Louis ‘Louisiana Purchase Exposition,’ he founded The Shop of the Crafts in Cincinnati in 1904. Read More →

  • Frantz Jourdain (1847 – 1935) Belgian architect and author

    Frantz Jourdain (1847 – 1935) Belgian architect and author

    Frantz Jourdain (1847 – 1935) was an architect and author from Belgium. He is best known for La Samaritaine, an Art Nouveau department store designed in three stages between 1904 and 1928 in Paris’s 1st arrondissement. He was regarded as an Art Nouveau expert.Read More →

  • Capitalisation rules – the basics

    Capitalisation rules – the basics

    If you have ever read an old newspaper (early nineteenth century) and you look carefully at the old broadsheets.  You will notice that words are capitalised here and there and that the rules of capitalisation, some of which you will learn shortly, seem nonexistent.Read More →

  • Dada Art Movement – Making Mischief

    Dada Art Movement – Making Mischief

    As a designer, I am passionate about the history of art and their influence on ‘visual design.’  In art history, Dada is the artistic movement that preceded Surrealism, it began in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1916 by a group of mostly painters and painters.  Dada artworks challenged the preconceived notions of what art meant.  Many Dadaists felt that the way to salvation was through political anarchy, the natural emotions, the intuitive and the irrational.Read More →

  • Anchor Blocks – 19th Century construction toy

    Anchor Blocks – 19th Century construction toy

    Anchor Blocks were a German system of building blocks that were popular as a children’s construction toy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, notably in Europe. Dr F. Ad. Richter in Rudolstadt, Germany, began developing and manufacturing the system in 1879. The concept was based on the FROEBEL block system, which significantly impacted Frank Lloyd WRIGHT’s design philosophy.Read More →

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