My Design Icons

Why some designs, items or devices last forever while others fade away?


A guitar that is not necessarily your first rock’n’roll association like Stratocaster. Still, to me Tele is actually the epitome of my favorite music. The sound is warmer, more natural, less metallic yet fatter and dirtier than that of its more popular brother. Since the 1950s many great guitarists chose to play this solid piece made of alder, ash, poplar and pine. My beloved Keith Richards, Joe Strummer and Bruce Springsteen to name just a few. Tele is like a good-looking smart girl who is beautiful on the inside – she will not go unnoticed even if she says just a word or two. Unlike the Stratocaster and other more offensive guitars for ‘guitar athletes’, Tele is not meant for showing off with solos.


My first and serious piece of furniture I ever bought. Neither cheap nor mass-produced. I paid the price of a used car and the purchase seemed like an unnecessary madness at that time. I still think it was totally worth it. It has something that simply does not grow old – timeless elegance, simple, universal style and quality. It still looks brand new after all those years. No wonder the armchair has been produced in an unchanged shape since 1956. Never change a winning team.


Harley is a divisive brand in the motorcycle world. Some cannot imagine riding anything else and simply worship it, while others claim the Milwaukee company is lagging behind in technological sophistication and their construction is more of a blacksmith than an engineer. I was in the latter group for a long time. Then I really got to know these bikes and learnt to appreciate them. Yes, they are heavy, not too fast and you must be tough on them. What they give you in return is the feeling of interacting with a machine that has a soul and years of beautiful history. That is not just about performance. I am particularly inclined to the Road King Special from the last years of manufacturing. It has nothing to do with ubiquitous chrome or leather fringes. It is compact, elegant and strong — a bodybuilder wearing a bespoke suit.


I might not be a great connoisseur and fan of watches, but a few models truly delight me. Nautilus is to me exactly what a men’s watch can and should be. It hit the market over 40 years ago and was considered bold and avant-garde, partly because of the steel bracelet so unlike the rest of high-end elegant watches. Today it stands out on first sight due to subtlety and severity of its design. It does the job both for sports outfit and an evening suit. Not to mention it is an excellent investment: it is already worth almost half more than what I paid for it. That’s why it’s more often in a safe than on my wrist.