Step into Design

Despite its alarming size, Phaidon Design Classics is actually surprisingly thrifty. Each of the 999 industrially manufactured objects featured in its three encyclopedic volumes is illustrated, most by a photograph that perfectly balances a sparse entertaining story about its creation and enduring value.

“The idea was really to go as wide as possible, and it was also very important to be truly international,” editorial director Emilia Terragni says. “When we realized that the number [of objects] we had was around 1,000 we decided on 999, but in the end it’s really a subjective choice. That’s why we called it Phaidon Design Classics.”

As for the weight of the 18-pound set, Phaidon commissioned renowned German designer Konstantin Grcic to remedy the matter with a carrying case. “We liked the idea of creating a special object,” Terragni says, “and he came up with a kind of a staircase shape that distributes the weight and the volume in a quite economic way.” We recommend adding wheels.

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