There were the blockbusters such as John Pawson’s Perspectives at St. Paul’s, the Bouroullec Brothers’s Textile Field and Amande Leverte Architect’s 3D Timber Wave. And then there was everything else. The whole of London has been dripping with design over the last week and here’s a few of our favourite things.
John Galvin’s Manolo Lounger at Designer’s Block is a beautifully crafted piece which takes inspiration from Finn Juhl and the heel of a Manolo Blanhik. Boasting the lack of a 90 degree angle anywhere in the design, its low-slung stance is set off by subtle curves which are the key to its immediate success. It was launched in May at the Saatchi Gallery and is moving onto The Philadephia Museum of Art in November.
The attention to detail in the piece is characteristic of Galvin’s work. Based in Glasgow’s West End the designer uses a wood lathe to hand spin brass switches, bolts and handles. His collection ranges from head boards with secret compartments, hat-stands, framed mirrors made from whisky casks and a speaker made out of South American Purpleheart timber (the density of the wood apparently does wonders for the sound quality). Galvin’s persistence of a 1950s urban feel runs through his range of work, however there’s a lingering of something rugged which disrupts the tendency to perfection.
Just along from Galvin in Designer’s Block was JAILMake, a creative partnership of Liam Healy and Jamie Elliot. Based in South London the pair focus on how people, things and space interact and effect each other. Add an emphasis on local craftsmanship and sustainability and we arrive at two products The Reseeding Brick and The Plantable.
The first is a London brick impregneated with seeds of herbs and wild flowers which can be placed in gaps left in old brickwork, encouraging arbotectural growth in the city. The Plantable encourages growth in your own home – a table whose four legs form trellises for plants to grow up. Liam reveals a philosophical layer to the project as it ‘reflects upon the distance we place between ourselves and the processes involved in making our food’. It’s fun, looks great and makes you think – although maybe not always about sustainable food processes.
Table legs also featured in de vorm’s offering over in the Tramshed on Rivington Street. Reflecting the atmosphere of their buildings, designer Jorre van Ast’s minimalist Clamp-a-Leg consists of white steel bracket on ash – a far cry from JAILmake’s handmade steel-framed legs..
The point of the design is to turn any surface into a table. A product that’s great for street magpies but which also eliminates that decision that most urban-dweller has faced: dining-room or living room? Just latch on the legs and you have both.
Innovative design for urban living was dealt with by members of the Korea Design Membership, Juhee Han and Miyeon Kim. Based on the design of the traditional toy ‘Ttaki’, their SLAP Bag is both a bag to carry your things to the park and becomes a mat to sit on when there.
Quarterre‘s furniture for bikes doesn’t technically have a double function, but when there are no bike’s attached they could be pieces of sculpture and that’s function enough for us. Previously housed in Clerkenwell Workshops during Clerkenwell Design Week they had a something of a cramped change of scenery in cyclist’s paradise Look Mum, No Hands on Old Street. With three different designs to choose from they’re perfect for any design-forward home, cafe or workplace which needs to incorporate bike storage into the immediate environment.
Last but not least here’s a run through of this year’s attempts to rethink the Arco Lamp. Chicako Ibaraki‘s tribute to Dan Flavin Lime Light was back in all its minimalist beauty and was accompanied by the less extreme Arco Rod by Plant and Moss and Beplushave‘s The Arq.
Of course there’s so much more. Concrete Wall Collection and Dare Studio once again stole the show at 100% Design and both Søren Rose Studio and Benjamin Hubert‘s collaborations with De La Espada caught us scribbling down purchase dates and pricing.
There was so much to see and do we must have missed some gems – do let us know what your favourites were and fill in any crucial blanks.
The Office Team