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Hidden Gems: Our Top Exhibitions from London Design Festival 2017

By FM on September 28, 2017 in Design, Exhibitions

ONEROOM x Bethan Laura Wood
Shoreditch Design Triangle
The ultimate hidden gem this September, ONEROOM gallery presented the perfect fusion of collectable and contemporary, opening its doors for the first time with Emerging Talent medal winner Bethan Laura Wood. From your first step into the four-storey former Victorian warehouse, you begin to uncover an intriguing mix of rare furniture, new design and art; from the Gabetti and Isola, Tapipardo rug greeting you at reception, to the 1640’s Cesare Fracanzano painting occupying the back wall of the first floor, each corner offers up a new piece to be discovered. To mark the launch of ONEROOM, founders Carlo Ninchi and Vittorio Locatelli called upon design talent Bethan Laura Wood who injected her passion for colour and detail into the space, with a selection of her signature pieces and Seaweed Kites synthesising perfectly with the characterful surrounds.  

Economic Nutrition
Fogo Island Shop
Brompton Design District
Showcasing furniture pieces from Ineke Hans and Nick Herder, the Fogo Island Shop invited this year’s London Design Festival visitors to question the economic nutrition of the furniture they consume. Employing the revolutionary food nutrition labelling system, Fogo Island presented each pieces economic nutrition giving the financial value of each economic ingredient, from labour to packaging to sales and marketing. Take Ineke Hans’ Long Bench, with 60% of the money invested by Fogo Island into labour and 80% of the economic gain feeding back into the Fogo Island community, the consumer now has the ability to make a knowledge-driven decision on the economic health of this purchase. With aesthetics and functionality the common driving force behind our consumption choices, this transparency offers up a new strand in the process of purchasing, ushering in a revolutionary way of consuming.

250 Facts and Figures
Pentagram (Domenic Lippa)
Design Frontiers 2017 at Somerset House
The first room upon entrance to Design Frontiers at Somerset House is Domenic Lippa’s 250 Facts and Figures. A peaceful yet provocative beginning to what is set to be a product focused exhibition, 250 Facts and Figures presents us with 250 pieces of stripped back, honest information, gathered by himself and his team over a three-month period and covering the walls of Somerset House. In the post-truth age, where information is both accessible and abundant, 250 Facts and Figures is the perfect anecdote, feeding us information as simply and honestly as possible. 

Michaël Verheyden for CTO Lighting
Islington Design District
CTO Lighting’s second collaboration with Belgian design-star Michaël Verheyden, is no less striking than the first. LUCID, comprised of oxidised silvered brass and alabaster, is yet another demonstration of refined materiality and attention to detail synonymous with CTO Lighting. This September, Verheyden occupied their Islington showroom, displaying a selection of his works, from the satin brass and honed black Marquina marble Heron floor lamp to the curved alabaster LUCID. 

Studio Proba
USA Pavilion at the London Design Fair
Flown in from the USA, designer Alex Proba (Studio Proba) formed part of this year’s USA Pavilion at the London Design Festival. A multidisciplinary designer, Proba’s work varies from rugs; to furniture; to graphic prints, all with her signature burst of humour and playfulness. On display was her Puzzle rug, a simple concept with striking appeal against the industrial backdrop of the London Design Fair’s new top floor.

Punctuating Space
Clerkenwell Design Quarter
Bringing together the freshest European design talent, Viaduct explored the interspersion of space with light, colour, tactility and form. Transforming their Clerkenwell showroom, they introduced us to lighting sculptures by newcomers Child Studio, and presented new products from Muller Van Severen, e15, Giopato & Coombes and more. 

Objects of Refinement: Custom-designed Elements in Modernist Interiors and Architecture
Brompton Design District
A plethora of modernist details, Objects of Refinement presents a photographic collection of modernist architecture from around the world, honing in on the curves, lines, door handles and arches that we may have missed; from the door handles of Casa Mollino in Turin to the colour hues of Ricardo Bofill’s La Muralla Roja. A true celebration of the modernist detail, the exhibition, curated by the collective OKOLO converts the room of a West London townhouse in Brompton into a comprehensive exploration of one of today’s most celebrated design movements.

Another White Story
Brompton Design District
The story of contemporary Czech porcelain, this year’s Designblok offering presented work by a range of designers working in porcelain. The four groups of designers showed a selection of their porcelain outcomes (shown here Milan Pekar and Mi-won McGhee) with an insight into why they find the material so appealing. Each of the vessels presented is truly striking, a clear indication of skill and experimentation, with varying forms, glazes and colour, the vessels sit beautifully as a set.

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