23 Aug Minox Tabletop Tripod: Form and function combined in a delicious veteran
Old supporting the new
I am a great fan of good industrial design. Some machines are works of art in their own right. Think of the trains designed by Raymond Loewy and Henry Dreyfuss, or the Olympus cameras of Yoshihisa Maitani, the Douglas DC-3 that came from the pen of Arthur Emmons Raymond or the Jaguar E-Type that was Malcolm Sayer’s finest hour.
They are all things that look good and work well both as beautiful designs and as functional objects in their own right. Pilots are supposed to say that “if a ‘plane looks right it will fly right” and I can see the logic in that.
Group design: Tripod, monocular and camera from Minox
In good design, form does not follow function, the two work in harmony in an endless loop. The result is both pleasing to own and to use, and does its intended job with efficiency and elegance.
Just the job for the lightweight Olympus Trip 35
A designer that has always had my respect in this regard is the Latvian-born Walter Zapp. His main claim to fame, of course, is that he invented the Minox sub-miniature camera, beloved of spies from Mata Hari to James Bond (who never used it right—pulling it apart and pushing it together just advances the film, it doesn’t trip the shutter…). I have a Minox B that I have had for years and still run the occasional film through, as well as a really clever monocular which, although not designed by him personally, bears