2014年6月25日 星期三

Patrick Rylands: a hero of toy design

Patrick Rylands: a hero of toy design

Patrick Rylands' toys were once in virtually every household. He talks here about his classic designs – including those beloved primary-coloured floating ducks – and his thoughts on modern toys
Patrick Rylands with one of his iconic toys
Patrick Rylands with one of his popular toys. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
The name may not be immediately familiar to you, but if you grew up in the late 60s, 70s or 80s, the chances are you had at least one of his toys in your house, more specifically in your bath. Patrick Rylands was chief designer at Ambi Toys for more than 30 years, and responsible for some of the most-loved baby and toddler toys. He combined simplicity of design with movement, sound and bright primary colours to ensure that children grew up knowing exactly how to fit three miniature plastic ducks in one big one.
Now there is a renewed interest in simple, effective toys that stimulate the imagination (perhaps it's a backlash to the abundance of tech-heavy toys now on the market) and Rylands' work is beginning to be properly appreciated again. He talked us through his very first creations, and his thoughts on modern toy design.


Invented by Rylands in 1966, PlayPlax has sold over a million copies – and is still in production today. Rylands had the idea while still studying at the Royal College of Art, and manufactured the prototype in his holidays, back home in Hull. "I'd become interested in the idea of play in itself and what I was trying to do was to make something that was just stuff, rather than anything that was predetermined. This is the least you can do to a bit of plastic and still make it useable for something else," he explains.
PlayPlax by Patrick Rylands
PlayPlax, 1968, still available at playplax.co.uk
As he was working at the Hornsea Pottery during his summer holidays, he showed the design to the boss, Desmond Rawson. "He came in and said: 'Eh, that's interesting lad, I know someone who'd make that for you'", recalls Rylands. "And he spoke to the people that were making stoppers for salt pots and lids for spice jars. And they as it happened were looking for their own product at the time, a company called Trendon."
The interlocking, brightly coloured design, which allows you to build infinite 3D combinations of squares, is a classic – the first of many Rylands was to produce.
Patrick Rylands drawing for Humpty Dumpty toy
A typically complex drawing – this one for a Humpty Dumpty toy
"I learned on the job," says Rylands. "There was never a drawing for PlayPlax or the first things, I just made a model – then the next things I did do drawings for. And we just sent the drawings straight to toolmakers. Little by little, things got more complicated. The boss was very cost-conscious so we never made prototypes. We always worked straight from drawings – in the end I was doing really quite complicated things straight from drawings, with huge complicated drawings, everything detailed."

Bird and Fish

Bird and fish toys by Patrick Rylands
Bird and Fish Toys, 1970.
In 1970, Rylands won the Duke of Edinburgh prize, awarded to the designer of a product "distinguished by its elegance". The judges particularly singled out the abstract qualities of these Bird and Fish toys, "which encourage children to use their imagination and introduce them to ideas of structure, form, colour and balance". Both are bath toys, made from ABS plastics, with just eyes for decoration and internal ballasts to keep them upright in the water. The design was minimalist enough to appeal to adults and children alike (indeed there is a thriving eBay market for them still).
The bird design was actually based on an Eskimo bone carving in the British Museum. They are now part of British design history and like many other of Rylands toys are on display in the V&A Museum of Childhood. In 2012 they were relaunched by Selegiochi Toys under the MasterToys brand, but unfortunately a manufacturing fault meant they had to be discontinued. There are rumours, though, that they will be making a comeback later this year.


After Trendon, Rylands worked closely with AmbiToys – orignally called Europlastic – in the Netherlands. "It was an outfit run by two Jewish friends who had fled Holland in the war, and when they came back they got together and set up import/export business. Among the things they bought and sold were fairly rudimentary plastic toys – you know, stacking beakers and that kind of thing. And being smart they realised they were paying too much for these, that if they made them themselves they'd get more out of it. So then they were in the toy business."
Rylands' time working for AmbiToys was hugely productive. "It would take me on average about six weeks to do a product, so we'd have a rolling list of things. And if I had half an idea I'd tell the boss about it and maybe send a little coloured sketch to say it could look like this … what do you think?
"Then I'd get down to the drawing board. Part of the difficulty, of course, is that you can't just draw a nice-looking thing. You have to draw a nice looking thing that will work. And if it's got parts, they've all got to come together. I'd find myself some days working on a section and then I'd discover that the part I was drawing had to go in a place where it wouldn't work. That was the downside of working alone."

