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Usefulness in Small Things

A study of everyday objects

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 30 March 2011

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Simple but telling, a visual taxonomy of price tags on the cover of "Usefulness in Small Things" cleverly sets the tone for the book, pointing out the subtle differences in a well-designed, but widely overlooked bit of industrial design. This meditation on little objects is the work of Sam Hecht and Kim Colin, co-founders of London design studio Industrial Facility, whose interest in the relationship between industrial design and the surrounding world is a cornerstone of their design practice.

The book showcases Hecht's personal collection of mass-produced items of various sizes, shapes and purposes, all of which he picked up for under five pounds from mom-and-pop shops all over the world.

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Objects we routinely pass by without a thought find themselves on center stage thanks to Hecht's keen eye. With careful focus and brilliant diction, Hecht and Colin outline each object's intended purpose, origin, design and the relationship between it and the user. Some of the objects have been designed to make life easier, some have been designed to innovate and some seem to exist without reason. Regardless of their original purpose, the collection now gives new perspective to these neglected objects for the perusal of fans of design for time to come.

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To see for yourself, pre-order online at Amazon.

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