Eley Kishimoto 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 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.

After chats with Orla Kiely and Fred Butler, today we turn to print design specialist Eley Kishimoto. Founded in the early 1990s by Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto, the company began establishing itself through its work with the large fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen before putting together their own collection of womenswear for London Fashion Week.

With a client list longer than both arms put together, including Hello Kitty, Citizen, Sketch, the Cannes Film Festival, BMW motorbikes, Mercedes and Incase laptop accessories to name just a few, the company's motto is "Print the World". Type their name into Google and you'll realise that they do.

Pocket-lint caught up with Mark Eley to ask him what he likes about gadgets and technology.

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

Watches are really interesting to me. We’ve been making them more recently as a new product for us. We’ve done 15 or 16 of them at the moment. What’s good about them is their ergonomics and the way they relate to the environment. It’s also meant for us that we’ve been working with new materials.

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

Choices have really been quite narrow and homogenised in these sorts of products. I think manufacturers have never really had the opportunity to truly redesign outsides as much as they have the insides. There’s obviously commercial pressure hanging over what they can do with forms dicated for them but I’d certainly be interested in redesigned the TV. It’s not something I’ve sat down and thought about before but it would definitely be a challenge creatively.

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

Well function, of course, for me when I’m talking about items of technology; objects that I have to be able to use. Form plays a role in terms of scale aesthetics but probably more important is something like brand loyalty - better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

On my desktop right now, it’s all looking quite flash, if that helps. There’s a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 4S, a Macmillan notepad, Casio watch, hole punch, rolodex and scotch tap dispenser.

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 style and design might be?

The iPad has thown people out a bit. It seemed to be all about being small and then this thing comes out which is fundamentally a very large phone. It’s possible that, eventually, what it will come down to is phones which are just phones for calling and sending text and phones which are all about interactivity and software. Then people can make that lifestyle choice on their own as to whether they want a basic one, a smart one or maybe even both depending on how they feel.

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

The classic Casio watch, Sinclair C5, Astro Wars console, DeLorean car, anything with carbon-fibre.

Head over to the Eley Kishimoto website for a closer look at Marks clothing and accessories design.

Image Credit: Bikers Cafe

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