Bath duck

Bath duck - the original drawing
Original drawing for the Bath Duck
The meticulous detail in what seem superficially to be the simplest of toys is evident in Rylands' drawings, perhaps more than in the finished toys. The beak on this toy was designed so that the slightest movement of the water set it into motion. It also allowed any water entering the toy to escape, thus avoiding an unfortunate duck-sinking incident ...
Duck bath toy
And the finished Bath Duck toy. Still available, £5.99 from galttoys.com
Inspiration came from everywhere. "Occasionally there would be something ready made. One quite popular toy I did was based on a 19th-century tin toy called Magic Run. That I just took directly – I remodelled it so obviously it was a completely different-looking thing, but the principle was there. But you'd see other things – bits of mechanism in other objects that could convert to toys."

Duck family

Duck family drawing
Duck family drawing. Photograph: Galt Toys
In another of Rylands' ingenious designs, three little ducklings hide inside the mother duck, or float free in the bath.
Duck family toys
Duck family (Ambi Toys, £10.99)

Cool Cat

Cat toy by Patrick Rylands
Cool cat (Ambi Toys, £8.99)
The faces on Patrick Rylands' toys have also developed over the years – conveying friendliness and character in a few simple lines. This cat's head spins and the body bobs when he is rolled along the floor. This cat dates from the period (around 1999) when Ambi Toys was sold to BRIO. That firm introduced the colour black into the range. Also at this time, Rylands was elected as a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) - an honour introduced by the RSA in 1936.

Sniffer Mouse

Mice tails
Sniffer mouse (Ambi Toys, £4.99)
This photo shows an original design concept (right) and the current production model. In the original, the stiff rubbery tail points upwards and was designed to ping back into shape and position when flicked or pulled. But this was deemed unsuitable for children, due to risk of eyepoking, and replaced with a soft, cord-style tail. Health and safety gone mad?

Rocky Jocky

Ambi Toys ground to a halt, and was bought by an Italian distributor and owner of toy shops who had been a longstanding fan of Rylands' work. But when he fell ill, it went into limbo, leaving 120-odd products without a manufacturer or a home. Then Galt Toys stepped in, bought the business and after meeting with Rylands, bought his drawings too, so it could begin manufacturing the toys again.
Rocking horse design
Rocking horse design. Photograph: Galt
Rocking horse toy
Rocky Jocky (Ambi Toys, £6.99)
Rylands is now largely retired, though he consults with Galt on the range. So what does he make of contemporary toy design? "Nearly everything has got a screen and buttons to press. I find that sad because I think children need to learn through handling things. I've so often been to an antiques fair and seen something and thought 'Oh that looks interesting' and the minute I touched it I realised it wasn't, that I'd misread it. You need that extra information to make a judgment.
"I think that has to be important when you are growing up, that has to be what informs you about the physical world. And if it's all flat images that are manipulated on screen, it can't be as good. I love my computer, it's the most fabulous toy I've ever owned, but I don't think it should be the only thing."


Focus pocus
Focus pocus (Ambi Toys, £7.99)
All of Rylands' designs are notable for their bright, clean primary colours. So what does he make of the "pinkification" of girls' toys, and the colours used in manufacture today? "It had begun to happen in my time," he says. "There was a movement to have us not make everything in primaries. We did do just a handful of things in pastel shades one year – and luckily customers didn't like them. So we went back to primaries because that's what we knew to do.
"But I can't remember that it was ever a consideration, to be honest. We were making things for very young children and we used the brightest colours possible." Then there were practical considerations: "If we stuck to primaries and white it meant we didn't have to hold immense amounts of stock of material!"

