There is some dreadful design in Britain. No. That’s wrong. There is a lot of dreadful design in Britain. It’s the endless obsession with doing everything with a ‘best value’ hat on. Central government, local councils, companies. They are all guilty. ‘Best value’ is of course a nonsense term that, if we were more honest would be replaced with the word ‘cheap’. I see it every day at work (in a local authority school). Example: I order branded highlighter pens for use in the department and then some pen pusher in the finance office changes my request to buy the cheapest highlighter pens in the catalogue that run out within days. Very intelligent. Anyway, that’s a bit off the point of design. Design in Britain does, however, suffer from the same ‘buy the cheapest however crap it may look/function’ mentality. Ironically, Britain seems to have a reputation for good design. Some of the greatest living architects are British. People in Los Angeles buy redundant British phone boxes to put in their gardens. Dyson sell iconic vacuum cleaners around the world in their millions. Stella McCartney is hot property in fashion. Banksy. Damien Hirst. The Routemaster bus. I could continue. So what’s going on? Well, I think the reason why we have these beacons of great design is because there is a stark contrast between them and the dross that surrounds them. In many places around the world, design that is towards the ‘good’ end of the scale is pervasive. It may not be ‘brilliant’, but there is ‘good’ design everywhere. It’s the norm. Truelly ‘excellent’ design is recognised but doesn’t stand out so bleedingly obviously… I shall get to the point. Have a look at the example above of fantastic design in the sphere of cycle storage. Reading Borough Council please take note. More pictures at CycleHoop.com. Brilliant!