Design Festival Report ’12

London Design Festival Report 2012

What a fantastic two weeks we’ve had in the city – crowned by the New York Times as the ‘Design Capital of the World’. London Design Festival was bigger than ever this year and we have been very busy between shows and events. The following is a round up of our highlights from the festival.

Firstly we visited 100% Design at Earls Court. Under new management the show immediately felt it had progressed from previous years; there’s a nice variation of products for both the public and trade now and some excellent young designers giving it a fresh look. We really enjoyed the addition of current designs from various countries around the world, bringing innovative ideas to the table. Two that particularly stood out were Korea’s unique ‘Hat’ lights by Mars Hwasung Yoo and an artistic collection of joinery by Portugal’s Wewood


Mars Hwasung Yoo ‘Hat light’


Wewood desk with secret drawers


A company we were recently introduced to is RES who design and manufacture intelligent and very sleek doors. For a studio such as ours it is refreshing to see new developments with key elements of interiors. Their creativity has given doors a slick, elegant appealing new look with beautiful finishes and frameless finishes.  A choice of ours was the large sliding doors, with no floor runner, in translucent mirrored glass.


RES frameless doors in cappuccino lacquer


We were stopped in our tracks by the wonderful Swedese, a Swedish furniture brand with an edge. With so many Scandinavian designs popular at current, it’s tricky to find something original, but Swedese manage this – with a real sophistication. Their apricot ‘Continental Sofa’ was a delight.


Swedese Continental Sofa and side tables that double up as a tray and can be flipped upside down for a different surface.


We were kindly invited to many events during London Design Festival including a fantastic talk by Molteni & C at the V&A on their new collection of re-edition Gio Ponti pieces from the 1950’s. The collection by the great Italian architect is true to the original designs, stunning iconic pieces with the edition of a classic chair upholstered in Rubelli fabric.

We were invited to B&B Italia on Wedesnday and spent the evening in the company of some fellow designers and friends in the stunning new showroom with delicious food. We noted their stylish, funky Husk chairs by Patricia Urquiola.

On Thursday we went to a Homes & Garden event at Ralph Lauren, Fulham road for the launch of their new lighting collection. The pieces were retro classics with a refined luxury – engraved architects lamps and searchlights reminiscent of the 1930’s with Edison bulbs. A fantastic evening for taking a look at their fabric range too that we admire very much.


Design Junction brought many new designers forward that we weren’t aware of and have been hugely inspired by – Hievre who design fabulous modular cabinets that are retro and full of character. Baccarat had an extremely impressive range of glassware and lighting that is elegant, vibrant and original. It was particularly good to see designers such as Terence Conran and Benjamin Hubert present at Design Junction to speak to. Benjamin Hubert gave a talk about his new products, in particular the Juliet chair he designed for Poltrona Frau and his Pod chair.


Striking Hievre cabinets, made to order


Stunning crystal glass from Baccarat


Onto Tent & Super Brands on Friday for a look around what’s on offer this year. We went to the excellent and informative talk by Pavio Schtakleff of Sé. We at the studio are constantly impressed by the stunning work by the designers at Se and their absolute attention to detail and unmatched quality. Their products are truly beautiful and unique. Looking around London Design Festival we are always looking for originality and Sé win this one. Recently collaborating with bright spark Jaime Hayon, we love their Bala side tables in a ceramic base and sunken marble top. Pavio spoke of their ethos, their success and their continued loyalty to quality.


Sé Bala side tables


Ligne Roset’s stand hosted their new collection all in black with some excellent fresh pieces. A brand we came across called Curiousa & Curiousa’s lights stood out to us for being original too, combining textiles with glass for an elegant pendant light called Tassel.

The stand of our good friends Urban Upholstery, whom we worked with on many projects, was a combination of their innovative and quality upholstery and Bird in the Hand fabrics by Laura Hamilton. Patrizia and Andrea give life to old frames of sofas and chairs. Their new collection has a twist – each cushion and pad can be removed, by detaching straps beneath, revealing the beautiful old frames.


To contact Urban Upholstery for a bespoke piecee from their collection or a design you have in mind –


We felt Design Junction stood out as the most artistic and interesting of all the events in the festival – it left us feeling excited by what’s to come in design.

There was a significant prevalence of the 1950’s amongst all of the events – being updated with a fresh look. We feel that cork is making more of an impact slowly and other recycled materials. The colour blue, particularly pale blue, was a predominant colour, which we can see continuing through next season.

We’ll see you there next year!

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