2014年6月23日 星期一

From Humble Sneaker to Luxury Icon 運動鞋奢侈品


時尚報導 2014年06月16日
匡威查克·泰勒(Converse Chuck Taylor):你喝罐裝Bud啤酒,穿Levi's 501s牛仔褲。 你收藏黑膠唱片,夢想著有一天重裝你老爹的65年福特野馬汽車。 你在棒球場慶祝生日,在大屏幕上顯示你的名字。
超酷的巴黎時尚精品店科萊特( Colette )的櫥窗,引起了路人的注意,就像在這座城市的別處糕點對路人的吸引那樣。這一季,男士運動鞋的牆面似乎最有吸引力,現在是該店面向街道的展示中的重點。這裡放著一排排迷人的網球鞋:從萬斯(Vans)的限量版星球大戰圖案運動鞋,到拉夫·西蒙斯( Raf Simons )為阿迪達斯( Adidas )設計的色塊圖案運動鞋;再到布謝米(Buscemi)的手工皮質高幫鞋,上面裝飾著皮帶和18k金鎖,有點像愛馬仕(Hermès)的手袋。價格:760歐元,約合1040美元(這夠買12雙匡威全明星鞋不止)。
布謝米誕生還不到一年,但是這個洛杉磯品牌已經在能成為地位象徵的精英運動鞋界佔有一席之地。但是,2014年,我們看到一些新的、令人嚮往的款式到店並飛快賣光,比如紀梵希(Givenchy)的創意總監里卡多·提西(Riccardo Tisci)為耐克(Nike)設計的RT系列,以及西蒙斯對標誌性的斯坦·史密斯(Stan Smith)款的改造。今年秋季,法瑞爾·威廉姆斯(Pharrell Williams)和坎耶·韋斯特( Kanye West )將揭幕他們為阿迪達斯設計的運動鞋——它們在時尚界和運動鞋博客上引發的期待程度與他們的任何一張新專輯差不多。
的確,過去幾年裡,很多設計師、音樂家和視覺藝術家(比如湯姆·薩赫斯[Tom Sachs]2012年設計的耐克太空系列火星鞋[ NikeCraft Mars Yard shoe ])似乎集體決定把自己的創意活力用到卑微的運動鞋上。其中一個原因是他們意識到有些男人對運動鞋的迷戀已經接近女人對手袋和高跟鞋的渴求,這方面的奢侈品市場已經形成(和女人的時裝鞋不同,運動鞋無需遵循季節週期,這能解釋為什麼似乎總是不斷有新款發布)。現在的火熱程度超過了運動鞋歷史上的任何時候——它可以追溯到19世紀中期硫化橡膠的誕生——我們看到了高端和低端、可輕鬆買到與稀有款式的匯聚,包括重新發售的款式(比如有120年曆史的巴塔[Bata]網球鞋,約誕生於1965年的阿迪達斯斯坦·史密斯運動鞋)、前瞻性的款式(比如提西為耐克設計的空軍一號運動鞋)、謹慎的細分市場款式(比如Buttero牌的公共項目[Common Projects]款)以及開創性的組合(比如耐克的飛人喬丹未來珍藏款,上面有3M反光網籃格子圖案)。
喬恩·布謝米(Jon Buscemi)十多年前進入運動鞋行業,在溜冰鞋品牌DC Shoes工作。在他看來,對運動鞋的普遍興趣和接受代表了時尚界的一種文化變遷。
當然,在運動場外穿運動鞋的概念並不新鮮:20世紀70年代穿到Studio 54夜總會的耐克華夫運動鞋(Nike Waffle Trainers);山本耀司為阿迪達斯做的早期設計;普拉達(Prada)的PS0906 ,它們在1997年首次亮相,很快在附庸風雅的人群中流行開來,各種款式競相引領潮流。
科萊特的創始人、創意總監莎拉·安德爾曼(Sarah Andelman)認為時尚運動鞋已經成了一種“社會現象”,其中的佼佼者受到青睞既因其功能性,也因其設計美感。
“運動鞋是一個更能發揮你的創造力的領域,因為它讓人想到體育,但同時你也在跟科技打交道,”設計師皮埃爾·哈迪( Pierre Hardy )說。他提到運動鞋時用的是法語術語。這一季,在他引人注目的設計中參考了羅伊·利希滕施泰因(Roy Lichtenstein)和歐普藝術,同時也繼續他的正式男裝系列。“你可以帶一點未來主義,一點波普文化,”他說。男人們似乎無所畏懼。哈迪說他的運動鞋目前佔他男裝生意的77%。
男性顧客也不會因為價格而退縮,橡膠鞋底的球鞋正在和時裝鞋抗衡。哈迪的高端款式價格在570歐元至850歐元之間。里克·歐文斯( Rick Owens )為阿迪達斯設計的Vicious款價格為490歐元,華倫天奴(Valentino)的霓虹橡膠飾釘迷彩印花Rockstud運動鞋也是這個價格。顧客們熱切盼望的迪奧桀驁(Dior Homme)和加勒斯·普(Gareth Pugh)的運動鞋也在500歐元左右,相比之下,西蒙斯的斯坦·史密斯款才370歐元,顯得很便宜。
主要得益於男性時尚雜誌的編輯立場——《GQ》的三月刊有一篇關於本季最佳的綜述,宣告高級運動鞋“全面來襲”——如今幾乎沒有什麼場合是不適合穿運動鞋的。伊麗莎白·塞曼海克(Elizabeth Semmelhack)在多倫多的巴塔鞋子博物館( Bata Shoe Museum )策劃了一個關於運動鞋文化的展覽,該展覽將持續到6月1日。她說,這股潮流是一個更大的關於男性自我表達的運動的一部分。“運動鞋把男人們釋放到時尚界,且不會對他們的個性造成威脅,”她說。
迪爾克·舍恩伯格(Dirk Schönberger)從2010年起擔任阿迪達斯運動時尚部門的創意總監,可以被認為是能從職業運動鞋的框架外思考的人。但是,他堅持認為自己的展望從未遠離該品牌的基因。“我來這裡不是要把阿迪達斯變成一個時尚公司,”他在柏林接受電話採訪時說。

