Monday, 22 April 2013


John Pawson and "When Objects Work [They Cost a Lot of Money]" may think a steak knife is a gadget (or, more likely, an edifice) but, if so, they have some serious competition on their hands.

The great British public knows a gadget when it sees one and sales of Teasmaids, Hostess Trollies, Breville toasted sandwich makers and Sodastreams (another great British invention, in this case by Guy Gilbey of the gin) are reported to be booming, in most cases doubling in the past year.

John Lewis sees it as fuelled by nostalgia; the House of Fraser (a cut above) identifies it as retro chic and describes the Kenwood stand mixer as "iconic". That's British too, or was, designed by Ken Wood a little before 1950 and made by his company, but it is now Italian owned and the products are made in China.

An icon of our times
I doubt whether John Pawson is worried.