One of Britain's most outspoken champions and critics of design is the 88-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, who formed the eponymous Prince Philip Designers Prize some 50 years ago. This year's winner will be announced this Thursday at Buckingham Palace, and in advance of the event, Times writer Kevin McCloud sat down with the Duke for an interview:
At 88, the Duke is sprightly and as acutely observant as a design critic half his age. He is also as famously blunt as ever, with a knack for voicing the everyday frustrations we all encounter, especially on the subject of technology: "To work out how to operate a television set, you practically have to make love to the thing. And why can't you have a handset that people who are not ten years old can actually read?" Quite.
...Not surprisingly, he is biting on the bridle to see more change. "Design has become much more of an issue than it ever was. An awful lot used to be left to manufacturers, who are good at producing things but don't necessarily have very good taste. If you go back to the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Prince Consort [Prince Albert] was saying that you've got to have a marriage of art, manufacturing and engineering to produce good stuff. I think they split after that, but now they're gradually coming together again."
Read the full article here, or watch a video of the interview here.