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A time capsule of quiet, quality design at Decorex 2012

What do an iPhone 4S, a tin of anchovies, and a “good” bottle of 2012 Burgundy have in common? Sir Terence Conran, founder of London’s Design Museum, chose these objects as his contribution to the museum’s time capsule. Spaded into the ground today at the groundbreaking ceremony for the museum’s new HQ in the former Commonwealth Institute on Kensington High Street, the capsule contents were contributed by ten well-known designers and architects, the Museum’s Director, and Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

Conran knows a thing or two about good design. But unlike a couple of his colleagues who, having let hubris browbeat humility, heeled the shiny commemorative shovel into the ground and scattered dirt over their own designs (plus a ludicrous volume of architectural polemic), Conran did not select his own designs for capsule inclusion. Instead, his choices demonstrate good design can be democratic and affordable. That’s how Sir Terence built his design empire, by giving us 99 percenters good – nay fantastic – but affordable design.

So as Decorex International 2012 approaches, your scribe believes Sir Terence would support her mission to get Decorex attendees to visit what your scribe calls the show’s essential but sometimes overlooked “infrastructure” stands. The draft horses of design. The backbone of British design. The people who make the essential products on which all the shiny decorative fillips rest. Your scribe’s talking about companies like Norris Bedding.

Founded in London in 1945, Norris Bedding is a family firm which makes handmade mattresses and box springs (divans). Hand sewn from ticking to tufting to the customer’s exact specifications using the finest natural materials. Horsehair, cashmere, silk and lambs wool. And just like Sir Terence’s belief that good design need not be unaffordable, Norris Bedding is affordable.

And that is why dear readers, when COVER’s big Kahuna gives your scribe a wee Dickensian tea break from manning the COVER stand at Decorex, your scribe will be hotfooting it to the Norris Bedding stand to place an order. After which she’ll be commandeering a John Deere backhoe loader, digging a ginormous hole behind the Decorex tent, and filling it with her own time capsule of good design. A mattress by Norris Bedding will be first down the hole. DJ

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