Whilst jogging around Hyde Park the other day, I took a much-needed pause and poked my nose into the Serpentine Gallery. Its current exhibition – Design Real – is fresh, minimal and exuding in nonchalant style.

‘Design Real’ touches on new ground for the Serpentine. It’s the first show that the gallery has dedicated entirely to contemporary design. The show consists of 43 examples of tangible products that have all been created within the last 10 years. Everyday objects are displayed throughout the gallery and are given a one-word generic description such as: table, chair, robot or computer.

It’s a curious thing to show everyday items in a gallery but it forces you to reflect upon the nature of objects that are designed for our use. The show had such a profound effect on me that I started to speculate whether each object was good, bad or ergonomically sound. I’m not quite sure where my fountain of Design knowledge sprouted, but I felt like I knew what I was talking about.

It’s not just a chair, it’s a feat of ergonomic engineering!

When you go into a bedroom, a bed is just a bed, but when a bed is hanging on the white wall of a gallery space, you can’t help but see it differently. There I was, standing in my SweatyBetty Lycra, and I was admiring the springs on a double bed. It was ridiculous yet wonderful.

I started to admire the most banal of objects, loving them for their functionality of design and even for their beauty. If you’re prepared to look past the ordinary you’re guaranteed to see the extraordinary. Even a book-end can be cool.

It really is quite an achievement that an exhibition can make a double bed, a pen and a pop-up tent visually inspiring. But the exhibition’s greatest achievement is that it makes you realise that when a good designer gets it right, our lives are improved.

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