The Legacy of British Designer David Mellor
(2-3 min read)
David Mellor was a prolific British designer who created everything from street furniture to tableware and cutlery. Although Mellor designed familiar fixtures like bus stops and pedestrian crossings, it was his tableware and cutlery designs that earned him international acclaim. He began focusing on cutlery in his late thirties and went on to establish a design process that allowed him to have complete control over the creation, marketing and selling of his products.
Mellor’s most famous building is The Round Building, which he designed in collaboration with architect Sir Michael Hopkins. The design was inspired by the circular concrete foundations of a gas cylinder that once stood on the site. The building is made of natural stone and steel, and its exposed-steel roof structure resembles a bicycle wheel. The roof is made of Finnish pine box panels that hook onto circular purlins. Mellor and his employees carried out most of the construction work, including making all 480 roof panels and crafting the internal light fittings.
Today, The Round Building is home to the David Mellor Design factory, where Mellor’s cutlery is still handmade. The building’s circular shape perfectly lends itself to the step-by-step production process. Factory manager Andrew Cisalowicz, who has worked at David Mellor Design since 1979, showed us around the factory, highlighting the attention to detail and precision that goes into every piece.
Mellor’s designs are sophisticated yet approachable, embodying the ethos of good design. His tableware and cutlery have character and add to the enjoyment of a meal, and his street furniture designs have become a familiar part of the urban landscape. Mellor’s ‘Mellor’ traffic light design, released in 1973, became the standard design between the 1970s and 1990s. Mellor’s ability to create pieces that are both beautiful and functional has cemented his legacy as one of Britain’s great designers.
Original article: here