By Sarah Ramsay, Tangram
Once again, London put on an amazing show for its annual Design Festival with fantastic product launches and displays across the city. Designers and manufacturers from across the globe flocked to the capital and as a result, the city was bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement for all things design.
Here’s Tangram’s highlights from the festival:
The B&B Italia showroom
We think this is the benchmark for contemporary stores worldwide, and yet again it didn’t disappoint, with beautiful products displayed in a bright and simple environment. It gave us the ideal opportunity to remind ourselves of new product launches from the Milan Furniture Fair - the Tabano Chair designed by Patricia Urquiola, for example, was one of our favourites. This is a big comfy chair with a swivel base and high, wide back that allows you to feel cocooned and protected from the outside world.
Just a little further down Brompton Road is Skandium, which is always a worthwhile stop. It’s an emporium of amazing and beautiful things, and we wish there was a branch in Scotland!
The Viaduct showroom
The Viaduct showroom in Clerkenwell was as stunning as ever - very sharp and clean but also soft and friendly with an eclectic mix of products. The new Tokyo chair designed by Niels Bendtsen for Bensen caught our eye because it is simple and extremely comfortable. These are features that are not always guaranteed with a curved timber back. This Chair and That Lounge Chair by Stefan Diez for e15 were also on display and the one in the teal blue finish was added to the shopping list. Parison pendant lights from Resident in New Zealand were also a ‘lust after item’, as they are so delicate and pretty.
This is a newly launched lighting brand focused on LED technology, with the renowned designer at its helm. We met Terence for an extremely good cup of coffee and had a great chat about lighting and the amazing technology that can be applied to LEDs. The company’s first product is called Solid and is beautifully simple. The detailing is exceptional: it’s clear that a lot of time was spent creating something the public can understand and interact with. The packaging, instructions and simplicity of installation are a credit to the designer and are very refreshing in today’s technical world!
The Canadian brand created a stunning installation in collaboration with Mallet Antiques at their Ely House Gallery. The 57 series is used space to a truly magnificent effect, cascading down the centre of the staircase, whilst the 38 series in white with powder coated copper wire looked amazing draped over the Klauser & Carpenter marble table. The contemporary lights mixed with unique, antique furniture really showed how the old and the new can work together in harmony.
Based at the Old Sorting Office, The Design Junction houses a wide mix of pop-up stores for impromptu shopping, lighting in the basement and new product launches from manufacturers over two floors – so much to see! The Mute Coupe designed by Joel Karlsson for Mitab provided an ideal quiet spot to hide away from the hubbub. The Ginger Pendant designed by Joan Gaspar for Marset took the idea of minimalism to the extreme and featured an inner layer of resin and veneer outer. The Fog by Front Design for Zero Lighting is an update on a classic spherical shape with graduated blasting on the inside to hide the light source and provide an almost mystical effect.
This year’s London Design Festival emphasised that trends continue to filter in from the fashion world into design, especially in terms of colour. However, as more high-end products become available in bespoke finishes, ‘trends’ could easily become a thing of the past as purchasers push for individuality. Colour schemes tend to be much more varied these days, with products coming from many different sources. People want to bring together the old and the new, recycled and upcycled products as well as heritage items and blend them with warm textiles and accessories to create layers of interest and ultimately, unique interior design schemes.