King and Miranda: The Poetry of the Machine

Fourth Estate / Wordsearch / Rizzoli, 1991

King and Miranda may sound like a music-hall act, but in fact they’re two of the best designers around - and two of the nicest people you could hope to meet. Perry King is British and Santiago Miranda is Spanish, but the two have their studio in Milan. This book is the story of their extraordinarily fruitful collaboration, which has led to some of the most iconic products of the 1970s and 1980s, including the Jill lamp for Arteluce, electronic keyboards for Olivetti, and outdoor lighting for the 1992 Seville Expo.

Their response to the problems set by the client’s brief always has the lightest of touch. A Spanish furniture manufacturer, unable to fabricate its own structural components, found its next range of tables sprouting legs incorporating readymade bicycle forks; for another manufacturers’ showroom, they hung the ceiling with clouds of golden fleece - made from the material used to make pan scourers. Yet, elsewhere they allude just as wittily to stories in mythology or to works of art from Fra Angelico to Turner and Miró.

King and Miranda