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The Kitchen Revolution

toasterIt’s hardly surprising that we revere the mid century modern period, the years just after the Second World War. This was a time for celebration as peace was restored and a time for designers and artists to exercise the creative energy that had been repressed during years of austerity. This was also a time for developing new materials like plastics and nylon and old ones that had been refined and improved and were now in more plentiful supply as the armaments industry no longer took priority. Continue reading →

Home, Home On The Range

sarpaneva-potPeople mistakenly think that nomadic tribes just aimlessly wander about their countryside. In fact, they tend to follow established routes, arrive at specific places at certain times of the year and can stay there for extended periods of time. These routes are often determined by the weather when it is necessary to move to warmer, drier terrain or when it is better to move to high or low ground. Sometimes the routes lead to traditional meeting places where extended family groups gather together to celebrate cultural and religious occasions Continue reading →

Rubbish, VW & All That Gas

Antelope Chair by Ernest Race for The Festival of Britain. An era when anything seemed possible.

Antelope Chair by Ernest Race for The Festival of Britain. A time when anything seemed possible.

On 3rd May 1951, The Festival of Britain opened. Events were held all over Britain but the central attraction was undoubtedly the South Bank in London.

Here, a vast area of old warehouses and housing had been demolished to stage a showcase of British achievements in industry, science and art. It was intended to be a tonic for the nation (as Herbert Morrison put it), a cultural counterpart to the social benefits of the Welfare State and an antidote to the years of austerity Continue reading →

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The Incredible Shrinking Home

Isokon Donkey. Self Storage!

Isokon Donkey.
Self Storage!

When the Garden City new towns were first planned in the 1920s, the developments included plenty of green, outdoor space in an attempt to bring a semi rural aspect to an urban conurbation.

In the late 1940s and 1950s, housing schemes that were built in cities that had been badly bombed   tried hard to ensure that there were playground areas for children and lawned areas and gardens for all residents. Today, many newly built blocks of flats or conversions of older warehouse properties provide little or no outdoor space at all.

Whilst planners want to preserve the “green belt” areas of Britain so that our countryside is not spoilt, many urban dwellers (and it is in the cities Continue reading →