London Calling (revisited) - LDF 2014 Part 2

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.

Soderlund Davidson brought their conveyor belt installation back to London for an encore showing after it's positive reaction at LDF last year. The ceramic candle sticks can be made up of a variety of components in various colours and textures - like shish on a kebab…….The Swedish brand was offering the 'build your own' concept at around £20 per piece.

Soderlund Davidson brought their conveyor belt installation back to London for an encore showing after it's positive reaction at LDF last year. The ceramic candle sticks can be made up of a variety of components in various colours and textures - like shish on a kebab…….The Swedish brand was offering the 'build your own' concept at around £20 per piece.

&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. 

New British brand &New has created a whole collection using the idea of a zig-zag base of metal. Shown here are the 'Robot too' sideboard and 'Robot too' side tables.

New British brand &New has created a whole collection using the idea of a zig-zag base of metal. Shown here are the 'Robot too' sideboard and 'Robot too' side tables.

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".

The 'Leonard' sideboard from the first collection of British brand &New, uses a simple plywood carcass with a laminate top..

The 'Leonard' sideboard from the first collection of British brand &New, uses a simple plywood carcass with a laminate top..

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.

A 2013 site specific installation by Tracey Tubb. Each piece of wallpaper or wall installation is hand folded by Tracey herself.

A 2013 site specific installation by Tracey Tubb. Each piece of wallpaper or wall installation is hand folded by Tracey herself.

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. 

The 'Avignon' coat stand and bench. A play on the form of the garden rake combined with a mini daybed.

The 'Avignon' coat stand and bench. A play on the form of the garden rake combined with a mini daybed.

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. 

The 'Avignon' wardrobe from Codolagni features beautifully perforated doors and disproportionately long legs.

The 'Avignon' wardrobe from Codolagni features beautifully perforated doors and disproportionately long legs.

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.

The 'Avignon No.2' Dressing table set includes an upholstered stool and a mirror with LED surround. 

The 'Avignon No.2' Dressing table set includes an upholstered stool and a mirror with LED surround. 

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. 

New work by Dutch designer Valentin Loellmann formed part of the offering at 19 Greek Street. The cabinets are from the Monsieur et Madame (ms.&mme) collection. Photo by Jaime McGregor Smith.

New work by Dutch designer Valentin Loellmann formed part of the offering at 19 Greek Street. The cabinets are from the Monsieur et Madame (ms.&mme) collection. Photo by Jaime McGregor Smith.

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.

19 Greek Street showed a wide range of work from designers such as Hamajima Takuya whose 'U stool', 'Shelf' and 'Shelf 02' can be seen above. The table light in the background is called 'Transmission' and is by Prague based designers, studio deFORM. Photo by Jaime McGregor Smith.

19 Greek Street showed a wide range of work from designers such as Hamajima Takuya whose 'U stool', 'Shelf' and 'Shelf 02' can be seen above. The table light in the background is called 'Transmission' and is by Prague based designers, studio deFORM. Photo by Jaime McGregor Smith.

The gallery showed work by Analogia Project, studio deFORM, Tomas Libertiny and Rasmus Baekkel Fex among others, as part of a show called Masterpiece and launched new pieces in the Monsieur et Madame collection by Valentin Loellmann.

The Design Café at 19 Greek Street featured a massive number of inventive designs including Marjan van Aubel's 'Current table' (left) and Dirk Van Der Kooij 'Melting Pot' tables and 'Flow' chairs (right). Photo by Jaime McGregor Smith.

The Design Café at 19 Greek Street featured a massive number of inventive designs including Marjan van Aubel's 'Current table' (left) and Dirk Van Der Kooij 'Melting Pot' tables and 'Flow' chairs (right). Photo by Jaime McGregor Smith.

The 'La La Lyon' wallpaper pattern in colour 35 from Eley Kishimoto. It is hand printed and comes in 9 metre rolls in 4 colours.

The 'La La Lyon' wallpaper pattern in colour 35 from Eley Kishimoto. It is hand printed and comes in 9 metre rolls in 4 colours.

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 perfect minimalist fruit platter from the 'Marblelous Collection' by Barcelona based Aparentment.

The perfect minimalist fruit platter from the 'Marblelous Collection' by Barcelona based Aparentment.

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". 

The new 'Prop Up' armchair and footstool from Swedish designers, Vera & Kyte.

The new 'Prop Up' armchair and footstool from Swedish designers, Vera & Kyte.

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.

'Trays 1,2,3' from the Oáza Collection.

'Trays 1,2,3' from the Oáza Collection.

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.  

Dechem's 'Antimatter' floorlight is a fluid masterpiece in glass. 

Dechem's 'Antimatter' floorlight is a fluid masterpiece in glass. 

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. 

Dechem studio's 'Candle light' is a battery powered candle holder with a 1 watt LED instead of a candle. 

Dechem studio's 'Candle light' is a battery powered candle holder with a 1 watt LED instead of a candle. 

And of course there was lots more I could have posted but you have to draw the line somewhere. Until next year…………….