London Calling - LDF 2014

London is buzzing with excitement again. It's time for another London Design Festival. Here's a little taste of some of the things seen at Tent and Design Junction, with more to follow in next week's post.

 Taiwanese studio, Kimu Design launched the new 'Screen light' . It uses handmade paper as a diffuser and has a turned timber base with brass detailing..

Taiwanese studio, Kimu Design launched the new 'Screen light' . It uses handmade paper as a diffuser and has a turned timber base with brass detailing..

Taiwanese studio, Kimu Design have a delicate Asian aesthetic that is enhanced by a heightened sense of proportion and material combinations. Several new products joined their absolutely gorgeous 'New Old table light' from 2013 (below) such as the 'Screen light seen in the opening image.

 The 'New Old lights from Kimu Design combine fine metal frames and robust metal hoods that house a delicate paper shade.

The 'New Old lights from Kimu Design combine fine metal frames and robust metal hoods that house a delicate paper shade.

 Studio if's 'Random' light comes in two sizes with 22 (shown) or 14 glass balls - each with a 1 watt LED. 

Studio if's 'Random' light comes in two sizes with 22 (shown) or 14 glass balls - each with a 1 watt LED. 

Another Taiwanese designer, Chi-Ying Lee of studio if showed a very different style of light. 'Random' is a multi-balled pendant that has two pull cords that turn on each of the bulbs in a random pattern each time. The more you pull the cord the greater the number of glass balls that light up. Pulling the other cord turns them off - again one at a time. 'Random' can be specified with frosted or clear glass balls, or in various colours. Copper detailing is used on the ceiling rose and pull cords.

Like many of studio if's other projects, time and making simple everyday actions more meaningful are at the heart of the project. In the past she has explored concepts such as the human pulse and sleeping patterns, to create lighting objects that have a deeper relationship with the human body.

Florence based design studio, Fred & Juul released a new light in the signature brass material but this time it is highly polished. 'Poppy' is also joined by the 'Odette' chair, a design that has a strange but fluid arm and back rest shape that has an element of the Chinese imperial chair.

Tiipoi is a new brand that specialises in hand made accessories designed in the UK and made India. Spun metal bowls and trays, turned timber and blown glass make up the initial collection which all features a very simple aesthetic where shape and material are the hero. The makers are chosen from various regions of India famous for the particular crafts required.

  Tiipoi's 'Loha' spun copper mixing bowl.

Tiipoi's 'Loha' spun copper mixing bowl.

In a similar way to Tiipoi, Hend Krichen uses traditional skills to produce the ceramic and copper vessels. In this instance however it is the artisans of Tunisia that are on show. The Tunisian clay used for the vessels appears a little like a pale version of Terracotta but has a much finer texture.The lids of the vessels and the necks of the vases are offered either with a traditional Tunisian patterned surface etched into the metal, or plain. The copper lights in the range are also offered plain or patterned. 

 Hend Krichen Tunisian ceramic and copper vessels are not exactly new but the shape of some vessels has become more geometric since they were originally released. 

Hend Krichen Tunisian ceramic and copper vessels are not exactly new but the shape of some vessels has become more geometric since they were originally released. 

There are a huge number of stools around at the moment but every so often a design really stands out due to a unique feature, shape or material. So it is with the 'W77' by Danish design studio Tøt Gesicka. The stool has a thick oak seat in the shape of a cone that is not fixed the to base. Instead it is free to swivel and pivot on a brass bolt that sits in the centre of the steel frame. Designed to act much like the blow up plastic balls many osteopath's recommend, the stools movement strengthen's the body's core muscles - reducing back pain caused by sitting for extended periods.

 Tøt Gesicka's 'W77' stool has a very simple moving seat to make it more comfortable for long term sitting.

Tøt Gesicka's 'W77' stool has a very simple moving seat to make it more comfortable for long term sitting.

Sebastian Cox has received a lot of attention of late for his high precision desk and screen for Sir Terence Conran. It is one of the designs featured in 'The Wish List' project on shown at the V&A. By contrast Cox's own stand at Tent London was more his usual rustic style with many of the designs retaining their bark or in the case of the side board using hand cut shingle as a decorative feature on the doors. Cox predominately works in coppiced Hazel. To explain exactly what this is I had to consult Cox's website.

"Coppicing is a way of cutting and managing trees that provides an abundant source of timber, as well as creating a healthy and diverse woodland. I hand-harvest the coppiced hazel that I need each Winter and manage the woodland where it grows throughout the year. Hazel is just one of the wonderful British hard woods that I work with. Every board of every species of timber that I use is responsibly sourced".

 Sebastian Cox's stand at Tent London was a sea of rustic timber - with many designs retaining their bark as in the candle sticks above.

Sebastian Cox's stand at Tent London was a sea of rustic timber - with many designs retaining their bark as in the candle sticks above.

More from London Design Week in next week's blog.