Photoessay: Design objects

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At the Trienniale in Milan, there is a collection of everyday use design objects from the 20th century that represent perhaps the best and worst of their eras: things that were wildly over designed and over made and overoptimistic for what they would be used for; elaborate celebrations of new technology (like digital calculators) that clearly took a lot of effort and would eventually prove to be quite transient. There are objects that appear to have transcended time because they are still sold and used today; undoubtedly in use because of both form and function, and a testament to how good the original design was. Both sides are very interesting: not just as objects, but as social commentary of the era and what people thought the future might be like. Some were uncannily accurate and foresightful, and some perhaps didn’t even consider the actual use cases or human ergonomics…but all were at least interesting in form and color. MT

This series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S and my custom SOOC JPEG profiles.

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Prints from this series are available on request.


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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved


  1. Nice shots and interesting objects.

  2. Well Ming, it looks like you have adopted the ” less is more ” mantra. You have simplified your life. Nikon Z7 with 24-70f/4. Everything else is superfluous.

  3. Dear Ming, you cannot miss the Museo del ‘900. It’s in Piazza Duomo, close to Palazzo Reale.

  4. I am not so sure about some of the objects – however you definitely have made an excellent job out of it. . . .

  5. The “Sun rise over Manhattan” arm chair is so cool. 🙂

  6. The photos are minimalistic and utterly beautiful! Nice collection 🙌

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