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Posts by Emma Palin

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Clerkenwell Design Week 2015

Overview | Clerkenwell Design Week is a three day affair that celebrates everything design. The event takes place  in the heart of the city which is home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Installations popped up all over, with the likes of Glaze (by Gx Glass in conjunction with Cousins & Cousins) being a crowd-pleaser due to its fluorescent, geometric aesthetics and the option for visitors to decide how they wanted to see the installation up-cycled. The Invisible Store of Happiness by designer-maker Sebastian Cox and sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon explored experimental design. The process of traditional furniture-making was combined with organic sculpture to combine craftsmanship and creativity, challenging the versatility and properties of the American Maple and Cherry hardwoods.

CDW  Glaze2  StoreofHappiness

Our clients, Thonet GmbH returned this year taking space at the high-profile Design Factory in the Farmiloe building. The stand was an ideal showcase for both the iconic bentwood and tubular steel classics and for the latest exciting additions to the lounge segment: the hugely popular 808 reclining chair, the elegant bentwood sofa 2002, the comfortable yet ‘edgy’ club chair S831 and the graphic 60s inspired armchair 860. All well recieved from the crowds of enthusiastic design fans who make Clerkenwell such an enjoyable celebration of design.

IMG_2082  Thonet6  Thonet13

Other Exhibitions | Icon’s House of Culture, which was new for 2015, brought a highly artistic approach to the Old Sessions House where designers collaborated with Indoor Garden Design and landscape architects (uncommon) to incorporate plants in with the furniture. We were equally as mesmerised with the building that housed the show, which was surely one of the most photographed views during CDW.

Platform at the House of Detention showcased emerging designers and allowed exhibitors to make use of interesting spaces in the underground site. DOME Studios caught our attention here with their EDIT wooden wall tiles and functional, clean A. clocks.  Detail at St Johns Square and Additions and at The Crypt on the Green provided both luxury and commercial designs ensuring that there really was something for everyone. Looking forward to next year already.

Icon HOC 2  Dome Studio  HouseofCulture Courtyard


May Design Series 2015 | ExCel Centre

Overview | May Design Series is a multi-themed event showcasing not only established designers but also fresh young talent. This year, there were five show sectors catering to a wide range of design interests with plenty of seminars and conferences for the public to get involved with. The illuminated entrance tunnel which provided many with a great Instagram backdrop. We spent an afternoon here spotting new trends and young designers, as well as checking out Tile of Spain member company, Dune.

Studio Deadgood, James UK and Shaun Clarkson confirmed that the wingback chair is here to stay in the ‘Future British Classics’ section while Tom Raffield, a self-confessed Thonet fan, was also nominated and featured for his ‘Loop Chair’. 

May Design Series  MDS Entrance  Loved Up Deadgood Studios

Loop Chair - Thomas Raffield   Dune 3  Dune2

Fiera Edit | The Fiera edit is a selection of work from new designers spotted at Northmodern in Copenhagen and was curated by Katie Treggiden, editor of Fiera magazine and blog ‘Confessions of a Design Geek’. The royal blue backdrop provided the perfect setting for the predominantly white products and occasional pop of colour. Our favourites included the textured vessels by Friedmann Buhler, the ‘Poured Collection’ by Troels Flensted and the collection of 5 storage jars for tea by Alexander Spenst.

 Fiera Edit  Troels Flensted  Alexander Spenst

New Design Britain | New Design Britain showcases the best graduates fresh out of university, or in some cases still studying! The end results this year were very appealing and all of the designers were happy to have a chat with whoever came by to take a look at their work. Samuel Bellamy’s Moroccan lighting was a hit with the professionals winning him the peoples choice award and the accessories category also. Sophie Rowley used interesting techniques with denim off cuts in order to create blue marble style furniture which also won her an award in the surfaces category. Another mention also goes to Hannah Lois Sangwin for her monochromatic printed textiles which started off as hand-drawn pieces.

Samuel Bellamy  Sophie Rowley  Hannah Lois Sangwin 3

You can see more of the things we liked on our Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.com/quicksteppr/may-design-series/

Design Museum | Designs of the Year 2015

Overview | The Designs of the Year exhibition, now in its eighth year, is a chance to see the ingenuity of fresh and established talent alike. The show provides a broad mix of disciplines over six different categories in order to showcase design that has had a significant impact within the last year. With 72 projects displayed in the Benjamin Hubert designed gallery space there is plenty to inspire, and to offer insight into products we may be seeing in the near future. Here are some of our picks, but we would highly recommend a visit to the Design Museum in person to see all that the exhibition has to offer.

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19  22  11

Endgrain, designed by Raw-Edges Design Studio, nominated by Catherine Rossi | Nature inspired products are always engaging, especially when unusual techniques have been applied. Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay combine colourfully dipped timber pieces and then sculpt them into fascinating pieces of furniture. The process creates an unexpected graphical pattern with a striking appearance. You can also see these pieces ‘growing’ out of the floor in the sculpture gallery of English stately home Chatsworth House as part of the Make Yourself Comfotable at Chatsworth exhibition, showing until 23rd October.

Sabi Space, designed by MAP Project Office for Sabi, nominated by Mat Hunter | These 13 bathroom objects are both simple and elegant. Contemporary colours paired with a minimal design provide a great aesthetic for the modern bathroom – and this has resulted in a multi-generational range appealing to the younger audience as well as the older market, for which these were originally conceived. Suckers and adhesives on all of the objects make them easy to install and allow you to move them around if you wish to change the layout of your bathroom at any time.

‘Grow It Yourself’ Mushroom Materials, designed by Ecovative, nominated by Andy Law and Paola Antonelli | Another eco-friendly design in the form of a compostable material that you can grow and then build with. The ‘GIY’ material is prepared like dough and then placed in watertight moulds to grow at room temperature over several days. They are then air-dried and finished in a hot oven resulting in structural elements for architecture, furniture or products such as the lampshades pictured above.

Shadowing, designed by Jonathan Chomko and Matthew Rosier for Watershed, nominated by Sebastian Conran | Sometimes it’s good to be reminded to lighten up and remember how much creativity can improve your day; these street lamps do exactly that by playing with shadows and encouraging commuters to enjoy the presence of their fellow travellers . This playful concept would certainly be a mood enhancer if you came across one on an evening stroll, so here’s hoping for one near us very soon.