Analyzing the Object

Metropolis presents a snapshot of product design today.

Look at the current state of product design and it’s hard not to come away with some measure of hope. Sure, wasteful packaging, sloppy thinking, and just plain bad design are widespread—but legions of smart individuals are dedicating their attention to improving our material lives in ways both large and small. In this issue, we explore these efforts at a range of scales and in a variety of disciplines—from Marva Griffin-Wilshire’s tireless promotion of emerging talents at Salone Satellite, in Milan, to the 91-year-old woodworker Sam Maloof’s decades-long dedication to making sinuous handcrafted forms. The speculative nature of many of the products shown here suggests possible future directions for product design, including a strong interest in inclusive design, a marriage of craft and digital technologies, and an emphasis on user-friendly objects.

Marvelous Marva
The impresario of one of design’s great showcases for young talent reflects on its tenth anniversary.

10 in 2007
Marva Griffin-Wilshire picks ten designers to watch at this year’s Salone Satellite, in Milan.

Projects & Principles
The work of students in the United States and Europe provides an intriguing glimpse into emerging trends in product and industrial design.

180 Varick Street
A look at the work spaces inside New York City’s infamous design address.

Industrial Evolution
Established & Sons is proving that, contrary to popular belief, Britain still has the manufacturing capability to produce high-end furniture.

The Craft Master
The houses of Sam Maloof are testaments to the furniture maker’s illustrious half-century-long career.

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