Design history

Stylish and useful: why the Anglepoise remains a design classic

The tide of survival bias has retreated and left the Anglepoise a design classic. Its contemporaries from the mid-1930s, a BSA Scout and de Havilland Dragonfly, for example, have become quaint antiquities. Almost unmodified since 1934, it is that rarest of things: a design beyond fashion. And it has totemic qualities. For my generation, the possession of an Anglepoise as much as a set of David Mellor cutlery or even a chicken brick was a ticket to the modern world where perfect products made you happy. Or so the theory went. To understand that modern world, now deceased, you need to appreciate basic analogue systems such as the rivet and