Helen Dyer – Desert Island Desks

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This month’s desert island castaway is Helen Dyer, Designer at Space & Solutions.

1  woven blanket

The woven blanket has to be the best way to wrap yourself up when your resources are limited. Welsh blankets offer a real sense of history and craftsmanship. Designed to be passed down through the family; examples of vintage textiles made in the 1930’s are still available in colourways that look contemporary today. We have a design similar to this one in our family that started life with my grandparents. Over the years it has been used for everything from picnics in the summer, to an extra layer when it snows.blanket web

2 CH24 Wishbone Chair

I think most designers would probably bring a chair; it is such a compact rounded object that truly reflects a person’s use of space. Inspired by ancient Chinese furniture, the CH24 Wishbone Chair is lightweight with comfortable proportions. A timeless chair like this one makes you feel at home, it is versatile and has a real sense of character. The back reminds me of driftwood, the curves reflect the landscape. The chair’s seemingly simplistic design takes over 100 steps to make, the hand-woven seat alone being made up of 120 meters of paper cord. Designed by architect Hans J Wegner in 1949, it hasn’t been out of production since.

3  dwell Black lacquered steel fire basket

If I am lucky enough to be with friends on the island, there is nothing better than sitting around a fire in the evening. Good design brings people together and whether it is a collection of carefully selected rocks or the simplicity of this steel structure, you are allowed the pleasure of watching the logs catch light and turn to embers. Who needs TV?fire web

4 Carrot Peeler + Sharpener

I love cooking and the design process, whether it’s applied to a salad or an interior, can bring much delight. Therefore growing some greens is essential. A hydroponic growing chamber uses mineral nutrient solutions to feed plants in water. With no need for soil and providing a controlled environment, this mini garden can deliver a crop to chop, spiralize or transform on a desert island (with the help of little power). Once my carrots are grown, I admit I could live without the sharpener, however it really appeals to my sense of humour!spiralizer

5 tote bag

This salvaged textile tote bag; one of a kind yet remarkably unglamorous, utilitarian yet clearly designed to please, reminds me of what I enjoy about reclaimed materials. A bag is an essential item and much like a piece of furniture, it is perfectly suited to owning a little piece of history.

6 On Friday diary

I have never kept a diary, but isolated on an island, the compulsive organiser within would feel the need for a little bit of order. More so than tracking the hours of the day on a watch, the diary gives the chance to look forward and back in time. This design by On Friday comes in a larger format, so offering room for doodles and new ideas. The confident typographical style is far from chaotic.


7 converse

We lived on an island near the Bahamas for a while and other than a good sea breeze (not the cocktail), the thing I came to love most was socks and shoes. That sounds very ‘British’ – flip flops are great but the sand got everywhere. So on my list would be a pair of classic Converse low tops. They are lightweight, comfortable and get better with age. The Converse brand began in 1908 so it has done the rounds, first as a sports shoe then as a subcultural icon. Now it seems a pair of Converse can be worn anyway you like – they represent taking it easy to me.