Industrial Strength

London design firm Industrial Facility breaks loose of its minimalist mold.

Industrial Facility’s LED night-light for IDEA Japan

Fans of Muji’s minimalist housewares will want to check out the exhibition on the London design firm Industrial Facility that opened Friday at the Design Museum. As creative advisor to Muji, Industrial Facility has anonymously designed more than 50 items for the Japanese retailer’s lines of furniture, appliances, kitchenware, and electronics.


A coffeemaker for Muji

In an interview with the Design Museum, the firm’s cofounders, Kim Colin and Sam Hecht, explain their approach: “This isn’t a style; it’s common sense.” Yet even by Muji’s standards, Industrial Facility’s work seems exceptionally reserved, showing few of the playful personal touches often found in products by their contemporaries Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, and Konstantin Grcic, all of whom mine similarly lean and functionalist territory (and who have all anonymously created products for Muji).


Industrial Facility’s toilet brush and watch for Muji

One of the firm’s newest products, however, seems to point to a new, slightly more whimsical direction. The Two Timer clock, for Established & Sons, is a kind of melting disc whose drooping left side provides room for a smaller clock face to display a second time zone. Functional? Sure. But one would be hard-pressed to label this another example of common sense trumping style.


Industrial Facility: Some Recent Projects runs through September 7.

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