A designer’s dream is to be able to immerse yourself in all things creative and that’s exactly what the #babeswhodesign did last week at #LDF14 (LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL). Backed by The Mayor of London, Mr Boris Johnson himself, “The London Design Festival provides an opportunity for you to marvel at new design developments. From the commercial to the conceptual, from the recognisable to the revolutionary, from the subtle to the sensational, the festival welcomes all’.
Our Creative Director, lived in London for over twenty years and said “The place changes every time I visit. Galleries seem to pop up all over the place, it’s such an amazing city”.
In its 12th year, the London Design Festival has the whole city buzzing with creative events, exhibitions, pop-ups and parties.
With so much to see, we planned a two day trip and stayed over. You certainly need a decent pair of shoes and a bottle of Lucozade to keep you going. The event covers six areas of London and we would have never managed to see it all in one day.
We started exploring our design destinations on Thursday at 100% Design at Earls Court but en-route we jumped off the tube at Charing Cross and walked to Trafalgar Square to see one of the festival’s Landmark Projects. ‘A Place Called Home’ is one of many creative works which punctuate the festival in public areas. This installation and others in and around the city have become the public face of the Festival and bring talented designer works to the general public.
Patternity, Jasper Morrison, Raw Eges and studioilse were asked to provide their own personal rooms in four timber huts sited at Trafalgar Square.
The designer Patternity said ‘We’re lucky enough to live in a world where home can be virtually anywhere we want it to be. Taking patterns from all four conrners of the world, the installation is interactive and ever-evolving’. We were really impressed that her tights matched the installation:
Being in the tourist areas is always a bit of an eye opener and we were pretty amazed by these street artists who appeared to be floating. We worked out that poles go up their sleeves and then form seats for them to sit on. We reckoned they must have watched Dynamo.
A quick walk to Leicester Square and we were back on the tube heading for 100% Design. Running from 17th to 20th September, 100% Design is the largest design trade event in the UK. The show covers interiors, workspaces, kitchens, bathrooms and much more. We really loved the Emerging Brands and always seem to bump into creatives we know. Bev and Becky spotted a couple of ‘likely lads’ Mark Forrest and Gareth Jones of Forrest & Jones.
We are doing lots of work with Forrest & Jones at the moment. We were thanked for our business with a 4 metre bespoke printed seemless wallpaper for our offices in Lytham. We were really touched and love the bit of seaside we have brought indoors.
Becky Worgan – interior design intern.
It was my first time visiting 100% Design I had heard some great things about the exhibition. It was great to see all the exciting things which are out there on the market and see how much the design industry is evolving, it was amazing. There were a few stands which were my personal favourites one being Anne Kyyro Quinn, who designs acoustic wall coverings. The shapes and textures were beautiful and such high quality :)”.
Another stand which I loved was Lana for Photoliu. Photoliu are furniture designers who make statement pieces considering complimentary textures and colours schemes making beautiful furniture. Lana who is a young Romanian Fashion Designer has applied her fashion knowledge to this great chair design. I love the colours and the print is really striking. Everything from Lana’s business cards to the bags which she was giving away oozed with a quirky style and continued to advertise her vibrant design.”
This young designer created these unique walls made from sections of Glulam timber beams. I love the look as well as the functionality. It’s a great simple design, yet stunning and intriguing. Raw materials are a favourite of mine so the finish of this is perfect in my opinion, clean, simple and original.” 🙂
Tent London and Super Brands London
Tent London and Super Brands London is in its eighth year. Over on the East side of London, really close to Spitalfields Market. We wanted to walk through the market to the event and glad we did as we would not have seen this piece of work in Spitalfields Square:
The event itself represents over 280 international designers from 27 countries. We loved the new cafe-bar by Afroditi Krassa. A long black and white table showcasing the designers tiles.
Colour and texture were definitely the themes at this year’s shows and sitting in on one of the many talks ‘Ten Years of Colour’ delivered by Global Colour Research was well worth it. Knowing the trends in colour for 2015/16 is pretty handy.
Our highlight at Tent London has to be the Tokyo Designers Week. This is the first year that a Japanese show has been presented during the Festival and wow the work we saw was amazing. We were amazing at the emmersive work and animation work and had to video some of it to show you how talented these guys are:
Watch the video from www.daisy-co.com to see our Bev as an animation character. We couldn’t stop laughing when we saw the finished result. The applications for this type of technology are amazing; the sky’s the limit! Check out too the www.makeamplify.co.uk
We could not leave Tent London and Superbrands London without mentioning a great Dutch designer called Pepe Heykoop who has taken the poorest of the poor in Mumbai, India and set up the Tiny Miracles Foundation. The workshops teach men and women how to produce high end desirable design objects and pays them a wage which will get them out of poverty. Watch this amazing video to find out more:
Check out our gallery at the end of this post to see all the other pictures we took.
Day two of our London visit we headed over to Designers Block and Old Sessions House near Farringdon tube station. The building was stunning albeit run down and in desperate need of repair. That said, it was a perfect backdrop to www.verydesignersblock.com which showcases independent design collections from over 100 exhibitors. The work is multidisciplinary and eclectic and part of this year’s programme offered talks and workshops on Service Design. We sat in on one or two in an amazing space at the top of the buiding where Plumen were presenting their light fittings on a large Oak tree in the middle of the room #Plumenglowingoak.
It was amazing to see one of the light fittings we specified last year. The Cone Lamps by www.alexgarnett.com were used in our Ice-Cream Parlour. It was a treat meeting the designer and really unexpected.
We really loved ‘A Cow In A Landscape With A Farmstead Beyond’ not only for the length of the title but the quality of the piece of furniture itself. Based in France, their quirky items are well worth checking out http://www.miltonpriest.com
We couldn’t leave Designers Block without mentioning the domed ceiling in Sessions House. One of the designers had projected a light show on the ceiling and it was so atmospheric and amazing. The pictures don’t really do it justice but we had to showcase a couple.
At The Sorting Office on New Oxford Street, Design Junction showcases more than 180 brands. The event boasts new product launches, pop-up shops, bespoke eateries, a basement full of lighting called LightJunction. There are interactive Flash Factories where industrial processes are brought to life. There’s a whole floor for retail featuring more than 30 design-led pop-up stores selling furniture, lighting to ceramics, books and watches
We loved the Blackbody lighting installation at the entrance to the basement:
Some of our others favourite bits from Design Junction are in our Gallery, so check out our highlights:
As this was the last show of our two days in London, we were flagging a bit. We did feel like we had got around a lot of the shows and events going on and couldn’t finish our post without mentioning some of our other highlights. The ‘Precision & Poetry in Motion’ at the V&A by BMW was so impressive. Two polished metal ‘wing-like’ features are installed by an enormous metal gantry and rotate slowly to make the viewer part of the space and paintings and provide an ever changing view of the gallery. The designer’s Barber and Osgerby wanted to explore the idea of scale. They have certainly done that as the installation fills the entire gallery space.