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Firstly we need to acknowledge that Rashid is uber cool – just flick through this book (and if you’re still not sure then take another look at his pic on the front cover). Rashid has invented a whole new design language of shapes and infused these into every object he touches. Like all good designers he is not satisfied with merely putting a new spin on common objects, he redesigns whole environment. It would be a mistake to think of his work as merely cosmetic. He knows that when he designs an object he is also designing the nature of the interaction between the object and the user. However on a merely cosmetic level his designs are so satisfying. Clean surfaces punctuated by unexpected colours, sinuous shapes, clever patterns, translucency are all his stock in trade. The effect is a digitally enhanced retro version of the future and in this sense his work is somewhat whimsical, nevertheless he has tapped into the mood of our times and is greatly sought after.
This book is a folio of Rashid’s work from domestic items to commercial interiors and almost all the objects in the book seem to be profoundly aesthetically satisfying. It is the design equivalent of hokey-pokey icecream. In fact a fourteen year old would say that they are ‘cool’. Interspersed throughout are several articles which attempt to place Rashid’s work in a cultural context. We need to know why his work resonates so redolently with current trends. There are deeper cultural currents that are worth exploring. Design educators need books like this one in their classrooms to remind their students that there is such thing as real innovation. Too often students respond to a design brief according to the small world in which they live. They only have a few ideas of what a table, lamp, chair could look like – they are too limited by their experience. This book serve to push those boundaries and your students will love it.
Inside the mind of the cool guy of design.
2001 - Thames & Hudson - London