From 21st–24th September 2017, the London Design Fair will host once again the largest collection of international exhibitions, designers, brands, country pavilions and galleries, set in one dynamic location during the London Design Festival 2017. Launching several brand-new show elements, this year’s exciting London Design Fair will pack an intense creative punch. And us here, at Best Design Guides, couldn’t be more excited about these prominent design events.
‘As the London Design Fair continues to grow, we are adding exciting new and relevant elements, and building on already successful components: for example, our Guest Country pavilion, Material of the Year and the British Craft Pavilion. With these specialisms come the need for specialists, and the 2017 Fair will bring first-rate curating and commissions. Hole & Corner will curate the British Craft Pavilion and Sight Unseen will curate this year’s Guest Country pavilion: USA. Ariane Prin will create a site specific Jesmonite installation for our Material of the Year. As a result, we are able to offer an enhanced level of experimentation, quality and experience for visitors.’
Jimmy MacDonald Founder and Director at London Design Fair.
Guest Country USA
Assembly: Sight Unseen brings the best of the US to London Design Fair
In 2016, London Design Fair added its very first Guest Country Pavilion to the show’s already substantial program: ‘This is India’ highlighted a wealth of Indian craft and makers. At this year’s London Design Fair, the Guest Country is the USA. Under the heading ‘Assembly’, the pavilion will be curated by Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov, founders of trailblazer online design magazine Sight Unseen. With a focus on a resurgent US design scene, Assembly will bring together a broad sweep of thirteen independent designers from across the USA. Included in the roster is sculptor and designer Fernando Mastrangelo. Using everyday commodity materials—salt, coffee, sand, glass, and cement—Fernando creates one-of-a-kind furniture designs that balance ruggedness with refinement and natural form with crafted geometry.
Sweedish Design Pavillion
Andréason & Leibel
The 2017 Swedish Design Pavilion is subsidized by and facilitated in conjunction with Southern Sweden Creatives (a project co-financed by The European Union Regional Development Fund and The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth). Up to eight Swedish designers, studios and companies will share the pavilion space. Look out for Swedish Ninja, a studio created by Maria Gustavsson. Maria designs and produces a colourful range of lighting and furniture. Also on show is the unique Arlöv-based industrial design studio Andreason & Leibel—expect bold, geometric designs. And industrial designer and curator Petra Lilja will explore the symbioses between craft and design. Petra believes today’s design processes must meet the complexity of the ever-changing world.
Independent Studios and Global Brands
A breadth and diversity of design is the cornerstone of the London Design Festival 2017. Independent studios and global brands will feature throughout the event. At this year’s fair, look out for a great number of inspiring, intrepid and innovative participants.
Matteo Cibic is a quirky, unconventional and exciting Italian creative studio. With an experimental and playful approach to design, Matteo Cibic’s inventive products will thrill, tease and amuse visitors. Founded by the Icelandic architect Pétur Örn Eyjólfsson and the Danish architect Søren Oskar Duvald, Örn Duvald focuses on architecture’s more creative cornespecializinging in spatial and furniture design—visitors will want to keep an eye open for it. If making your home a jungle is an aspiration, then Polish studio Bujnie is certain to appeal. Bujnie designs handmade, aesthetic and minimal plant stands, with a mission to spread greenery all over homes and offices.
English heritage brand Cole & Son was established in 1875. Representing styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, the Cole & Son archive, with its vast cluster of block and screen print designs, original drawings, and wallpapers, has won the hearts and minds of many. During the London Design Festival 2017, Cole & Son will exclusively launch their new textile collection—best-loved paper patterns will now be available in fabric. Oigen has been making Nambu ‘Tekki’ ironware in Japan since 1852 and is a custodian of this traditional art. The brand’s beautiful cast ironware will bring a moment of calmness. London-based artist and designer Zuza Mengham has a deep-rooted fascination with materials. A talent on the rise, Zuza is currently working on a long-term series of colourful gem-like sculptures. Perfect for any interior design lover.
