Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Christopher Dresser

Christopher Dresser (1834-1904), an English botanist and scholar of the decorative arts was probably the first industrial designer in the modern sense of the term. He embraced all the implications of industrial mass-production, unlike his Arts and Crafts Movement contemporaries, aligning this to the design of bold and highly visionary crafted objects. This teapot (1879) is unbelievably ahead of its time. Having had the privilege to work at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum during the mounting of the exhibition (way back in 2004!) entitled 'Shock of the Old: Christopher Dresser', I have come to highly regard Dresser's application of his vision. I ran right down to the Shop to buy a teapot, as well as a beautiful oil and vinegar stand that he designed (editioned by Alessi not original pieces ... someday!).

There was an article about Murray Moss written in the past year, in which upon being served water (?) in, I believe it was, a czech glass tumbler the interviewer found himself appreciating the preciousness of the glass, which intern inspired him to sit up straighter. This is what interests us and something we strongly believe in! It is powerful - this idea of objects influencing our thinking and behavior - the moment when the Dresser's innovation, beauty and creativity is transferred into an experience with an effect on the user (in this case me!).

I couldn't locate the article but here is an earlier post in which Murray Moss speaks to the idea of objects affecting our behavior.

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