Design Is Everywhere: London Design Festival 2013
With over 300 events across the city, London has recently been quoted as the design capital of the world. Punctuating an important week in the international design calendar, September in London is my favourite time of year. Not only are we overwhelmed with exhibitions such as Designjunction, Super Brands, Decorex and 100% Design, the next generation of designers are given their opportunity to shine at Tent in East London’s Truman Brewery, and Top Drawer in Olympia.
The festival hub is South Kensington, at the Victoria & Albert Museum. In fact I’m sat writing this post in one of my favourite places for some quiet time, The Sackler Centre which is the Education wing of the museum. From here I could plan our route for the coming week. As Max Fraser pointed out in a recent interview with Crane Tv, never try and do all the areas of the festival at the same time. If you start east, stay east, and don’t try and fit too much in during one day otherwise you’ll never see all that you planned to. As I’m proofing what I wrote a few days ago little did I know I was to be struck by a hideous cold which forced me to miss all the night time fun of the week. At least I’m better for the Elle Decoration tomorrow at Kensington Palace’s Orangery.
I started my week at Wrong for Hay, an exhibition space that we’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Set in a Georgian Townhouse in St. James’s Park, Wrong for Hay is a new collaboration between Danish design brand Hay, and London based designer Sebastian Wrong. Making it’s debut this London Design Festival the design house have taken over the most stunningly beautiful location to present all their new pieces, furniture, rugs, tableware and accessories.
I met Wrong briefly this morning as I was taking a look at destination restaurant pop-up connected to the exhibition. The Peckham Refreshment Rooms had taken up residence a couple of doors down, allowing Hay’s vast collection of tabletop and furniture designs to be used in situ.
“Wrong for Hay is an opportunity to push the boundaries in terms of curation. We can be experimental and sophisticated but also pragmatic. It’s a platform for new work that celebrates London’s design culture’.
Just a few doors down you arrive at the week long exhibition in the most extraordinary house. I could have moved in & would be happy for life…
Once I left St James’s Park I walked to the Victoria & Albert Museum. I was excited to see the most recent installation by Canadian lighting brand Bocci. Designer Omer Arbel was invited to design this custom made chandelier, hung from the Cupola (the highest point of the museum nearly 30m high) the installation spans the height of the museum through the ceramics gallery greeting you as you walk in. It certainly gives Chihuly’s installation above the reception area a run for its money….
Bocci’s 28.280 Chandelier below
The following morning I hit one of my favourite exhibitions the international design scene has to offer. Designjunction has real focus. Set in the Sorting Office close to Holborn tube station this incredible industrial space allows each brand to shine. The space is quite vast, over 120,000 sq ft of space, and this year with a new point of focus a dedicated lighting edit under the umbrella name of lightjunction. Having successfully curated two satellite exhibitions earlier in the year in New York and Milan (both were amazing btw) designjunction know exactly how to do a trade show…
During a week of such diversity designjunction combines the current design culture with commerce. With leading design brands such as Zanotta, Fritz Hansen and Anglepoise, mixed with smaller design companies that we’ve been noticing have been receiving a strong accreditation for their work. Here we can buy the design we are viewing, the ground floor is one giant shop, perfect for when these exhibitions make you feel queasy for some new home accessories. I particularly loved the Orsjo lighting stand, Lampes Gras and &tradition.
Atelier Areti are up there as one my favourite lighting brands of the year, I mean how beautiful is this wall lamp?! There are so many other beautiful designs to share with you from designjunction, check out my Instagram for more shots. Later that evening was another exhibition I’d been looking forward to attending. You may remember I wrote an article on Karl Lagerfeld’s photography collaboration with Cassina (you can read it here).
With the weekend now passed, and the end of 100% Design, Tent & Super Brands, Tom Dixon has had his annual do at The Dock, and I successfully survived The Boodles Boxing Ball, and a weekend of catching up with industry friends and colleagues, my cold has finally left me, and today was yet another full on day of events. This week we have Decorex and Focus at Chelsea Harbour, a breakfast with Abigail Simpson at Willer and a week full of design seminars. That’s a hell of a lot before I head to Paris on Thursday.
My brain is nearly out of space for anything new. It’s been a pretty full on couple of weeks, nevertheless I hit Decorex this morning, at the new beautiful location, Kensington Palace. Along with the major design names in the decorative industry Decorex is a softer kind of trade show. More for the decorator, it’s your go-to practice design event. A place to catch up with your relevant agents and suppliers, to collect samples and catalogues and engage in the great seminars. With over 300 brands you’re not be short of picking up some ideas here.
Stand of the show? For sure it’s got to be House of Hackney and this killer Navarino Palmeral Midnight & Green sofa with matching wallpaper. Founded in 2010 the brands flagship interiors and fashion store is right opposite the new London Ace Hotel of Shoreditch High Street. Here are a few images of their store, with thanks to HOH for the shots.
Amy Somerville’s moodboard on her stand at Decorex
Benchmark gave this toolbox below to Terence Conran on his 80th birthday. Made from walnut and burr walnut with rippled sycamore drawers and contains quite the stunning collection of hand tools. Yours for a cool £12,000. Dad? What do you think?!
Follow me through London Design Week at the hashtag #LWSY @LucyWillShowYou
Updates of this week coming soon…