Social Togetherness: Sir Kenneth Grange

Britains' most prolific and pioneering industrial designer, Sir Kenneth Grange, discusses the impact of the world pandemic, working from home and future projects.

Social Togetherness: Sir Kenneth Grange


Where’s home for you?

The smart answer is ‘wherever the heart is'…more prosaically; both Devon and London for very different reasons have been happy homes - apart from the loved one who comes with me - I have a workshop in both…


What are the highlights of your home-working day?

Waking up with as few aches and pains as the aged corpus allows.

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby?

No. I had always a fond hope that when I’d less on the plate I’d go back to playing the trombone - I had some good memories as a boy bandsman in the Sally Army.

And a weakness for dancing - I spent hours weekly at the Palais de dance - Hammersmith, showing off. But there’s no denying the realities of old bones…

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

I do suspect that the ancient practice of working from home will be more common. So, it might make whatever intercourse we had daily at work more valuable when it happens. And, tho’ momentous, it might enforce a longer life from what we have. I really do think that clothes worn only for a day are immoral. They might also dump the monstrous ‘How to spend it…'

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

Whatever my next project demands. With Anglepoise I’m very optimistic and I’m very keen on attacking waste – effort as much as stuff. So better storage – with less effort: In this house in the 70’s I made all the lower kit cabs. pull out so that you can see and access stuff at the bottom back. Now with a remake we only have drawers. Again you/we can get at stuff…

And a slipper regime should be mandatory if you install quality flooring. To install something knowing that you are going to FIU seems both wasteful and disrespectful….The cathedral builders knew a thing or two about designing for use…

Given time to reflect, what would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting?

One valuable consequence of hitting my to-do pile was exhuming a beautifully made and handsome top end record deck. A Transcriptor. Anyone who knows Hi-Fi will identify with it. And I’ve just set it up after years, so sound quality is a revelation after the crap that comes with all TV now – my favourite hate; TV sound quality! A good example of one step forward and – at least – one back.

Any music or podcasts you would recommend?

Yesterday I enjoyed the MJQ and Quincy Jones and Stan Getz – what talents, unimproved by studio technicians – just sheer skills….And I’ve 2 meters of LP’s to go through!.

Another, really good thing, is the ‘Live from the Met’ – A truly democratizing intro. to thousands who will never ever wish they’d been able to afford £200 a seat at the Opera – but will be astonished to discover real Musicals… at their local ‘pictures’.

Many thanks to Sir Kenneth Grange for taking time out to talk to us as part of our Social Togetherness series.

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