Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Design by Stealth

Inspiration for design comes from all around us. It is our environment, our life, that feeds our imagination and allows us to derive and resuscitate ideas. Original thought will always find a seed of inspiration somewhere. Look what the secret Stealth program of the 1980s has influenced. The Stealth aircraft first flew in 1979 but was not made public until a decade later.

The angles and flat-faceted body can clearly be seen in Armenian designer Norayr Khachatryan's N-7 table for casamania in Italy. Made from a single sheet of cast aluminium, the design is stark, minimalist and available in black, white, aluminium and red.

Although hardly a snip at £5200 plus change you may want to consider it as an investment. The 1986 Lockheed Chaise Long by Marc Newson was orinally available for a few thousand pounds. One sold this year in the present financial climate for £1 million.

More directly, photographer Nina Burman, has published a book for Trolley Books examining how American ideologies have been reshaped post 9/11 and the influence of a homeland security state. The book is called "Homeland".

A recent addition to the realm of "stealth" design influenced products is the Benjamin Riot Lockheed Chair. Angular, aggressive and uncomfortable underneath but with a smooth place to park your bottom. The design also borrows from Ray and Charles Eames' DSW chair.

More abstractly, Jonathon Barnbrook and Marcus Leis Allion have developed the "Hopeless Diamond" font based on the carved nature of the stealth aircraft. Available from Virus Font, the font comes in 4 styles with 3 varieties of each; Regular, Alternate and Italic. The name comes from the pet-name for the initial stealth prototypes which were very unstable to fly.

So go out there and find your inspiration. there is nothing wrong with borrowing. Think of it as evolution!

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