25 for 25: Everyday Objects We Love

This week, in a continued celebration of Studio E Architects’ 25th anniversary, we’ve decided to revisit “25 for 25” – our series of carefully-curated lists of twenty-five, sharing things about San Diego that have made it a great place for us to work and call home over these last twenty-five years. As designers we care a great deal about good design and how it can improve the everyday. Indeed, the “embrace of everyday phenomena and rituals” is so important to our process and outlook on design that it’s the first thing – aside from our company name – that you’ll encounter when visiting our webpage.

In previous lists we’ve focused on the big picture, covering favorite local restaurants , buildings, and places that form the backdrop for our everyday lives in the region at large. In this episode, we zoom in to a smaller scale – to our living rooms, kitchens, closets, desks, and medicine cabinets – in search of objects that we touch or encounter each day that, through their design, bring pleasure to the most routine of activities – allowing us to draw inspiration from the seemingly mundane. These are objects that have stood the test of time, or are new arrivals that seem filled with promise for a long shelf life. As follows below (in no particular order), they are our “25 for 25 – Everyday Objects We Love”!

1. The Apple iPhone – Gavin calling:

2. The paper clip – Its origin is shrouded in lore and mystery but most agree it first appeared in the mid- 1800’s. The Brits insist it was the brainchild of a native son. The Norwegians claim it as their invention and even have a monument to it in Oslo. Simple, minimal, perfect.     -John

3. Alvar Aalto stoolThis design from the 30’s is perfectly crafted to act as a chair or a side table.     -Tilly

4. The Coca-Cola Bottle –  For yours truly, you can’t beat the real thing:

5. Lihit Stapleless StaplerThis simple Japanese device elegantly punches a tab and slot and interlocks them in one quick gesture. Maybe even more importantly, the results look so much better than a staple. Now much copied but this was the original.     -Eric

6. RayBan WayfarersJFK wore ‘em. The King of Pop did too. Shaun White has been seen in them. I speak of the perennially hip RayBan Wayfarer sunglasses. So cool    -John

7. Sonoma Boat Shoes – topsiders are tops for Jorge:

8. Brown Betty teapotIt is a known fact among tea drinkers – particularly of the British variety – that tea is best brewed in the traditional Brown Betty teapot. The teapot dates back to 1695 when it was first produced in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, the UK’s pottery capital. It is the shape of the pot which allows the tea leaves to be gently swirled around as the boiling water is added that results in a superior cuppa. The non-drip spout is also a desirable feature.     -Maxine

9. The Swiss Army KnifeC’mon who wouldn’t put this on their list of Desert Island Essentials? And it’s red…     -John

10. Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point Fountain Pen – Eric writes:

11. Nintendo NESThe Nintendo Entertainment System brought video games into the homes of millions and helped solidify the industry that we see today. I still have mine, and break it out occasionally when nostalgia hits.     -Gavin

12. Crochet hookTimeless, simple and creates endless possibilities.      -Tilly

13. Bodum Chambord coffee press – John pours a cuppa praise:

14. Converse Chuck Taylors – The shoe equivalent of the VW Beetle – it’s been around forever, it never changes, and seemingly everyone has owned a pair. If there is a higher use for canvas and rubber, I have not yet seen it.      -Josh

15. The Extra Normal WatchCrisp and clean design yes, but what is surprising is that the hour hand is actually a slot in the watch face which reveals the hour numbers as it slowly sweeps by them. Extra normal indeed.     -Eric

16. Martin Acoustic Guitar –  Kevin chimes in:

17. Radius Source ToothbrushWhat could be cooler than a toothbrush handle made from recycled dollar bills, flax or wood? And it’s beautifully designed and refillable.     -Tilly

18. The Equa Chair by Herman MillerTime magazine once called it the Design of the Decade – As a person with “back issues” – I can personally attest to the comfort of this ergonomics marvel.     -John

19. KitchenAid Stand Mixer – a kitchen essential for Maxine:

20. The original Apple iPodNow more than ten years old (forever in tech terms), this devise still astounds with its intuitive and essential interface. Every handheld device thereafter has drawn from its groundbreaking efforts. At the cutting edge of technology and yet absolutely made for human interface. Why can’t it always be this way?     -Eric

21. Levi’s 501 Blue JeansClassic, casual attire for all people and all occasions.      -Kevin

22. Wide-mouth Mason Jar – Tilly, on the many uses for this classic:

23. Gillette Safety RazorJames Bond used one in Goldfinger – chances are your father or grandfather used one everyday as well. Before “freebie marketing” and $30-a-pack, plastic-encased, 5-bladed engineering marvels – the shaving tool of choice was this sturdy, stately piece of surgical stainless steel and chrome. Built to last, these can still be found – best of all, the blades are totally recyclable and cost about nickel apiece.    -Josh

24. Luceplan Berenice Table LampThis design is 27 years old and it still looks as fresh and essential as when brand new. It is very difficult to design something new and timeless simultaneously. A lesson here for any designer.     -Eric

25. The PEZ dispenser–  Kacie wraps it up:

What are your thoughts?  Anything we missed? Share your favorite everyday objects in the comments section below or join in the conversation on our Facebook page, and stay tuned to this space for more of our favorite things in the next installment of “25 for 25″!

This entry was posted in Architecture, Design and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *