Wednesday, 26 September 2012

London Design Festival.

Last week I took my annual trip around the design venues at the London Design Festival.
I must admit, due to my lack of available time, my visits to the shows gets shorter and shorter each year.

This year I only managed to visit 100%Design, Design Junction and Tent.  I don't have the desire to visit %Design ever again; the format of the show has changed so much so that it is exhibiting less and less furniture. I was in and out in 45minutes.

For me, the other two venues offer a lot more.  From a design point of view not much changes year on year: oak and walnut the dominant woods, folded metal in a mixture of finishes and a fair amount of cork.  Of course there was lots of steel bar folded, bent and painted and paired with the a fore mentioned materials.

Arts and crafts also featured at the design shows I went to but to a lesser extent than previous years.  I think this is a shame as I feel the addition of craft to modern furniture can add life and texture to otherwise often clinical pieces.

As always I was impressed by the quality of the manufacturing employed by the companies that I did see; to be positioned in the top end of the furniture market your design has to be current, but your manufacturing has to be flawless.

The companies I saw that appealed to me were, as usual, the brand  De La Espada , who were exhibiting Mathew Hilton,  Autoban and Benjamin Hubert.  Their designs were simple but effective,  the production and 'feel' to their manufacturing, as well as their choice of materials, appeals to me.  Benjamin Hubert is my favorite due to his mix of materials and design ability.

The two stand out pieces at the show, for me, were a cabinet designed by Andrea Felice from AF Designs which featured an anatomically correct carving of a fly on the front of a copper clad cabinet and the Swallow wall clock  by Haoshi.  I have attached images of both below.

All in all, a trip to the shows is, as always, enjoyable.  However, try and avoid Thursday as this is student day - mayhem!

Metal bar, cork and folded mild steel.

Mercedes, the interior of this car was amazing.



Loved this effect.

Mathew Hilton by De La Espada.

Benjamin Hubert.

These shades by Hubert were great.

Great display.


Right up my alley.

Feathers, beautiful when lit.

Andrea Felice at his best.

Hand carved by a master.

Tight squeeze.


Swallow clock by Haoshi.

Great graphics.

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