Title: The Council of Industrial Design Awards and the Duke of Edingburgh's Prize for Elegant Design 1967
Pages: 30 - 34
Text: The Council of Industrial Design Awards and the Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design 1967
The Council of industrial Design Awards replace the Design Centre Awards, which were started in 1957 and were last awarded in 1966. The new awards widen the range of the ColD's annual awards to industry, for they not only cover durable consumer goods but also have been extended into the field of engineering equipment and capital goods. The new awards have been selected by two different panels of judges, one choosing consumer goods from Design Index, the other selecting the capital goods awards from 260 submissions. Selection for the Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design is made by a third panel of judges chaired by Prince Philip.
The presentation by the Duke of Edinburgh of certificates for the first year of the Council of industrial Design Awards, and for the Duke's own prize, is being held in the Millbank Tower, which was designed for Vickers Ltd by Ronald Ward and Partners and completed in 1963. This is in accordance with the Duke of Edinburgh's suggestion, first made in connection with the Design Centre Awards, that the ceremony should be held each year in a modern building of architectural interest.
The section of this issue of DESIGN covering the capital goods awards has been reprinted in the form of a booklet-Seven attitudes to design in engineering, price 3s - which is published jointly by the Col D and the Ministry of Technology. All the Council of industrial Design Awards, and the gas points which have earned R. David Carter this year's Prize for Elegant Design, are being displayed in The Design Centre in London until June 3. The consumer goods (including the gas points) are being shown in the round, the capital goods in photographic form.
The ColD also produces sets of mounted and fully captioned photographs of the awards. Some of these are circulated overseas, while the remainder are shown in Britain in retail stores, public libraries, art galleries and institutes of further education.*
*Requests for mounted sets for display should be sent to the education officer, ColD, 28 Haymarket, London SWI.
The judging panel for the prize. Top, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (chairman); second row, left to right, Sir Colin Anderson and Ernestine Carter; bottom row, left to right, Milner Gray and Mary Ward.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design
The Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design 1967 was awarded to R. David Carter for the Gas-Flo system, a comprehensive range of interchangeable gas control points and fittings developed by the Wales Gas Board and made under licence by Thomas Glover & Co Ltd.
The £100 prize was established in 1959, and is given to a designer of "a contemporary design in current production distinguished by its elegance". The selection for the 1967 prize followed the established method of elimination by stages until some 24 products were reviewed at a final meeting of the selection panel under the chairmanship of Prince Philip. The other panel members were Sir Colin Anderson, Ernestine Carter, Milner Gray and Mary Ward.
The winner receives a certificate from Prince Philip on the day the prize is announced, and the prize itself is presented at a similar ceremony the following year. The winner may spend his £100 prize on an object which he himself designs or for which another designer is commissioned. Last year the prize was awarded to Andrew Grima for a range of precious jewellery made by the H. J. Co Ltd. and at this year's ceremony he will receive a silver box designed and made by Gerald Benney (see page 83).
The product development For this year's prize winner, the Gas-Flo system, the brief set by the Wales Gas Board was to study and make proposals for a completely revised gas supply system for domestic use, and the system is the result of two years of collaboration between Malcolm Scott and Ben Wilson, engineers with the Wales Gas Board, and R. David Carter, design consultant.
From the early prototype stage, Watson House (the research and development centre of the Gas Council) has been closely concerned with the project to ensure that the final product would meet the required standards of safety and efficiency in performance and that the quality of materials and finishes in manufacture were appropriate and maintainable. Watson House has now tested the fittings and found them satisfactory.
The fittings are divided into two groups: the RHL series (for rooms, halls and landings) to provide for connection to
room heaters, gas
continued on page 34
6 -10 The photographs on this and the facing page illustrate the range of control points that are at present available for small appliances. This page shows fittings from the RHL series. 6 is the concealed on/off control unit which could be used in a situation where it is possible to feed the gas to the appliance by means of concealed piping, but where no provision for on/off control has been built in. In the case of an appliance allowing some access, but already fitted with an on/off or variable control, the concealed restrictor control unit, 7, would be used. This picture a/so shows the appearance of the untapped connections for adaptation for any of the applications suggested by these photographs. The disc is removed by a special key to gain access to the termination point for the adaptation. The version shown in 8 would be used for any small appliance requiring a plugin cock. Pictures 9 and 10 show the control points that are needed when it is impossible to conceal the gas feed pipe that /cads to the appliance.
to the appliance.