2014年6月17日 星期二

Phillip King 英國雕塑家駐台灣期間作品將在倫敦展出

〔駐歐洲特派記者胡蕙寧/倫敦報導〕為慶祝英國知名雕塑大師菲利浦金80歲生日暨紀念其超過50年創作生涯,英國Thomas Dane Gallery策劃倫敦個展暨大型戶外展,展出多件菲利浦金於2012年在台灣創作。
  • 菲利浦金喜歡用不同幾何造型組合來探討雕塑與公共環境的關係。 (記者胡蕙寧攝)
    菲利浦金喜歡用不同幾何造型組合來探討雕塑與公共環境的關係。 (記者胡蕙寧攝)
倫敦展覽室內部分至7月26日於Thomas Dane Gallery展出;大型戶外雕塑展6月25日至7月25日展出一個月。菲利浦金在台創作均為大型雕塑,展出地點在位於倫敦市中心的Ranelagh Gardens。

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quill (1971), Rotterdam
Phillip King PRA (born 1 May 1934,[1] Tunis, French Tunisia) is a British sculptor. He is one of Anthony Caro's best known students, even though the two artists are near contemporaries. Their education followed similar trajectories and they both worked as assistants to Henry Moore. Following the "New Generation" show at the Whitechapel Gallery, both Caro and King were included in the seminal 1966 exhibit, "Primary Structures" at the Jewish Museum in New York representing the British influence on the "New Art". In 2011, his work was represented in the Royal Academy exhibition on Modern British Sculpture which explored British sculpture of the twentieth century.


While doing his national service before going to university in Cambridge (Christ's College), he spent much time in Paris where he met many artists. He studied modern languages as Christ's College, Cambridge from 1954–57, and sculpture at Saint Martin's School of Art from 1957–58 with Anthony Caro.[2] The next year he spent working as an assistant to Henry Moore and teaching at Saint Martin's.
In 1990 King was made Professor Emeritus of the Royal College and was the President of the Royal Academy of Art from 1999 to 2004, presumably declining the usual knighthood. In 1992 William Feaver wrote in London's Observer that King is "the one sculptor of his generation prepared to jettison what he has proved himself good at in order to explore what cannot be programmed." He took over at a time when the Academy was facing financial trouble and he has said it distracted him from his work.
King proved Feaver correct by turning unexpectedly to Japan and ceramics in 1993 and two years later making the powerful unglazed, vessel-themed works which were the focus of an exhibition in 2004. Richard Cork wrote about the sculptures:
Often pierced from one side to the other and interrupted by renegade protuberances, they end up conveying more emotional conflict than initially seems possible. But they possess optimism as well... That is why he is such a rewarding artist, and why each distinct phase in his ceaselessly resourceful career adds to the richness of his achievement.[citation needed]
The exhibition was presented in Yorkshire, London, and New York.
One sculpture titled Zen Garden, created by King and students from the Royal College of Art, remains available to see within Tout Quarry, Isle of Portland, Dorset, England.
In 2010, Phillip King was a recipient of the International Sculpture Center's Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.[3] He lives and works in London.


