The collector: Graham Powell, course director of MA Product Design at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (UK)
The collection: Documenting Ice cream point of sale (documentary images).
The story behind the collection: This is where the Obsessionistas story began, and so you might say it's all their fault. Whereas other kids aspired to be footballers, doctors and architects when they grew up, whenever I was asked what I wanted to be the answer was always "an ice cream man!", an ambition still unrealised. In the meantime this documentary collection has a cathartic effect on my unfulfilled aspiration. Maybe one day...
How long have you been collecting? About four years.
How many do you have? Around 70.
What do you do with them? I use them as a teaching aid to show my design students how much fun 'primary research' can be. The task is called 'Obsessions'. We've been doing it for four years now and they have to choose their own subject to hunt down and obsess about.
Favourite find: So far it's the French ice creams that seem much more elaborate and delicious looking, but the old classics are still some of my favourites. In the UK, English seaside resorts are their natural habitat, but the four 99ers in a row at Matlock Bath in Derbyshire make me drool the most.
The thrill of the hunt: I recently spotted an ice cream van in Stafford bearing the slogan "Don't skid on a kid" and unfortunately didn't get a shot of it, so I aim to go back and find it again (it has two small cones on the van's roof). I dream that one day I too will have an ice cream van as cool as this (pun intended).
Do you have any other collections? Other Obsessionising includes a penchant for deely boppers and wind up toys (also to be featured here soon).
Are you obsessed? Hmmm, well I have been known to shout "Stop the car, I've just seen a brilliant one!" [screeching brakes sound]... "Wait there, I'll be back in a jiffy." Does that qualify?
View Graham's other collection #0037: Wind up toys.
Link to the MA Product Design course at BIAD here.
Images © Graham Powell