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K2 telephone kiosk (Image copyright: British Telecom)

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Long list unveiled for national vote on public's favourite example of Great British Design

Category: Factual & Arts TV

Date: 27.01.2006
Printable version

BBC TWO's The Culture Show and the Design Museum have revealed the long list for their poll to find the nation's favourite example of British design since 1900, The Great British Design Quest.


From cars to computer games to the Catseye: the public is invited to choose which example of British design they love the best from a long list of 25 of Britain's globally-renowned design projects.


Votes can be cast at


The Culture Show will announce the ten most popular designs on Thursday 16 February and people will vote for the top three to be unveiled on the show on Thursday 2 March.


They can then vote for the winner which will be announced on The Culture Show on Thursday 16 March.


The public can learn more about the long listed design projects on the Design Museum website -


Many Great British icons - inextricably linked with Britishness - feature in the list such as the Routemaster bus, the Mini and the Concorde.


Other long listed projects have become so integrated into our daily lives that they are often taken for granted, such as the World Wide Web, our road and motorway signage system and the London A-Z Street Atlas.


The oldest design in the long list is the K2 telephone kiosk from 1926 whilst the Grand Theft Auto series of computer games is the most recent having first been designed in 1997.


Music lovers will be delighted that two album covers make the list: The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and New Order's Power, Corruption and Lies.


The inclusion of the Raleigh Chopper meanwhile may send many children of the Seventies on a bike ride down memory lane.


Eddie Morgan, Executive Producer, The Culture Show, said: "Great British design in the last 100 years somehow caught the spirit of those times: the red phone kiosk in the Twenties; Penguin paperbacks post-war; Concorde in the Sixties; computer games in the Nineties.


"So this is the story of a century. And behind many of these examples of wonderful design are amazing stories of one man or woman's individual brilliance - from the A-Z map to the pocket calculator, from the Mini to the Mini skirt. It makes for gripping television."


Alice Rawsthorn, Director of the Design Museum, said: "Britain leads the world in design and the innovations of British designers have transformed the daily lives of millions of people.


"We want to find out what the public thinks of British design and which of all the wonderful examples of British design excellence is their favourite."


The long list was revealed to viewers on The Culture Show last night (7.00pm, repeated 11.20pm, BBC TWO).


Over the forthcoming weeks, the programme will include short films on the fascinating origins of the long listed projects.


Well-known faces such as Jeremy Paxman, Wayne Hemingway, Dave Gorman, Amanda Levete, Jenny Éclair and Christopher Frayling will talk about their personal favourites and British design generally.


Throughout the quest, the public can see many of the nominated design projects in the Designing Modern Britain exhibition at the Design Museum.


One of the most popular and accessible areas of contemporary culture, design has tremendous influence over our daily lives.


Some of Britain's world-beating design projects are loved for their beauty; and others for practicality.


Some are prized for technical innovation or for enabling us to do something new and useful; and others for enabling us to be more responsible towards the environment.


Most great design projects combine many of these characteristics but they need something else too.


The winner of the Great British Design Quest will have made such a powerful impression on our lives that people love it and regard it as a favourite memory. What will it be?


The full list


K2 telephone kiosk, 1926

Design: Giles Gilbert Scott

Regional location: Scott grew up at Ninfield, Sussex. Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, which he designed, holds a telephone box in memory of his legacy.


London Underground map, 1931

Design: Harry Beck

Regional location: Harry Beck lived in Highgate, north London.


Anglepoise Lamp, 1932

Design: George Carwardine

Regional location: George Carwardine was based in Bath when he designed the Anglepoise; it was manufactured in Redditch, Worcestershire.


Catseye, 1932-34

Design: Percy Shaw

Regional location: Percy Shaw was born and based in Halifax, West Yorkshire.


Supermarine Spitfire aircraft, 1934-35

Design: Reginald Mitchell

Regional location: Reginald Mitchell was born at Talke, near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. The Spitfire design was completed in Southampton.


London A-Z Street Atlas, 1936

Design: Phyllis Pearsall

Regional location: Phyllis Pearsall was born in Dulwich, south east London.


Penguin paperback book, 1946-49

Design: Jan Tschichold

Regional location: Jan Tschichold was based in London when working for Penguin.


Routemaster bus, 1947-56

Design: Douglas Scott

Regional location: Douglas Scott was based in London.


Mini, 1957-59

Design: Alec Issigonis

Regional location: the Mini was manufactured by the British Motor Corporation in Oxford.


Road and motorway signage, 1957-67

Design: Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert

Regional location: Jock Kinneir was born in Hampshire; Margaret Calvert in London


Dr Martens Air Wair boot, 1960

Design: Griggs & Co

Regional location: Griggs & Co are based at Wollaston, Northamptonshire.


E-Type Jaguar, 1961

Design: Malcolm Sayer and William Heynes

Regional location: design developed and manufactured in Coventry.


Mini skirt, 1962

Design: John Bates and Mary Quant

Regional location: Bates was born in Ponteland, Northumbria; Quant in London.


Aston Martin DB5, 1963

Design: Aston Martin

Regional location: designed and manufactured in Newport Pagnell, Hertfordshire.


Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, 1967

Design: Peter Blake and Jann Haworth

Regional location: Blake was born in Dartford, Kent; Haworth in the United States.


Raleigh Chopper, 1968-70

Design: Raleigh

Regional location: designed and manufactured in Nottingham.


Concorde, 1969-76

Design: British Aerospace Corporation with Aerospatiale

Regional location: mostly designed and manufactured in Filton, Gloucestershire but also at BAC plants in Weybridge, Surrey; Preston, Lancashire; and Hurn, Dorset.


Sinclair Executive Electronic Calculator, 1972

Design: Sinclair Radionics

Regional location: designed in Cambridge.


The Face magazine, 1981

Art Direction: Neville Brody

Regional location: designed in London. Neville Brody was born in London.


Power, Corruption and Lies album cover, 1983

Design: Peter Saville

Regional location: Peter Saville was born in Hale, Cheshire, near Manchester, and both Factory Records and New Order were based in Manchester.


World Wide Web, 1989

Design: Tim Berners-Lee

Regional location: Tim Berners-Lee was born in London.


Dyson DC01 vacuum cleaner, 1993

Design: Dyson

Regional location: the company is located in Malmesbury, Wiltshire and James Dyson was born in north Norfolk.


Tomb Raider, 1996

Design: Core Design

Regional location: Core Design is based in Derby.


Verdana typeface, 1996

Design: Matthew Carter

Regional location: Carter was born in London but grew up in Croydon.


Grand Theft Auto video games, 1997-2005

Design: Rockstar Games

Regional location: the first GTA game was designed in Edinburgh, where Rockstar Games still has one of its two British design studios.


Notes to Editors


Background information on The Great British Design Quest and selected quotes from advocates are available in the pdf document on the right-hand side of this page.


Organised in collaboration by the Design Museum and BBC TWO's The Culture Show.


You can discover more about the Design Museum on and learn more about BBC TWO's The Culture Show at


Votes can be cast on the Quest website at







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This press pack is also available in PDF format. You may need Adobe Acrobat software to read PDF files which can be obtained free from the
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Category: Factual & Arts TV

Date: 27.01.2006
Printable version


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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