11-14 Some of the KB series fittings. The method of connection shown in 11 is suited to high rated appliances (eg, cookers) incorporating on/off taps, and can be used with a rigid or a flexible pipe. A plug-in control unit, 12, is available in two versions for either low rated transportable appliances or for high rated appliances needing a flexible lead. The plastics disc shown in 13 is for use with a major appliance where the supply is built in to new property. 14 is for use as a refrigerator control unit.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design
pokers, etc. and the KB series (for kitchens and bathrooms) for use with appliances such as cookers, water heaters and refrigerators. In the RHL series, the gas supply pipes are terminated at convenient points in each room in boxes chased into the walls and fitted with flush cover plates measuring 2 5/8 x 4 3/8 inches moulded in white Alkon, a high grade impact resistant material of excellent surface finish. To connect the appropriate appliance, the matching centre disc is removed by a special key and the appropriate control fitted.
For the KB series, the service plug is merely a 1 3/4 inch diameter disc concealing the termination point. When an appliance is installed, a control of the same diameter is fitted, thus avoiding the need for refinishing the surrounding surfaces. All metal parts and controls are hot brass stampings plated with a satin chrome finish. The fittings will be suitable for use with North Sea gas.
The range of fittings is intended primarily for installation in new houses where the gas supply pipe can be chased into the wall during construction. They are to be installed in all new housing projects in Wales, both private and public, and although they are slightly more expensive at this stage of production, the judges believe that most householders will welcome the improved appearance of the fittings. By using a surface mounted box manufactured in the same material as the cover plate, this range of fittings can also be adapted for use in existing houses.
The judges' report
The widespread publicity given to the North Sea gas strikes, combined with the Gas Council's imaginative advertising campaign, has produced in the public eye a picture of enterprise and forward thinking. Unhappily, the judges have noticed that with few exceptions this activity seems to have had little effect on the manufacturers who produce the numerous small fittings on which the gas industry relies to complete domestic installations. The judges have therefore welcomed the initiative of the Wales Gas Board (chairman, T. Mervyn Jones) and its engineers in conceiving this range of greatly improved designs. This is an excellent example of the dramatic improvement in design which can be achieved by basic rethinking and a really fresh approach to the more humble equipment of the house. The judges are particularly pleased that they can commend a range of fitments rather than one single design. They also find throughout the range a handsome sturdiness and a coherent character which gives a distinctive elegance; this factor is still too often missing in available ranges of fittings in this country, not only for gas appliances but for those necessary to the electrical and water supply industries as well.
The judges hope that this improved series of fittings will be available nationally and so become a pace setter for design standards throughout the gas industry.
R. David Carter, 39, runs a successful design consultancy whose recent projects have included a variety of products ranging from street furniture to pens. He was trained at Leicester College of Art, simultaneously spending a good part of two years in an engineering works. He served in the Navy, where he was in radar, and in 1948 returned to full time study in the industrial design (engineering) department of the Central School of Art and Design. From there, he went on to the design department of Radiation Ltd. where he spent four years working mainly on gas and solid fuel domestic appliances.
After leaving Radiation Ltd. he spent five years with Revo Electric Co Ltd. where he started and organised the design department ("getting a lot of experience and making a lot of mistakes", he adds). At Revo, he added to his experience with domestic appliances a good deal of work in other fields such as street furniture and lighting.
In 1960, he decided to start up on his own as a consultant- he had already worked for Joseph Gillot & Sons Ltd. designing for the firm the Orbit castors which won a 1961 Design Centre Award. Simultaneously, he started teaching at Birmingham College of Art and Design, where his head of department was the late Naum Slutzky, who had been one of Carter's teachers during his time at the Central, and whom Carter identifies as a powerful influence in his work.
His clients now include Stanley Works (Great Britain) Ltd. Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co and Standard Telephones & Cables Ltd. and his consultancy has grown to incorporate an engineering designer, a model maker and two assistants. But he is anxious not to expand too much - "I don't want to become an entrepreneur who just pushes designs out one after another" - and he regards the development of his links with his existing clients as more important than trying to get new ones.