Amazing sights, products, installations, and lots and lots of people crammed into small spaces can only mean one thing – London Design Festival!
With over 300 events taking place, Design Districts are aplenty; key for us were Design Junction, Clerkenwell and Brompton, and within these three areas alone, we saw a vast array of beautiful furniture, lighting, accessories and some great installations too.
Multiplex, Old Selfridges Hotel - this was retail in a new and exciting way. Tom Dixon’s take on how retail will work in the future; far more interaction for purchasers, the opportunity to create bespoke products and lots of new and unique items. Design, fashion, interiors, music, technology and film all came together to ensure visitors’ senses were assaulted; visiting the space was a real experience rather than just going to a shop. This mix of design disciplines is being seen more and more in projects and installations.
Viaduct – Showcasing MA/U Studio from Denmark for the first time, this display felt fresh and sharp and a complete contrast to the many other timber-framed products which have been in abundance for some time. Striking aesthetics with pure functionality and ultimate flexibility is very much the driver for this design team. Could this be a nod towards a more minimal style re-emerging in response to the everyday clutter which surrounds us?
Terence Woodgate – Tucked away in a dark corner of the Foster+Partners ME London Hotel was the Core light, the new addition to the Terence Woodgate collection. Shown as a cluster arrangement, the quality of light was lovely and soft and the markings of the marble stunning. Also on show was the prototype of the new Table light, which combined marble with a blown glass diffuser; simplicity and elegance at its best – a real classic before it even officially launches!
Resident – A relatively new brand on the design scene and hailing from New Zealand, Resident this year had a big space showing lots of products, all of which we want to specify immediately! The Spar floor light has a real personality, the Parison pendant has a soft, delicate nature, whilst the Tri, Hex and Cross pendants are striking, sharp and architectural – we want them all!
Haberdashery – A London based lighting design agency created a stunning installation within The College Building for designjunction. Their new Leaf product is a suspended canopy system and when combined with downlights, creates an amazing result. Leaves are made of bone china and finished in a variety of metal options, including gold and platinum - the resulting light, sparkle and shadow being breathtaking. This system is fully customisable and would look brilliant in entrance halls, stairways and large public spaces.
Ligne Roset Edits Pierre Paulin – The ground floor of the Westend store was transformed into a homage to the great designer, showcasing some of the products from his 60-year career. The iconic Daybed was shown along with the re-issue of products first shown in 1953 at the Paris Home fair ‘Salon des Arts Menagers’. These products were designed for Pierre Paulin’s ‘ideal apartment’ and aimed at post-war households. Manufactured in timber, these classic pieces are just as relevant today.
Colour – Metallics mixed with soft, muted tones combine for a relaxed and easy palette. Gentle and serene rose is still a key hue and there are hints of a livelier blue emerging on the back of the navy trend.
Marble – Continues to be a constant in new products; the quality and age of the stone gives a nod to the past and yet is being combined in all sorts of ways and with other materials to ensure it is a very current look.
Dichotomy – Whether it be metal and timber or glass and marble, there is a growing sense that materials can contradict each other and yet combine to create some stunning partnerships.
Customisation – Consumers are demanding greater choice and personalisation of products; manufacturers are picking up on this and offering far more options to allow consumers to participate in the design process.
Craftsmanship – Not a new trend but still very prevalent; beautiful details abound as true craftsmen rise and shine and provide us with some of the very best finishes and details that can only be achieved by hand and by those with considerable skill.
PS. Keep a look out for the new Serif TV designed by the Bouroullec Brothers for Samsung. Designed in the same way they address furniture, this is a well thought out, beautiful thing. Will we all have one in a few years’ time? I hope so!