Thursday, November 5, 2009

London's latest designs

This Fall marked the seventh installment of the London Design Festival. The citywide event, which ran from September 19 to 27, was an international celebration of design that included 215 commissioned installations, exhibitions and shows, plus 150 events, launches, parties and viewings. Festival highlights included design star Jamie Hayon’s Tournament, a giant mosaic chessboard in Trafalgar Square, and the Art Car Bootique, a mobile exhibit displaying fine art from the trunks of artist’s wildly decorated vehicles.

Of all the City’s design destinations, the premier venue was undoubtedly the “100% Design” exhibition. In its 15th year, it has become London’s leading architecture and design event and the latest edition broke its own attendance record, with 27,000 visitors. The majority of exhibitors were from the United Kingdom, with an additional 25 countries presenting new work.
Here are a few of my favourites.

The Dock: Tom Dixon Collaborative. Cutting-edge designer Tom Dixon was the mastermind behind a multi-designer showcase presented in conjunction with the Festival at Portobello Docks. Installed inside a new development complex in Ladbroke Grove and spread over 40,000 square feet, the Dock contained Dixon’s wares, his new shop and his recently renovated design studio. Here, the floating teacups hint at the modern whimsy inside.

The Dock: Light Drops. Tom Dixon’s new shop highlighted his pressed cast-glass pendants in three shapes, including Bowl.

Canal Building: New Nautical Style. In the Canal Building at Portobello Docks, Hidden Art presented a pop-up shop, where Cornwall-based Charlotte Tangye exhibited variations on her nautical Falmouth Harbor collection of dishware, which is based on drawings of ships. Hidden Art is an organization that offers a platform for designers to exhibit and sell their work to key markets, as well as the public.

The White House: Hip Village. The White House, a curated building filled with fresh local talent, featured this modern playground stocked with Formica-covered structures reminiscent of Memphis Design from the 1980s and the Hatch, a pop-up café where eggs were the ingredient of choice. The exhibition was produced by Faye Toogood of Studio Toogood.

The White House: Clever Recycling. Monica Hughes’s wispy lights and lamp shades were made from shredded, recycled plastic shopping bags. Here, catch a glimpse of Confetti, a multicolored wall lamp.

Art Car Bootique: Trunk Show. The Art Car Boot Fair presented more than 20 artists who created portraits of visitors in a variety of mediums, from charcoal to photography. At outdoor stalls dealers sold original art, prints, vintage furniture and contemporary design objects straight out of the back of their trucks and cars.

100% Design: Twisted Classics. Thelermont Hupton is a partnership between designers David Hupton and Yve Thelermont, who combine their backgrounds in furniture-making and art. They presented interior accessories, lighting and tableware, as well as their Painstaking cabinet, a twist on a 1750s armoire in a lacquer finish.

100% Design: Philip Watts. Philip Watts, who is known for his “ironmonger” line of hardware and bath fixtures, showcased dynamic new lighting fixtures. His Blimpy pendant light was presented in a cluster, which gave the lights real presence. Blimpy comes in white, red or orange glass.

100% Design: Tropical Charm. Ayme Fitzgerald’s digitally printed wallpaper and textiles are vivid, colorful and wild. Her oversize floral and animal prints include this Wildside Funky Butterfly wallpaper. Fitzgerald also creates bespoke papers and patterns.

100% Design: Complete Lamp.
Shade and base in one, the Motley 3 Collection contains lamps with solid plywood bases that blossom into unique ribbed shades. Channels Design is a British furniture design and manufacturing company that emphasizes organic form.

Established & Sons: Moody Palette. Five-year-old Established & Sons stayed close to home this year. The firm showed its latest furniture and lighting collections, which included launches from this year’s Milan Furniture Fair in shades of gray, black and white, in its office on Wenlock Road.

Mint Shop: Bling Lights. Penelope Batley, a recent graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, has come up with playful and inventive lights, including her Big Bling and Chandelier Earring lights; her collection won a Conran Foundation Award. The lights can be hung or used as floor lamps.

Brunswick House: Stunning Service. Continuing to expand his portfolio, Bodo Sperlein’s new tea collection includes teapots and cups and saucers, along with silver-plated tea strainers and infusers. The delicate pieces were developed in conjunction with restaurateur Alan Yau for Yauatcha Atelier.

Thanks to

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