We were lucky enough to experience two days of cutting edge design at the London Design Festival 2016 on the 22nd and 23rd of September. Here’s what we got up to and some of our highlights from the inspiring events and displays we saw.
Designed this year by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, this was a spectacular interior that cleverly used just a few innovative materials within a light and airy space. The effect created a contemplative atmosphere and benches invited visitors to sit and reflect. The material used to construct the cubes that featured in the Pavilion was particularly fascinating. It was very strong yet allowed light to shine through, creating 360 degree views of the outside. Genius.
In its new permanent home near Kings Cross and Central St Martins School of Art, Design Junction was once again a bustling hub of great design. Exhibitors showcased a wide range of products, from fabric pattern designs, rugs, pottery and prints to furniture, innovative new materials and product design. This is always a favourite venue as it is home to exciting, upcoming young designers as well as more established brands. We especially loved the inventive carpet designs from Bolon and larger LED bulbs from Tala, and noted the influence of origami across the design fields. This is a big trend in furniture, lighting and fabric design this year. The Dornbracht water experience was majestic and breathtaking.
This is a more interior-based show for established designers. We saw some interesting designs offering lighter versions of traditionally heavy-weight materials like concrete or stone. Several brands, like Topcret and Kourasanit, have created a light-weight backing and extremely thin front finish using concrete. There were also tiles in all possible shapes and sizes, and original new heating products from brands like Foursteel and woodlikes.
A new contemporary decorative interiors show, LuxuryMade focused on exceptional luxe design pieces and top quality craftsmanship. Hosting an eclectic range of brands in the sumptuously designed Pillar Halls at Olympia, this show had a boutique feel. We spotted many novel and impressive ways to manipulate traditional fabrics using new folding and sewing techniques. Texaa and others showcased some fascinating acoustic products, offering innovative ways to soundproof any interior space.
There were several impressive art installations here, including the fabulous light installation ‘FoiI’ by Layer. The ‘Green Room’, created by Glithero, played with simple existing materials and used a motor to transform them into things of beauty. We also thought the Elytra Filament Pavilion was very impressive.
Another inspirational installation was the iGuzzini UK Light Pollination, which consisted of 20,000 LEDs that respond to light sources. A very exciting new technique. Sadly, we didn’t have time to explore The Smile by Alison Brooks Architects. This was a cross-laminated hardwood installation made from American tulipwood in the form of an arced tube. The materials and design created an undulating environment fusing landscape, adventure playground, light and space.
So much fantastic, inspiring and innovative design to absorb! We came away positively buzzing with ideas to incorporate into our own interior design practice.
Read about more of our adventures in design here.