Just did my Pichi Kichi on Kenneth Grange. The preparation involved pretty extensive research into his career, which really made me appreciate his work. He is a great British industrial designer, always striving to deliver the best product for the end user, no matter what the brief is. Whether this is his work for Kodak, in which he (and his team) would make dozens of iterations of prototypes before finally finding the optimum shape and form for picture quality and ease of use; or his (instantly recogniseable) redesign of the classic London taxi (pictured), which ignores the popular conception of good automotive design, in favour of something which pleases taxi drivers and customers alike by evoking the same feelings as its predecessor. It is in this way which he has achieved so much success - ignoring a particular style or his reputation with other designers and instead focussing on what will be most pleasing for the consumer to use.
One design I found especially interesting was the Intercity 125 train. Grange was approached by British Rail to do nothing more than a facelift of the train, which had already been designed by engineers; but not satisfied with the train itself he hired an aerodynamicist for a week and designed a new front for the train, before presenting it to BR (who were still only expecting a facelift). And of course they took up his improved design, which went on to set a high speed record.
The other presentations were very interesting as well. It’s funny how many pieces I recognised, without knowing who had designed them. Joe Colombo, the Bouroullec brothers & Konstantin Grcic were amongst the most interesting, in terms of designers (not just the presentation of them).