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Afghtiga Product Design Collection

Posted by Scott










So apparently there is this guy in Switzerland who either owns or has access to many of the most iconic product designs from the 60′s and 70′s. He also takes amazing pictures of them, and posts them in high resolution for us to enjoy / print. This man is a hero.

I always wonder though, would having these artifacts make me happy? Would being surrounded by the objects of my desire actually fulfill my need for order and beauty? Or would I obsess; constantly dusting and arranging them symmetrically on walnut desks made by George Nelson? Probably all of the above, but for now one can only dream.

Whenever I get to lusting over design like this I start thinking about the nature of appreciation. What abstract facet of the human condition allows us to seek and covet objects which may not necessarily provide any meaningful function or benefit our daily lives? I can’t tell you how many fellow designer’s homes I have visited to see various defunct or otherwise unused products neatly displayed on shelves, never again to serve their intended purpose. Why do we surround ourselves with these relics? Devices which through some perverse twist of fascination have been stripped of their intrinsic usefulness and rendered as some fetishized monument to our personal design sensibilities, gathering dust on a mantle.

That’s probably reading way to deep into things so I’m going to take the easy answer and say it’s simply the act of art appreciation. There is just something about the fact that these were originally designed as functional objects that throws a wrench into the whole concept of approaching them purely as works of art. At any rate, I want every single thing up there, in my house, now.

Design Icons by Afghtiga

24 Comments Leave A Comment

2

RA_OUL says:

November 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm

These objects, as well as many other beautifully designed objects from the past, are a snapshot of time…of a lifestyle…of a culture. These gems were carefully designed with so much attention to detail and functionality. They really speak for the time and ideals from when they were created almost like a filtered projection of the past in a physical and tangible form. Therefore, they are not just works of art but monumental and historical displays, each one telling a different story. The stories that we read from these objects ultimately feed the void of our starving nostalgia. In that sense, there is timelessness in that.

Gosh, after saying all that it makes me want to start buying doubles of all of my Apple products! Anyways, this totally doesn’t mean I don’t envy this guy who owns all of these.

3

Julian says:

November 17, 2011 at 3:27 am

Fantastic post! My brother owns the radioclock in the first picture. I allways tought it looks really cool, so it´s funny to find it featured on one of my favourite blogs!

4

KYLE says:

November 17, 2011 at 6:21 am

I think I owned the yellow sony walkman as a hand-me-down in the early 90′s (when I was about 5).

I have been obsessively collecting cameras and radios and tv’s and air organs and phonographs over the years only to part with them from time to time sadly. I wish for an airplane hanger in northern greenland to showcase all of these beautiful devices. If not for practicality but as a reminder of days gone.

A Nostalgia Museum is one of my lifetime dream projects. I’ve already started nostalgic thinking about how I’ll look back on the days before I had the museum.

5

David Roberts says:

November 17, 2011 at 9:04 am

I have an almost instant reaction for you. I’ve created a new poster using a slice of one of the images.

You can see it at http://www.thegiveawayproject.com/collections/kaleidoscopia/products/design-is-where-science-and-art-break-even

25% of the purchase price goes to charity, that’s the focus of the project. That and bringing better design to the world of inspirational prints. A much needed task.

All that being said, good stuff, a couple lads in the studio here, including myself, have owned some of these design gems.

Cheers and hope you enjoy the reactionary print to your post!

David.

8

Owen says:

November 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Priceless commentary, Scott….

I dig your thought process. I, too, wonder why we always seem to yearn things that we neither need or would find useful outside of admiring their beauty…. like every time I visit your store and want to buy one or more of your prints.

10

Fred Dupuis says:

November 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I certainly can relate to your questioning.

I have many beautifully designed objects in my apartment, and I’m starting to think displaying them is anti-design.

We all know, or at least we should, that design is form AND function. We don’t use these objects we collect . And an object with no use, no function, as beautiful as it may be, is useless. It is essentially esthetic, which is the opposite of design.

Our overconsumption habits make us wanna possess about everything we like and appreciate. Is there really a purpose to that? I can appreciate any of the objects you have in this post but in the end, do I really NEED them? No. Owning them won’t bring any real value to me.

Now, I guess I should sell all of those useless objects, dusting on my shelves…

11

Asif Ahmed says:

November 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I like how man of the folks that commented also had that same sony walkman. Wish i kept it around.

Those old radios are awesome too. My dad used to wake me up every morning to listen to the BBC on one of those with his first cup of tea.

12

brad conrad says:

November 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Nice commentary.
I had that yellow “sports” walkman and I still have a red version of the “Toot-A-Loop” which is the second last item down. It doesn’t have a display area in the house; It’s always just kicking around. It’s so much better when someone comes by and finds it on a window sill or on a side table. That’s how it actually becomes an honest conversation piece rather that a planned point of focus.
The “Toot-A-Loop” was pretty functional for it’s day – it actually fits around your wrist so you can wear it roller-skating or whatever and listen to glorious AM radio.

14

NAVIS says:

November 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

One of the hardest goals for me right now is to own as little as possible. I just donated 80% of my books. Keeping the ones I cherish most. All my clothes can fit into a backpack. My bed sits on the floor and I have all my camera equipment in the closet. I’m on the verge of selling my car just to really unclutter my life. All the stuff in this post, I love and would love to have but I see no point in owning things if they’re not getting used on a regular basis. I’d rather just visit a museum.

I visited a pawn/consignment shop in Carson City the other day and found these amazing radios from the early 40′s. The design was amazing but it was the build quality that got me. The weight of turning the knobs and how smooth and precise they felt being turned was unlike anything that’s being produced today.

16

massta says:

November 21, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Had the yellow walkman. It was a great cassette player at the time. It meant a lot to me. Think I owned it from 89-91.

Wish I had that first alarm clock!

24

Eugenia says:

February 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm

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