Friday, 27 July 2012

Kenwood Exhibition, The Lighthouse, Woking

The Art of Design: Kenwood in the Kitchen

I attended "The Art of Design: Kenwood in the Kitchen" at The Lighthouse, Woking twice during its almost two month run (28 April to 24 June) and it was a real pleasure on both occasions.

My first visit was to be in the audience of In Conversation with Kenneth Grange; who was interviewed by TV presenter Katherine Higgins. Kenneth told us how he ended up in industrial design and how he came to be commissioned by my step father, Ken Wood in 1960, to redesign the then clunky Kenwood Chef into something more attractive and stylish. He told told us the story (that Ken had told me many times before) of how he ran out of time making his proposed design, and "cheated" by mounting half of the model of the Chef that he had made on a mirror to make it look like a whole one! Ken Wood loved both the design and Kenneth's half-a-Chef-on-a-mirror trick and gave him the job "probably because I was cheap and because I said I could do it quickly". It was wonderful to see Kenneth again. The last time we met, I was probably an infant.  

I returned on the last day of the exhibition to have a proper look at all the exhibits, a few of which I and my mother had lent The Lighthouse. It was all so well presented, and it included a TV documentary on the history of the Kenwood company as well as opportunity to hear an audio recording of Ken Wood himself dictating his life story. In addition to several different editions of the Kenwood Chef and other Kenwood products, also on display was the actual half-model on a mirror that Kenneth Grange presented to Ken Wood in 1960; various children's toy versions of the Chef; a miniature Kenwood Chef in gold that could be word as a brooch or pendant, many important original documents and one of Ken Wood's passports. 

I also had time to have a look around the section of the building that is Woking's museum. I was very pleased to see there that Ken Wood was (and probably still is at time of writing) occupying the Local Hero slot. He would be honoured. There is also a permanant display of Kenwood products there as the company is considered such an important part of Woking's history.  

Monday, 23 July 2012

Telly Tubby House... in East Grinstead

Telly Tubby House?
I know that's not what it's really called, but it looks a bit like the grass-covered house where the Telly Tubbies live to me. I'm not even sure if it has name yet, but it's located on the Lewes Road in Ashurst Wood,  very near Wealden House.

This very modern "upside-down" house actually consists of two 4-bedroom dwellings and has the feel of an ultra modern James Bond-style penthouse suite. It's very cool and is not the sort of thing you see every day in East Grinstead, or anywhere else for that matter. Yes, its lawn is on its roof!

Each dwelling is on the market for £650,000 and all the blurb about it from Connells is here. No details about the architect who designed it which surprises me. This place is pretty special and I think he/she deserves a mention.