The London Design Festival celebrated its eleventh birthday September 14-22nd with over 300 different shows and events over nine days. It was impossible for BlogTour London to cover it all but we managed to cover a fair amount of ground.
DAY 1: designJunction
This year designjunction returned to the 1960s Postal Sorting Office in Central London where a cutting-edge line-up of renowned international brands and emerging design talent were presented across three floors of the impressive 120,000 sq ft venue. New for 2013 was lightjunction, London’s first trade fair dedicated to very best in decorative lighting.
We began the show with an introduction to the much anticipated UK debut of Kartell by Laufen. I may have to give them their own post later just to discuss their revolutionary SaphirKeramik.
“An architectural project, which speaks a new language. Innovative, rich in emotion, transparency and colour. The Kartell by Laufen bathroom is the synthesis of the work we have done in recent years in the world of the bathroom and represents an important step forward in this sector”
After exploring the show we met up again for Dinner hosted by Laufen at Jamie Oliver’s pop-up restaurant Barbecoa in partnership with Modus furniture. Barbecoa is renowned for its flame inspired cooking and widely praised for their original and smoked flavored dishes. I found out the menu was specifically created for the show – their first-ever pop-up venture. We dined on signature favorites of pit-smoked pulled pork sandwiches, smoked short ribs with chipotle tomato salsa, loaded BLT sandwiches with home smoked porchetta and a delicious chicken cobb salad. There were also the most incredible desserts shared around the table.
During our dinner we met some of the members from the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection, designjunction’s main sponsor. The Visa Luxury Hotel Collection is a premium travel program enabling Visa Premium cardholders to find, book and enjoy exclusive benefits at more than 900 prestigious properties around the world — from boutique to celebrated designer hotels.
Little did I realize at the time, but designjunction established a lighting theme for me during the Festival.
Lamps Plus is one of America’s largest lighting retailers and a sponsor of the BlogTour London Trip I recently went on. For more than 30 years they have been building their business to offer nationwide customers the largest collection of function and decorative lighting fixtures, accessories, furniture and home decor. The Lamps Plus collection of websites includes Lighting Luxury Style, Builders Discount Lighting, Lamps Plus Open Box and 55 Downing Street.
If you are unfamiliar with 55 Downing Street, it launched in May 2012 in the flash sales arena.
“Over the last year, we’ve discovered what designs truly excite our customers most. So we now scour all corners of the globe to source the latest styles,” says Manja Swanson, Chief Creative Officer for 55 Downing Street and Lamps Plus. “From handmade Indian rugs and pillows to furniture produced right here in California, each design on 55 Downing Street has been hand selected on the basis of quality, value and, of course, style.”
Starting early next year, 55 Downing Street will launch the first of three exclusive house brands. The brands – Dahlia Studios, Chateau Lux and Cinnabar Road – will feature artisan soft lines, continental inspired furniture, and globally-inspired imported furnishings, respectively.
The new brand offering will coincide with a re-launch of 55DowningStreet.com. The new site will feature a new blog team and contributors to offer readers a fresh voice and insights into the latest design trends.
I’ve paired items from the Lamps Plus website and 55 Downing Street with images from the London Design Festival to demonstrate how trendy their product selection actually is.
Cox London at Decorex | Irondale Helena Reclaimed Bookcase
Brokis Pendants at Design Junction | Possini Euro Engels
Paris Wakefield Additions at Tent London | Annabelle Modern Flame Chair and Flame Zig Zag lamp
Foldability at DesignJunction | Possini Euro White Cloud Pendant
Tony Miles Designs at DesignJunction | Telestar Lamp
(Lamps Plus is a sponsor for BlogTour London 2013, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share.)
Last week I was checking out Du Verre: The Hardware Co. hardware and the fabulous designers they have collaborated with to create their “design-driven” collections. I was reading about Christopher Smith from East Main Design and the two collections – Polar and Rise, that he collaborated on. The first thing you see on the East Main Design website are the words “Nothing is Boring. The world is way too rich with design possibilities.” I’m hooked and inspired to write this post about the Du Verre designers.
If you aren’t familiar with Du Verre, they are a Canadian manufacturer of quality decorative hardware made from recycled aluminum. While most pieces are die cast, a few are made using sand casting. All of these little works of art are finished by hand.
Clodagh has designed 4 collections for Du Verre so she seems like a logical place to start. Clodagh, principal and CEO of Clodagh Designs in New York, is a legend in the design world who has worked in over 90 countries and marshaled her talents into being able to re-imagine anything her clients ask her to. She has designed everything from interiors and landscapes to packaging and uniforms. Clodagh is well known for her steadfast dedication to the use of feng shui, chromatherapy, biophillia, and sustainable materials. Clodagh’s collections for Du Verre include Primitive, Stacked,Tribal and Kuba.
The Polar and Rise hardware collections were designed by Christopher Smith of East Main Design and Development. He specializes in left of center creative solutions through a deep understanding of consumer markets. His projects range from Branding and Identity to Furniture and Hardware. No matter the project the goal is always the same: achieve moving solutions while striving for sustainable use of materials and efficient use of resources appropriate for the client and marketplace.
Goodman & Charlton
Jeffrey Goodman is a Magna cum Laude graduate from Harvard College, with a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies, and Steven Charlton is an honors graduate from Brighton School of Art in England, with a BA in Graphic Design.
