Highlights from London Design Festival

by Katie Treggiden in News & Noteworthy

We’ve focused elsewhere on the hottest new products to emerge from this year’s London Design Festival. Here’s the best of the rest…

X3 at Super Brands London was a glass workshop, inside which three designers took turns to design and make a chair in six hours. Alex Hellum, Jack Smith and Sam Weller used the same tools and materials to create three very different chairs. These are  now being auctioned for charity.

Tent London is a great place to spot independent and upcoming talent. This year’s highlights included the lovely Zoe Murphy, whose Margate-inspired screenprinted midcentury furniture is a regular favourite. Meanwhile, Mini Moderns was launching its new recycled paint. It’s reclaimed from tips and mixed into stunning colours to complement its textiles range.

“Drawing is something that we can practice differently and not in the same way and not together…”

One of the cleverest ideas was Chloe Meineck’s Music Memory box, which she designed with and for a woman with dementia. Each object is connected to a happy memory and when the user places the object inside the box, it plays a piece of music connected with that memory. Chloe plans to extend this idea to boxes made with and for people in care homes.

designjunction was a fabulous show in a fantastic venue. It was hosted in an old Royal Mail sorting office on New Oxford Street, providing a stark contrast between shiny new design and the dilapidated industrial backdrop.

The highlight was the Maggie’s Joy of Living stand. Different designers customised a piece inspired by ‘the joy of living’. Among the contributions were Lee Broom’s Crystal Bulb in yellow and Bethan Gray’s Brogue Table in green. An auction and subsequent sale raised £15,000.

Tramshed brought us Benjamin Hubert’s Tenda lamp. The Tenda – it’s Italian for tent – is made from kite rods, Lycra and a four-way stretch mesh usually used to make underwear. The layers of mesh create different levels of opacity. They’re concave on the inside and convex in the outside, which creates dynamic shapes.

twentytwentyone was showing The Wrong Shop Editions with works by industrial designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and Pierre Charpin.

Ronan Bouroullec said: “Drawing is something which is more intimate; we do not have to share each object; each colour of each millimetre. Drawing is something that we can practice differently and not in the same way and not together…”

Exhausted and inspired, I can’t wait to do it all again next year. London really is the design capital of the world.


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