neil cummings


13 Jul 2017
My text Look at me, look at me, look at me was reprinted in BRACES, LEVERS, FETISHES & TALISMANS



A publication that contains pictures of eighty-four different hand tools from the collection of Michael Marriott.

It celebrates the objects both for their function and for their inherent beauty in repose.

Accompanying the objects is an essay by Neil Cummings entitled Look at me, look at me, look at me, which was originally published in Architectural Design magazine in 2002. It explores Reyner Banham’s notion of the 'furniturisation' of everyday objects, and questions why previously unselfconscious domestic artifacts are now promoted as great design.

Michael Marriott is a designer based in London.
A keen reader of design history, he is known for an open spirited approach to work that often makes use of pre-existing materials, manufacturing techniques or reclaimed objects. This collection is his reference point for a kind of perfect model of design, one which imagines objects as human intention given perfect form. He also enjoys them simply as things, perhaps for their shape or for how they feel in the hand.

Looking through the book, one sees similarities in the collection, but also many differences.

The names of the objects are both informative and wonderfully obscure; with a joggler, a dibber, a feeler, a bradawl, a stripper and a dog all in attendance.

Marriott has previously written about the idea of a 'rightness' in relation to hand tools. Rightness being something that one feels, rather than one particularly understands.

Through ingenuity, instinct and use, these common objects have achieved a kind of rightness we can all enjoy.


edited by Philippe Desarzens and published by Side Issues

Side Issues is about ideas arising alongside everyday usual business. It is a series of publications about science, history, art and visual culture from the point of view of a committed dilettante.

Tool collection and pictures by Michael Marriott, text by Neil Cummings

148,5 / 204 mm, 182 pages
Xerox printed paperback
Book edges printed in black

First edition of numbered 150 copies
Price: 25.00 CHF

Look at me, look at me, look at me is hosted on the magnificent resource Reading Design



Related texts include  Reading Things, Jigs as design protocols, and From Things to Flows. And, I've been curating #ObjectOfTheWeek on twitter


47.3769, 8.5417

Side Issues
Goldbrunnenstrasse 140
8055 Zurich

Submitted by neil on 13 July, 2017 - 11:10