Other key independent studios and global brands to watch out for include: Marc Wood Studio, Charles Dedman, AE&Studio, Leith Furniture, Louis Jobst, Irina Razumovskaya, Bartek Mejor, Martin Albarran Studio, Ruiqi and Wik & Walsøe.
British Craft Pavilion
The British Craft Pavilion makes a welcome return to the London Design Festival 2017. In its second show edition, the pavilion will be two times bigger, hosting over forty choice makers. Representing the full spectrum of craft disciplines and specialties, the British Craft Pavilion will be curated by Hole & Corner, the magazine that celebrates craft, beauty, passion, and skill: ‘We are delighted to have been invited by the London Design Festival 2017 to curate the second edition of the British Craft Pavilion.Together, we have selected a range of talented makers of interior design across disciplines, including furniture, textiles, leather, print, and ceramics, with the aim to create a lively and interactive hub that represents contemporary British- based makers.’ – Julia Jarvis, Events Curator at Hole & Corner magazine
Featured at the British Craft Pavilion, Stoke-on-Trent-based ceramicist Reiko Kaneko will showcase her unique, expressive ceramics and glassware. Reiko’s interior design work celebrates Japanese craft traditions, including Kintsugi and Wabi-sabi. The east London studio Forest + Found adopts an investigative approach to the craft, but adapting a more modern style. Established by Abigail Booth and Max Bainbridge, expect sculptural wooden objects and large textile pieces, made using traditional craft tools. Stoff Studios, a partnership between textile printer Carys Briggs and furniture designer–maker Andrew Mason, employs long-established craft methods in its work. The studio will present a range of tasteful and harmonious textiles and furniture. Other present designers at the British Craft Pavilion include Tom’s Studio, Kana London, and J.Elbourne. Make sure to check it out on this year’s London Design Festival.
Scotland: Craft & Design Pavilion
2017 sees the welcome return of Craft Scotland and Emergents to the London Design Festival 2017, where they will introduce the second edition of the ‘Scotland: Craft & Design Pavilion’. A wide range of talented makers will represent ceramics, lighting, glass, mixed media, furniture and textiles.
Taking part in the pavilion, Hynd and Halliday will present projects that combine ceramics, leather, and metal with good design. Hynd and Halliday is a collaborative partnership between furniture and textile designer Eve Hynd and ceramicist Myer Halliday. Also participating, potter Patricia Shone will show her incredibly creative and functional ceramics. A resident on the Isle of Skye, Patricia’s wood fired and raku fired boxes, bowls and jars are evocative of the rough landscape that surrounds her. Make sure to check it out in order to get some interior design ideas.
Finland: Finnish Form
Featuring a selection of Finnish brands, Finnish Form will be curated by ALVAR, an east London- based style and culture magazine with a Nordic twist.
As part of Finnish Form, Hakola, a third generation family business, will present its Nordic designed products. Hakola maintains that wonderful Finnish tradition of using local materials, with a modern style adaptation. The brand seamlessly connects traditional carpentry with the aesthetic, functional and ever-lasting design. Also partaking in the Finnish pavilion is renowned Finnish brand Iittala. A fearless supporter of lasting design, Iittala started as a glass factory in 1881. Working with famous names such as Kaj Franck and Alvar Aalto, Iittala’s countless products are original, combinable and multifunctional, allowing for an individual use and expression. A true must-see at the London Design Festival 2017
Zuza Mengham | Material of the Year
Poland: The City of Łódź
Łódź Design Festival, Poland’s most important design event, is put together by Łódź Art Centre, one of the country’s biggest international art centres. ‘Poland: The City of Łódź’ represents a range of Polish studio’s, reflecting this industrial city’s influential design credentials. One participant in the Polish pavilion is VOLA, a company making, decorating and embellishing glass and porcelain with passion and charisma. When creating its art collections, VOLA works in collaboration with Polish producers, prizing the revival of Polish traditions and craft.
This year’s London Design Festival will feature some returns and new arrivals, promising to be as exciting as ever. And, as usual, us here at Best Design Guides provide you an inside look at on of the Europe’s most exciting design events.