London Design Festival 2017 :: Highlights

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A lot of interesting things are happening in the design world. The London Design Festival 2017, that took place during September, is over. Yet, it left some exciting impressions behind that I wish to share with you all as promised. It just so happens that it is one of the most influential design fairs across the globe, a testament to creativity if nothing else. Therefore, it was nice to discover numerous design products that are aesthetically pleasing with various degrees of craftsmanship yet, mostly sustainable and functional. After all sustainability is something sought after all the more. So here is a selection of a few exemplars that I have highlighted and bookmarked for I think it would be interesting to see how they will shape our future and work their ways into our homes.

View of Saint Paul's Cathedral in the background from a footbridge with a sign added saying London Design Festival 2017 Highlights
Original photo by Anthony Delanoix on Unsplash

This product is probably my favorite: the Exhale chandelier by Julian Melchiorri, a designer-engineer who “aims to bring the efficiency of nature into the man made”. It is the very first ever living and breathing chandelier in the world! Its prototype was on exhibit at the V&A Museum for the London Design Festival 2017.

It is made of 70 glass green petals with a live algae sustained by the sunlight, LEDS and a feed track. Based on photosynthesis, it absorbs the carbon dioxide and releases oxygen thus, acts as an air purifier. Aesthetics and multi-functions integrated into one amazing product that can make a great addition indoors or outdoors.

The next product I really liked are these updated sideboards by British Bethan Gray, part of the Dhow collection. What makes these sideboards special? The marquetry brass inlays in a curvy form that create a distinct sense of flow. It’s great to see the old craft of marquetry being used in a contemporary up-to-date way.

Naturally, the festival included a lot of designers’ chairs. One chair that I thought was particularly special is really a sustainable statement product designed by Benjamin Hubert. It is part of the AXYL collection for British furniture brand Allermuir in an effort to create products made of entirely recycled parts and thus, have a lower impact on the environment. Its Y-frame chair is made of recycled aluminium and “uses just 5% of the energy required to create new aluminium.” Impressive, if you ask me!

Another interesting chair is the Sign Filo side chair by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga of the MDF Italia furniture house that was launched this year and exhibited by the Aram Store at the LDF. The interesting thing about this chair besides its flowy silhouette, is the actual interweaving and welding process of 45 meters of steel wire in 226 sealing points done by hand. That adds an element of uniqueness to the final product.

Last but not least, I liked the Citrus Chair by Holly Hughes for Citradi. Its vibrant color and curvy form are great reminders that design has to have an element of fun. In any case, this one comes with comfort as a bonus to make living worthwhile!

That kind of reminded me something Milo Baughman, an iconic designer, once said that is so true

Furniture that is too obviously designed is very interesting, but too often belongs only in museums.

I think it is safe to say that great number of designers now, design furniture that are fun, adaptive, sustainable and with good living in mind, some of the basic principles of slow design if you think about it. Personally, I think that we should all expect those features from designer furniture, don’t you think so? The only downside with this fair is the fact that certain products probably didn’t get as much press and mass media exposure as they deserve and certainly would hope so. I’m sure that there are a lot more interesting products yet, there wasn’t much information available online and that’s a bit of a shame if you think about it.


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