Since it’s inception in 2003 the London Design Festival has become one of the most celebrated annual design events. It seems to permeate most corners of the city during the festivities and encompasses everything from design fairs to product launches; site specific installations and city square takeovers. Locals, innovators and foreigners alike spend months; years even readying themselves for exhibition and during just nine short days all that creative work takes centre stage.
With such a vast spectrum of things to see and do, the London Design Festival is pure inspiration to architects, designers and the general public. In case you missed it this time around though, we’ve put together a list of our favourite highlights; a handful of installations, initiatives and products that we think deserve post-festival admiration.
Villa Walala by Camille Walala
One of the most unmissable landmarks of this years festival was Villa Walala by artist Camille Walala in the heart of Broadgate. It was an immersive and playful installation described as a ‘soft-textured building block castle’ that sort to add a touch of whimsy to the daily routine of commuters. Reminiscent of a childhood bouncy castle; save for the exclusion of an inflated base, the vinyl structure was covered and coloured by digitally printed patterns typical of Camille’s style.
MINI Living Urban Cabin in collaboration with Sam Jacob
Created as part of the ongoing MINI Living project, which explores new forms of urban living, this 15 square-metre Urban Cabin was designed in association with architect Sam Jacobs for a future when homes become a shared resource. The concept was to demonstrate how living spaces might be maximised on a small urban footprint. Adjoined to the tiny house was a miniature work library where visitors could come and swap their personal favourites with London themed literature. This addition was included in response to the widespread closure of public libraries across England and also as a testament to the collective story that makes up London as a whole.
Mushroom Mycelium by Sebastian Cox
British furniture maker Sebastian Cox has recently teamed up with researcher Ninela Ivanova to investigate the potential of mushroom mycelium in commercial furniture design. The material – which is formed from the vegetative part of the fungus, has previously been used in various architecture and design experiments, though Cox and Ivanova were specifically interested in how it could be used to create everyday products. The team produced a series of simple stools and lights with a suede-like texture for display at the Design Frontiers exhibition. They also plan to continue to their collaboration with the launch of a full collection in the near future.
Voronoi III by Tala
Inspired by the patterns formed in overlapping forest canopies, Tala’s new LED lightbulb is the largest sculptural bulb ever made. It was developed over a year long period and challenges the traditional light bulb form by pushing the boundaries of mouth-blown glass. Tala launched the bulb during the festival, using it to illuminate exhibition space in Shoreditch alongside furniture pieces by SCP.
Rustiles by Prin London
Product designer Ariane Prin already has a extensive RUST range, created by mixing metal particles originating from key cutting and other metalworking workshops across London with gypsum and acrylic. With a desire to see such unique textures at a larger scale though she launched RUSTLES as part of the Material of the Year installation at the London Design Fair. Handcrafted in Britain these tiles are made from metal particles and Jesmonite. With oxidisation the RUST develops naturally overtime and creates textures and colours unlike anything possible in mass production.
Reflection Room by Flynn Talbot
With a clash of vibrant blue and orange, Australian designer Flynn Talbot transformed the V&A’s Prince Consort Gallery into a colourful hall of light for duration of the festival. Reflection Room is an immersive colour experience washed the room – which was once a storage space for textile samples, in a gradient of colour. The installation was intended simply to be an addition to the beautiful existing architecture; Talbot’s story; a chapel of light that might illuminate previously unconsidered perspectives of the space.
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