• American inspiration
  • Design Week : Vox Pop


    The Ministry of Sound announced last week it was undergoing a major refurbishment and Cream is launching a national chain of DG bar next month. What do you think superclubs like this should be doing to help give their “mature” brands a veneer of cutting-edge cool?

    “Ministry and Cream are monstrous brands, with celebrity DJs and compilation CDs to match. It’s a good thing that they’re moving with new generation of clubbers. In line with this sub-culture, such as bars should be smaller, cavernous spaces where you move through different arrears and moods. Where images and information mingle and, just like the music, there is a layering effects that blurs everything into one experience”.
    Neil Whitehead, Chief Executive, ACW

    “I think the whole notion of “cutting-edge cool” is problematic. I think the death of the cult of the superstar DJ and superclubs is linked to people escaping the hive-mind, leisure-culture black hole. I’d avoid the obvious, lowest common denominator watered-down.

    Wallpaper look and bring back personality, oddness – something hard to categorise that shifts and changes and keep people looking. I think,  as much as anything, it will all come down to music policy.”
    Julian House, Senior designer, Intro

    “It’s dangerous trap to fall into the “cool” conundrum. If you need to buy-in cool then you’re cool or not, then that’s quite cool. If you are cool but don’t want anyone else to know, then that’s very cool. So how do you add that marketers’ dream of cutting-edge cool? Produce a fantastic product without cutting corners. You are then able to be honest with yourself and your customers’ intelligence and visual sophistication. That sounds cool to me – does that make me uncool?”
    Ed Templeton, Head designer, Red Design

    “Stop letting tourists in.”
    Alistair Sim, Managing director, Love

    “I don’t really think that Ministry or Cream any longer deal with so called cutting-edge cool. Ministry should certainly not be selling branded CD players through Argos. They should find and employ young designers who have a handle on what really is groovy. This younger team would collaborate with a more experienced team that could implement the groove from those who know.”
    Ben Kelly, Proprietor, Ben Kelly Design

    11 September 2003