Orla Kiely talks tech

Style Week on Pocket-lint would, of course, be nothing at all if we didn’t ask the opinions of those who really know what style is all about. So, as part of our five days of fun, we’ve got hold of five top UK fashion designers to talk to us about what they see in their gadgets and what they're after when searching to buy some top looking technology.

To start the ball rolling, we bagged some time with the one and only Orla Kiely. Described as the "Queen of Prints", she began working on hats and then moved to handbags, kitchenware, stationary, furniture, wallpaper, Citroen cars and even the odd London bus. More famously in the tech world, though, she’s also made radios with Pure.

1. What, for you, makes a beautiful gadget or piece of consumer technology?

My new iphone! I had the black iphone 4 but went with the white option for the 4S. Takes time getting used to the new software though.

2. Are there any common errors that you see tech companies making when designing the look and feel of their products?

Yes, I feel that for years consumer manufacturers saw design as secondary to the function/performance of the product. It was only when Apple came on the scene that everyone started to take notice of design led products.

3. Form or function? Both are important but which has the edge for you when choosing your phones, laptops, etc and why?

I feel that neither should ever be compromised but it is ultimately the consumer's choice. Personally, I like mine to look good as well as being easy to use.

4. Phones, cameras and laptops have all got smaller, bigger, fatter and thinner over the years. What do you think the next trends in their design might be?

It is so hard to tell because consumer electronics is the fastest changing market that I am aware of. I think people will always prefer their products to be smaller/lighter and more advanced than the previous.

5. Name the five most beautiful pieces of consumer electronics of all time in your opinion?

Leica C-lux 3, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, Amazon Kindle, Flip Mino HD camcorder.

Orla Kiely has just opened her first store in the US on Mercer Street in New York but, if you're not in the neighbourhood, then there's always her London establishments or even the online shop where you can pick some classic O.K. laptop sleeves and phone cases.

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