Once again, London was awash with fabulous events for the annual design festival and, as always, there was plenty to see and discover. From installations and the latest product launches to trade fairs and trends talks, it was hard not to be inspired. Read all about our highlights from the week below…
The V&A acted as the centre of the design festival and hosted a multitude of exciting installations. On the ground floor, we came across a mesmerizing dance display of robotics and humans entitled ‘Slave/Master’. Next, we discovered the incredible “Exhale” bionic chandelier, a design by artist in residence Julian Melchiorri, which is the first example of a living and breathing chandelier. On the floors above, there were many inspiring installations but two truly stood out for their scale and construction. “High Tide For Carmen” displayed two giant hands playing with a deck of cards and this will be the set for George Bizet’s opera Carmen on the lake stage at the Bregenz Festival in Austria. The second was the impressive 21.3m-long three-dimensional tapestry “Transmission” by Ross Lovegrove, which snaked the entire stretch of a grand room on the third floor.
Set in Kings Cross alongside Central St Martin’s famous campus, Design Junction displayed a stylish collection of furniture, lighting and accessories. Cubitt House and Square had a distinctly Scandinavian style running throughout and hosted some of the best brands in contemporary design. Standouts included Another Country, Icons of Denmark, TedWood. and Design House Stockholm. Outside, in Granary Square, was a fantastic installation by Turkishceramics of several arches finished in ceramic tiles and placed in the centre of the water fountain.
Kensington Olympia played host to 100% Design and showcased the very best in interiors, kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. TLS brands Mambo Unlimited Ideas, Thonet and Pad Home (NLXL, Mindthegap, Lyon Beton and Seletti) put on some incredible displays of their products. Max Fraser was tasked with designing an installation for the entrance and he took inspiration from the past and present, exhibiting designs that boast innovative production techniques and intelligent design solutions. Crowning this display was a series of hanging shapes, drawing the eye upwards and towards the huge expanse of the exhibition hall.
London Design Fair & Villa Walala
On the way to the Old Truman Brewery near Brick Lane, we had to stop and take in Camille Walala’s Villa Walala, a bold and graphic take on giant inflatables. As blogger Sarah Akwisombe pointed out in “Design Meets Digital” at Design Junction, installations really are being designed for the Instagram age. On arrival at London Design Fair, the atmosphere felt abuzz with activity. This show housed designers and brands from all over the world. The room hosting the Scottish stands was a particular find and had several ingenious and striking displays. Envisions & Finsa was a collaborative display celebrating sustainability and experimentation. It consisted of several art pieces by 13 designers using materials from Finsa such as MDF and chipboard. The stand truly emphasised the endless creative possibilities the materials could be used for, as no two designs were alike.
And finally, the luxury jewel in the design festival’s crown, Decorex returned to Kew’s Syon Park for yet another year. It celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and hosted over 400 exhibitors. Disruptive Dining was the entrance theme and displayed a rotating installation featuring four elegant dining scenes – our favourite was Larry Walshe’s fabulously floral themed section! Many of our brands took part in this sophisticated show including Julian Chichester, Munna, Ginger & Jagger, Bert Frank and Lasvit. Soon, we will be releasing some interviews from the event with our wonderful brands so be sure to watch this space.
Until next year!