Ones to Watch
Here’s a good lesson for aspiring designers: get used to making things that you will probably never be able to afford. But that was hardly the only real-world lesson to come out of a recent collaboration between Parsons the New School for Design and Tag Heuer, the Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches. Last fall, junior product-design students were asked to reimagine the Monaco, a 1969 model made famous by Steve McQueen. In terms of style, the students could do pretty much whatever they liked—but their creations had to fit the Monaco’s square casing and work with its existing machinery. “It’s a beautiful example of design through constraint,” says Anna Rabinowicz, who taught the class with Peter Allen.
The semester began with a crash course in watchmaking and ended with eight teams each presenting three designs. Tag Heuer chose the winning team—its military-inspired Monaco Black Shield is pictured—and the manufacturer is now planning to produce one or more of its proposals. In the meantime, all of the students can enjoy something you rarely get in the real world: a consolation prize. Tag Heuer gave free watches to the entire class.