As our regulars know, I am partial to British design. I spent many of my formative years living in London and picked up an enthusiastic appreciation of the English sensibility in design, among other things! I get back quite a bit and a couple of years ago I went over for the annual London Design Festival. What a blast that was! The city full of interesting installations, exhibitions and pop-up shops, showcasing the best of British design. It was quirky, colourful, off-the-wall and I loved every minute of it.
This year the Festival runs from the 13 to 21 of September and I’m not in London, I’m in Montreal. But I will be following what’s going on and reporting back.
In the meantime, if you’re lucky enough to be travelling across the pond this week, have a look at what some of CO’s British suppliers are doing for the Festival, and go visit them and say hello, if you can!
Donna Wilson: Rainy Day Pop-Up Shop
For the duration of the Festival, Donna Wilson will be operating a week-long installation and Pop-Up shop in London’s Shoreditch neighbourhood (BOXPARK / Unit 26, 2-10 Bethnal Green Road).
“Holding hands” from Donna Wilson’s first collection of fabric (source: Donna Wilson)
To create her Rainy Day Pop-Up Shop, she transformed a space into a Donna Wilson wonderland, featuring hundreds of soft raindrops, murals and panels showcasing her first collection of fabrics, a “selfie station,” knitted creatures everywhere, and limited edition products made especially for the Festival. Select products from Donna’s new autumn/winter collection will be available, along with classic pieces from her signature range. Look for her new collection this fall at Galerie CO.
Maurice, Marcy and Big Ted (source: Donna Wilson)
Donna has also designed a series of woollen fruit for the lifestyle boutique SMUG, that will launch during the Festival.
Woolen fruit design by Donna Wilson for SMUG (source: Donna Wilson)
Ella Doran: Putting the circular economy into action
Ella Doran will participate in a collaborative live installation at the Victoria & Albert Museum during the London Design Festival 2014: “putting the circular economy into action with ‘huate design’ refurbished upholstered chairs”. The installation is in Gallery 99 and is built from several upholstered chairs that are deconstructed and refurbished in the V&A Design Studio.
For the project, Ella teamed up with two London-based designers (Kyle McCallum and Avantika Agarwal) to create experimental fabrics. She created several designs from material that she collected on a recent trip to Iceland to tie together the look of the diverse chairs that feature in the installation at the V&A.
Folded fabric modules by Kyla McCallum, made of Iceland inspired print fabric Ella Doran designed for the installation (source: London Design Festival)
Ella Doran’s ‘Rekki in Reykjavik’ digitally printed on horizontally stretched yarn – step 1 ofAvantika Agarwals’s reweave process (source: London Design Festival)
The installation is presented in conjunction with Galapagos Design and The Great Recovery (RSA). Establishd in 2012, and based on the insight that our linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model of manufacturing is throwing up major economic and environmental challenges, The Great Recovery aims to facilitate a shift toward more circular systems, and considers the design industry as pivotal to this process.
Learn more about this interesting initiative that pairs designers with waste management workers to come up with innovative ways to think about new products:
Garudio Studiage: Canine Cartography – Dogs of London
This year, for the London Design Festival, Garudio Studiage will exhibit their interactive magnetic map installation, “Dogs of London,” which explores the connection between Londoners and their dogs (Volte Face, 21 Great Ormond Street). The moveable dog illustrations allow viewers to match their favourite areas and animals.
Dogs of London magnetic map (source: Garudio Studiage)
Where do you think the crazy haired Chinese Crested, or the impeccably groomed Afghan Hound would live?
Dogs of London magnets (source: Gaurdio Studiage)
A new range of fridge magnets based on the dog illustrations from the map has also been launched so you can take your favourite dogs home.
Magnets to take home (source: Garudio Studiage)
HAM will be part of designjunction. Designjunction is among London’s leading design destinations showcasing the very best in furniture, lighting and product design from around the world striking a balance between creative and commercial.
Superhero rabbit print (source: HAM)
HAM will launch its latest collection of ceramics, along with new rabbit prints and cards. Designjunction takes over a centrally-located 1960s sorting office (21-31 New Oxford Street) and you can find HAM at stand G3 on the ground floor.
Croquet rabbit card (source: HAM)
You will be able to see (and purchase) a full selection of HAM’s new pieces at Galerie CO as of the end of September — including the mugs!
SCP: Simplified Beauty
During the Festival, SCP East (135-139 Curtain Road) plays host to “Simplified Beauty”, an exhibition of contemporary design, a celebration of things made as they should be. Co-curated by SCP founder Sheridan Coakley and British-Japanese designer Reiko Kaneko, the show features a blend of work from Japan, America and Britain, exploring how different cultures approach simplicity and beauty.
Adderley Works pendant designed by Reiko Kaneko (source: SCP)
A selection of Japanese products are showcased from the Ishinomaki Laboratory, the internationally acclaimed centre of ceramics, Mashiko, glassware from the Shotoku Glass Company (including the new Ando drinking glass designs by Jasper Morrison), a collection of everyday products by Sori Yanagi and a range of cleverly functioning kitchenware, tableware, utensils and cloths from Matsunoya and Metrocs.
Mashiko ceramics (source: SCP)
From the United States, the show includes a selection of furniture and objects from Brooklyn-based duo, Fort Standard. And SCP presents its own autumn/winter collection for 2014.
Elmer sofa by Luch Kurrein, part of SCP’s A/W collection 2014 (source: SCP)
Thornback & Peel: Silent Auction
The talented duo of Juilet Thornback and Delia Peel are launching their new fabric colourways during the Design Festival. To celebrate, they are inviting visitors to drop into the shop in Bloomsbury (7 Rugby Street) to place a bid in a silent auction, for a chance to own a beautiful, vintage mid-century modern chair upholstered in the new fabric. The proceeds of the Silent Auction will be donated to Music as Therapy International, a UK registered charity which devises and delivers innovative, high-impact music therapy projects around the world.
Silent auction chairs (source: Thornback & Peel)
In the new collection, their classic prints – rabbit & cabbage, pigeon & jelly and jelly & cake – are now available in mustard, charcoal, grey, indigo, duck egg and old pink. New fabric colourways (source: Thornback & Peel)