As London Design Festival 2010 blurs into a distant memory we are left once again revelling in how great London is when it comes to diversity, ideas, ingenuity and imagination.
Nowhere was this more in evidence than at Designers Block at the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf. This year’s festival may be done and dusted but this exhibition, traditionally a showground for younger, up-and-coming talent, proves there’s plenty to look forward to in the years ahead.
Holly-Anne Rolfe from Conran and Company spent a drizzly Friday morning wandering around this incredible space.
A large group of chairs sitting in the reception area greet you upon entry. Made by a group of nine designers in a wood in Herefordshire using only traditional greenwood techniques their sweeping and beautifully simple forms lit up the crumbling, industrial space. I nicknamed this one ‘the monkey chair’.
The bench reminded me a bit of Jurgen Bey’s famous tree-trunk bench – minus the bark however, it looked a lot more comfortable!
I adored Naomi McIntosh’s necklaces; beautifully made sculptural forms suspended from the ceiling like chrysalises – definitely statement pieces that I have already started saving up for.
Charlotte Kingsnorth’s Hybreed chairs evolved from the concept of a relationship between a sofa and the voluptuous flesh of its occupier. In reality these are reclaimed chairs transformed into luscious, curvaceous forms. Firm to the touch, the pieces looked really comfortable even if I couldn’t quite get a picture of ‘the Blob’ attacking the Ercol factory out of my head.
As a dog lover put a pooch on anything sellable and you’ve got yourself a taker – and I loved the ‘Gerald the Dog’ kits from Lazerian – I’m just not sure I would have the patience nor the steady hand to make Gerald look quite as beautiful as the examples.
So many other designs and products of note; Puff & Flock’s ‘Make me up’ Wallpaper appealed – a ‘girl thing’ you might say but I enjoyed the interaction – always really important to me at these shows, and Jason Mark’s distorted ceramics pieces are surely investment pieces of the future.
I have to admit to being constantly diverted by the building itself; the colours, shapes and textures in the crumbling interior a great contrast to the diverse designs.