letter from london | october 2011

courtesy of vitorio benedetti

by Melanie Nelson

September brought The London Design Festival 2011 with events and exhibitions from East to West London – the festival  was  better than ever.  From the well-established international brands and a new crop of talented British designers to the students and the experimental.

We didn’t manage to see everything but made a damn good try.  100% Design was an improvement on 2010 with some interesting and very usable new products and Decorex had the usual solid selection of fabrics and furniture.

The V&A, as curator of good design, hosted a popular and impressive exhibition on the Power of Making, which is on until 2nd January 2012 and well worth a visit

power of making at the v&a

starring king kong in coathangers

Its difficult to pin down a favourite but really enjoyed the vibe at Designersblock in Clerkenwell – a mix of working designers, artists and students jam packed with ideas.

cargo chair by benjamin hubert

miranda watkins

The Tramshed was a bit more serious, taken over mostly by De La Espada who’s new concept for promoting good design seems to be going from strength to strength.  My personal favourite was the cargo and coracle chairs by Benjamin Hubert not long graduated but already making waves in the design world and recipient of an impressive and well deserved list of design awards. We were also very impressed by the versatile Miranda Watkins (not with De La Espada), particularly the tableware and not forgetting the delicious lunch courtesy of “Viet Hoa” in their pop up Vietnamese restaurant.

Also managed to make Tent London, where it was good to see a selection of furniture makers from Ireland and the amazing work of furniture artist Philipp Aduatz  from Austria and his superbly crafted liquid metal sculptures.

But I have to say we had the most fun at The Design Junction.  It might have something to do with the free flowing bubbly at their party, but the selection of new design on display was for me the best of the festival.

The smart, understated and highly usable Theo chair by Simon Pengelly at Chorus stacks up to 30 chairs high!!

Also loved the lighting  range by Beau McLellan.

And to round it off a quick visit to Origin, a bit cramped but amongst the bobble hats and scarves some super pieces – loved the humorous Lisa Swerling’s glass cathedrals and Sophie Cook’s elegant porcelain pictured.

All very inspiring, looking forward to the London Art shows in October … watch this space!

melanie nelsonMelanie Nelson is the co-founder of Addison Nelson Design and AND Furniture.  She is based in London working on a diverse range of exclusive private and commercial interiors in South East Asia and Europe.

One Response to “letter from london | october 2011”
  1. wonderful description. wish i’d gone along. will have to go next year. some very interesting design work illustrated- inspiring and beautiful. kate pellegrini

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