There was so much of interest at LDF that it couldn't all be encapsulated in just one blog post, so I am treating you all to a 'Part 2'. While it is true that London Design Festival excels in the area of installations rather than the numbers of new releases, there was certainly enough to enthral the average design junky. LDF doesn't attract nearly as many of the big hitting brands as Milan's Salone del Mobile but what it lacks in this area it makes up for in small quirky British brands and designers, along with a healthy dose of alternative design from Europe and beyond.
&New is, as befits the name, a new brand. Flying the flag for Made in Britain, the company's first collection is made up of simple and affordable furniture pieces based on a zig zag metal base. Interpreted into sideboards, tables and clothes hanging furniture pieces, the designs combine playful sculptural aesthetics, and humble materials.
Most of the furniture is made from steel and plywood in a style that is a natural progression from Ernest Race's Festival of Britain furniture from 1951, like his famous 'Antelope' chair. &New is founded and designed by British-Finnish duo, Jo Wilton and Mirka Grohn who ensure that all the collection is "handmade and built to last in Britain".
I first came across Tracey Tubb at the Royal College of Art show at Ventura Lambrata in Milan in 2012. Her work then involved wallpaper with intricate black and white designs of bizarre pedal powered balloons. Since that time her work has largely focused on folded and sewn paper in the form of wallpaper and panels. The work shown at Tent London this year was a bit of both - showing her products by the roll along side her work done by commission. The origami-style wall coverings offer an amazing play on light and shadow, are hugely tactile and beautifully restful.
I was delighted to come across Codolagni at Tent London - a Hungarian brand I had never seen before. Founded in 2010 by Gábor Kodolanyl, a designer, and Katalin Halász, an engineer, the studio turned brand has a refined aesthetic that contains a strong Nordic influence with a subtle and quirky sense of proportion.
Their 'Avignon' collection was started in 2012 but now has six items including an upholstered bench and coat stand, a wardrobe, two dressing tables and a wall mounted, mirrored cabinet. The brand also launched a new pendant light called 'Ellips' that moves away from the timber look that has been the basis of their work to date.
It's rare to find such a consistently high standard of products in any brand's collection, let alone where all the designs are by the same two designers. It's definitely worth taking a look at the rest of Codolagni's products that are not only charming but also beautifully made.
19 Greek Street is a design gallery set on multiple floors of a narrow terrace-style building in the heart of Soho. Marc Péridis, an interior designer and creative director opened the gallery in 2012 to showcase interesting work with an emphasis on sustainability.
Since then it has exhibited work by well known names such as Nina Tolstrup, Werner Aisslinger and Dirk Van Der Kooij, along with the Australian design collective, Supercyclers. This year for LDF, Supercyclers showed Liane Rossler's 'Superblown' reshaped glass bottle vases, Andrew Simpson's 'Junk Press' bowls and Henry Wilson's 'Paperweight' lights.
Eley Kishimoto is a Brixton based fashion brand founded in 1992 by Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto. Specialising in the use of original printed fabrics, the duo were creative directors of French fashion house Cacharel for a period from 2008. More recently the brand has branched out into hand printed wallpapers that feature some of their past fabric designs in intense colours. Shown here is the 'La La Lyon' paper with an Eley Kishimoto mobile suspended in front.
Aparentment is a Barcelona based design and photography studio founded by Josep Vila Capdevila in 1999 but they are also now distributing their own range of accessories designed by Capdevila and his design assistant, Stefania Grunspan. Their 'Marblelous Collection' launched in 2013 has been updated with new products in 2014.
The range includes candle sticks, a fruit bowl, towel rail, side tables, lamps and lots, lots more. Following a highly minimalist aesthetic, the range combines Carrara marble and brass.
Vera & Kyte is one of the hottest young design studios around at the moment. Located on the west coast of Norway, the studio was founded by Vera Kleppe and Åshild Kyte who work in the fields of furniture, product design and interior architecture. Already gaining lots of attention for their ‘Apparel’ screen/room divider and ‘Topiary’ lamps shown at Salone Satellite in April, the duo showed their new armchair, 'Prop Up' at Tent London. Their ‘Topiary’ lamps were also on show at the 100% Norway installation - a show of prototypes and production pieces by Norwegian designers curated by the Bergen Academy of Art & Design. The ‘Prop Up’ armchair and footstool are made from oak with feather filled upholstery supported by 'serpentine' springs for a super-soft feel. According to the designers the chair was "inspired by the ease of reclining in a garden chair with nothing but spare time".
Oáza Collection is a new brand set up by Klára Sumová and Dirk Wright. Based in the Czech Republic, the brand's eclectic range of interior objects are hard to pigeon-hole but typically use metal in combination with timber. Simple concepts are placed side by side with quirky details as in their 'Palm-tree' floor light that features ribbon-like aluminium strips that spray forth at the top of a turned timber stem. Much brighter and more straight forward are the new 'Trays 1,2,3' vessels (below) in the form of a tray, a container and a tall vase form.
Dechem is another Prague based design studio that is producing beautiful things. Specialising in glass objects and lights, the studio-cum-brand was established by Michaela Tomišková (designer) and Jakub Janďourek (glass blower) a couple of years ago. Together the duo produce incredibly slick products that capture some of the same sort of alternative glamour that can be seen in the work of Slovenian designer, Nika Zupanc.
Ever since 2005 Janďourek has been fascinated by glass and eventually graduated from Glass School in Novy Bor. He has worked for many of the most important companies and designers in the world of glass, such as Ajeto, Anna Torfs, Lasvit, Rony Plesl. Tomišková by contrast graduated in product design at AAAD Prague in 2011 and gained an internship at the Richard Hutton Studio in Rotterdam.
And of course there was lots more I could have posted but you have to draw the line somewhere. Until next year…………….