Presenting the explorer of the iconic, Colin Bisset.
A serial clarifier, Colin condenses the wonders of physical icons around the globe in lively, poetic and educational 3-5 minute capsules on the weekend Blueprint for Living. One of my all-time favorite segments from Australian National Radio’s considerable program, Colin’s features continue to surprise and take unexpected turns.
Iconic designs: the allen key – Many people, however, curse everything that the Allen key symbolises – the lost weekends, the indignity of buying furniture that starts life fragmented in a box, everything machine-made with only a veneer of craft implied.
Iconic Designs: the Butterfly Chair – Where many chairs of the modernist period had a kind of perching quality – smart to look at, uncomfortable to sit on – the Butterfly chair aimed for something friendlier.
Iconic Designs: The Heidi Weber museum, Zurich – An arresting steel and glass pavilion in leafy Zurich that stands as a testament to the power of a passionate vision.
Iconic Designs: Tea Bag – In our fast-food, one-cup world, who among us doesn’t give thanks for the ease that the humble teabag brings to daily life?
Iconic Designs: The Rex Vegetable Peeler – A well-designed kitchen tool that honours the art of cooking as well as the humble potato.
Icon of a Nation: Corrugated iron – Corrugated iron is as Australian as gum trees. It’s part of our vernacular. So how did that happen?
Icon of domestic shenanigans: The Singer sewing machine – Icon of Engineering: Clifton Suspension Bridge – A breathtaking structure in a dramatic setting tells the story of the evolution of bridge engineering.
Icons of heritage: Hindustan Ambassador – An icon of multilayered multi culturalism and resilience, with just a touch of old-world luxury.
Icons of Celebration: Champagne – Who can argue with something that represents an entire cosmos in a glass?
Icons of speed: spaceship – We may be blasé about satellites and space stations circling our planet, and even drones in our skies, but has the spaceship craze ended?
Icons of grandeur: the chandelier – Colin Bisset asks who among us isn’t secretly a little enchanted by the sight of a chandelier suspended over a dining table?
Icons of Health: The Therme Vals – The architect who transformed the health spa and turned wellbeing into an artform.
Icons of colour: Majorelle Garden – Think artists and gardens and your mind might go to Monet’s famous garden at Giverny, but there may be another contender.
Icons of colour: Sonia Delaunay – Sonia Delaunay’s love of colour was so strong she founded an art movement.
Iconic designs: Moka espresso maker – Along with the Ferrari and Vespa, the Bialetti Moka stovetop espresso maker is instantly identifiable as an Italian design classic.
Blueprint for living
Icons of Duality: Ponte Vecchio – A powerful and very pretty symbol of wealth and resilience.
Icons of the Spectacular
Icons of the Spectacular: The Crown – A symbol of power, responsibility and a mark of the link between heaven and earth itself.
Ballets Russes – An icon of creative culture that left a trail of unforgettable music and design.
American National Parks and the rise of parkitecture – Architecture informed by rather than imposed on the natural landscape produced some of the 20th century’s most picturesque buildings
Iconic Designs: the Statue of Liberty
A classical emblem of a new society, free from the shackles of the Old World.
Iconic Designs: Tiffin container
The Tiffin container remains an icon of Indian efficiency and organisational design.
Design Icons: Geoffrey Bawa
The evolution of Tropical Modernism.
Iconic Designs: the Tatra Car
The story behind the little-known inspiration for the VW Beetle.
Design icons: the thong
The story behind the unofficial star of Australia’s national costume.
Iconic Designs: Boeing 747
Colin Bisset looks upwards to the Queen of the Skies.
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