Together the two formed Goodman Charlton, a design firm that now specializes in hospitality, residential interior and furniture designs. Most recently and notably, the team just finished up the grand renovation of the Empire Hotel, near Lincoln Center, where they created a lavish yet modern interior from furnishings around the world. The Marcel hardware collection was originally conceived for the renovation of the Marcel Hotel in New York. It is a fun collection with playful geometric shapes.
William Harvey is an artist, musician and a designer. He is widely known for his innovative houseware and accessory designs for UMBRA and for making sculptures out of found objects. He works out of his studio in Williamsburg, NY where he lives with his family. Harvey is a spokesman for the North Brooklyn Creative Economy Zone and advocates for inclusion of mixed-use and commercial space in new developments. He has designed two collections for Du Verre – Arroyo, a sleek architectural collection and Lotus, an organic sculptural collection.
Heinz Pfleger was trained in Austria and now makes his home in Canada. He is one of North America’s most talented metalsmiths. He was an early collaborator with DuVerre and created three collections. Forged 2 and Forged 3 were created from the original classic Forged Collection and the Pomegranate collection is a series of nature-inspired hardware rich with texture. Pfleger concentrates primarily on one-of-a-kind architectural projects and fine furniture.
Erin Adams is well known in the kitchen and bath design world as premier mosaic tile designer. In her work as both artisan and interior designer, Erin infuses sophisticated urban sensibilities with elements of the folk art tradition. Erin’s mission is to create and produce innovative products that imbue sophistication and grace, inspire self reflection and keep fine craftsmanship alive in a world of mass production. Her goal to collaborate with other artists by pushing boundaries and materials to where they have never been before has led to collaborations with Ann Sacks and New Ravenna Mosaics. Erin designed the multidimensional Offset Collection.
Jeff Goodman was an innovator in the field of architectural glass. He passed away in 2012 after a valiant battle with cancer. Apart from running Jeff Goodman Studio, which he established in 1989, Goodman was a board member for the Ontario Craft Council and for the Glass Art Association of Canada. He was also a mentor and advisor at Harbourfront Centre and he taught at Sheridan College. Before he passed away, Goodman had completed a major commission for the Baha’i Temple of Light, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, in Santiago, Chile. Jeff was another early collaborator with Du Verre and his hardware series called The Jeff Goodman Collection is appreciated for its Zen-like qualities.
Scot Laughton is an award-winning Industrial designer. He established Scot Laughton Studio in 1992 and has designed furniture and products for furnishings companies such as Keilhauer, Nienkämper, Pure Design, and Umbra. He is a founding member of Furnace, a collective committed to producing thoughtful, functionally appropriate, minimalist designs through collaborative effort. His Series 3 hardware collection for Du Verre is both bold and subtle, making use of elegant shapes, planes and organic curves to create a finished product that is as fantastic as it is practical.
The Rio hardware collection is designed by Du Verre co-founder, Gina Lubin. Inspired by ancient ruins and symbols, Rio’s patterns have an air of mystery and a one-of-a-kind feeling. Rio knobs and pulls are as much art as a functional piece of design. Rio has an exotic look and sculptural feeling with each piece hand finished. Gina’s focus on detail and texture combined with perfect function reflect her philosophy of simplicity; “Form, function quality and originality – with these ingredients you can create a sustainable and beautiful environment. Wellness, balance and harmony are the wonderful byproducts of good design. Through quality comes pleasure and peace of mind.”
Du Verre can be purchased through designers and dealers as well as online. Check the Where to Buy page on www.duverre.com for more information.
(Du Verre is a sponsor for BlogTour London 2013, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. You, the reader, are my top priority and it is my goal to make sure you can trust the content and integrity of this blog.)
Demode is offering material doors in their Meccanica Kitchen line for a modern “dematerialized” aesthetic. Created by Gabriele Centazzo and engineered by Valcucine, the Meccanica Kitchen uses less materials in its construction thus creating a revolutionary eco-friendly kitchen system.
The Meccanica Kitchen is characterized by tubular iron (anodized aluminium) frames that create different modular elements which can easily be assembled and dismantled as needed, customizable to any space in the home or office. The tubular pieces are joined with mechanical fasteners so there is no gluing or worry about formaldehyde.
Shelving, drawers and panels can be added into the metal framework in a variety of different finishes. Doors are available in various colors of plywood, sheet metal or even fabric which is stain-resistant (Teflon-coated), removable and washable.
Meccanica has been designed to be 90% reused and 100% recycled. It comes with the Valcucine Life-long Responsibility Guarantee, which ensures that they will take the kitchen back at the end of its life cycle.
The units are shipped flat-packed allowing for more items to be shipped at one time, reducing transportation and fuel costs.
DEMODE by Valcucine redefines a new parameter of the real living culture with real beauty that is simple, intellectual, engaging and unique design purpose.
Demode stands for Democratic Modern Design. A name that can also be read as Démodé, i.e. out of fashion. Why? Because fashion is ephemeral while Demode is designed to last. Meccanica is the 5th Kitchen Series for Demode, joining Digma, Planca, Integra and Forma. Traditionally associated to the idea of reducing consumption (degrowth philosophy), Demode kitchens embrace minimum consumption of raw materials and energy, long durability, recyclability and non-toxic finishes. Each product is 100% recyclable, designed for reuse, optimization of raw materials and application of non-toxic processing and materials. Demode does not advertise in magazines or on television so they can price their products at a proportional value for the consumer.
(The new Valcucine London showroom will be open during the London Design Festival 14-22 September.)