Sir Kenneth Grange Q&A

Modus caught up with Sir Kenneth Grange for a quick Q&A on the idea behind Spring, his partnership with SmithMatthias as well as the best and the worst design of the 21st Century. 

Modus caught up with Sir Kenneth Grange for a quick Q&A on the idea behind Spring, his partnership with SmithMatthias as well as the best and the worst design of the 21st Century. 

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What was the design idea behind Spring?

The idea behind Spring was simple; to declare - make a 'feature' - raise the importance visually of the legs and their fixing. It's got a relationship with the likelihood that this product can be, assembled by the user, and so a small example of their part in its 'creation.'

How did you and SmithMatthias come to work together? 

I was Jack's visiting professor at The RCA - he was in a particularly good year - plenty of talent. He was personally very generous in helping 'handson' with my one man show at The Design Museum.

So, when Modus approached me to do some furniture it was a very short step to team up with Jack - who by then was in a private practice.

Using just three words, how would describe the current design climate in the UK?

Everywhere and nowhere.

In your opinion, how has the design industry changed over the course of your career?

Massively. It will be very rare today to get the variety of commissions that I and my contemporaries  benefitted from. 

What do you think is the best product design of the 21st Century?

I'm a great fan of the hydraulic ram

And what do you think is the worst?

Maybe the current fashion for torturing metal in the auto trade. e.g Honda,Toyota, Nissan - probably the ugliest era in that whole history - let alone the insanity of trying to get in and out of the rear passenger seats

What do you wish you had designed and why? 

I'd quite like to have had a go at a bus 'because it's full of functional challenges

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