  1. "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2014. "Prof Phillip King, sculptor; President, Royal Academy of Arts, 1999–2004; 79"
  2. http://www.sculpture.org.uk/biography/PhillipKing/
  3. International Sculpture Center website. 'Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award page'. Retrieved 24 January 2010.


Exhibition Catalogues
  • Phillip King: A Survey through 50 Years. [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Flowers East 21 January - 19 February 2011] London.
  • Hilton, T. (1992) The sculpture of Phillip King. Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd

External links


更新時間 2014年 6月 5日, 星期四 - 格林尼治標準時間10:48
《憩》Au Repos (At Rest)
英國知名雕塑大師菲利浦·金(Philip King)駐台灣期間創作的作品將在倫敦展出。
為慶祝英國菲利浦·金80歲生日暨紀念其超過50年之創作生涯,Thomas Dane Gallery特別策劃了其倫敦個展暨大型戶外展。


《 X爆》 X Plode
《 X爆》 的色彩變化凸顯不同狀態(圖片提供:東和鋼鐵公司)

菲利浦·金在台灣創作了包括:「憩」(At Rest)、「鄧斯特布爾之舞」(Dunstable Reel)、「高空閃耀」(High Sky and Bling)、「環形之舞」(Ring Reel)以及「突擊」(Lash)等等。
此次展覽分為室內展與戶外展,其中室內展部分從6月11日至7月26日於Thomas Dane Gallery展出。
展出地點在位於倫敦市中心的Ranelagh Gardens。

2014年6月16日 星期一

BIG extends audemars piguet HQ.......設計邦

alfredo brillembourg 于1961年生于纽约。他在哥伦比亚大学学习建筑,而后就读于委内瑞拉中央大学。1993年他在委内瑞拉的加拉加斯创办了 U »

BIG extends audemars piguet HQ with spiraling landform in switzerland
original content
jun 13, 2014
BIG extends audemars piguet HQ with spiraling landform in switzerland

BIG extends audemars piguet HQ with spiraling landform in switzerland
all images courtesy of BIG

for an extension to its historic headquarters in le brassus, switzerland, luxury watchmaker audemars piguet has commissioned a design team lead by BIG, with collaboration from HG merz, luchinger & meyer, and müller illien. the 2,400 sqm museum addition, called ‘la maison des fondateurs’ (the home of the founders), is composed as a spiraling and interweaving building form which blends with the landscape. its arrangement is based on a linear sequence of experiences which present a story to visitors. serving as a new attraction to the overall complex, the coiling pavilion properly represents the brand by blending its historic legacy with its independent and avant-garde spirit.
BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the spiraling form creates a continuous sequence of galleries

the particular form solves the programmatic dilemmas of the facility. the narrative structure of the visitors’ experience requires a continuous circulation, while the logistics and operations of workshop spaces also necessitate an interconnected relationship. by creating two spiraling forms which weave between one another, the three watch making studios are able to be immediately adjacent to one another, while surrounded by the connected galleries.
BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the linear museum experience wraps the outside of the spiraling form

the roof form of the pavilion is a continuous element, composed of a steel structure clad in brass. in plan, it reads as a unified whole, but is discontinuous in section to allow for daylight and views outward to la vallée de joux.
BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
openings in the landscape provide guestrooms with views of the valley context
BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the facility includes interconnected watchmaking workshops

in describing the project, bjarke ingels states, ‘watchmaking, like architecture, is the art and science of invigorating inanimate matter with intelligence and performance. it is the art of imbuing metals and minerals with energy, movement, intelligence and measure – to bring it to life in the form of telling time. unlike most machines and most buildings today that have a disconnect between the body and the mind, the hardware and the software, for the maison des fondateurs we have attempted to completely integrate the geometry and the performance, the form and the function, the space and the structure, the interior and the exterior in a symbiotic hole‘.
BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
a wide spiraling stair matches the building’s gesture
BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the roof form of the pavilion is a continuous element, composed of a steel structure clad in brass
BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom
the sloping gesture loosely relates to the hilly context
BIG audemars piguet museum la maison des fondateurs designboom