I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.
The 2015 London Design Festival placed the best of the international design world head-to-head for review. Paul Flowers, GROHE’s and LWT’s Chief Design Officer, guides us through five key trends.
The London Design Festival is a massive undertaking, covering the most innovative and exciting creations in interiors, furnishings, textiles, accessories, and even socially-conscious industrial design. Over 350 events and installations were arrayed across the city in magnificent locations, from a ceramic Tower of Babel in the Victoria and Albert Museum to a translucent Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens. We walked them all to identify some unifying conceptual threads woven through the tapestry of emerging design. From irreverent improvised housewares to antique homages, here are the critical pieces that best captured the themes to watch in the coming season.
Both established brands and new labels are producing ‘premium’ twists on existing product lines by reissuing them with elite, high-quality finishes, like in these lamps and chairs, all by TOM DIXON.
The result is added longevity and a sense of limited-edition refinement. Warm metallics, particularly brass, were everywhere – SKULTUNA’s ornate, intricately cut candleholders are a superior example.
The concept of ‘retro style’ continues to broaden, as companies sample from an array of periods, remixing mid-century classics like this credenza by MADE.COM.
Postmodern kitsch – dishware here by SMUG. More than just throwbacks, these furnishings tweak the past with modern sophistication.
LINDHOLDT’s lamps, with rounded corners, golden finishes, and a palette of pop colours and pastels, typify the trend.
Designers are using glass to encase interior shapes, framing them without blocking them out. In both LUUM’s “Flame” bulbs and LA CHANCE’s “Toy” vases, enclosed forms float suspended, giving them a delicate, protected air.
The inner is visually subtracted from the outer in GALLOTTI & RADICE’s “Haumea” tables through contrasts in light, material, or colour, focussing the eye on the negative space between the two.
WRONG FOR HAY are whimsically repurposing everyday items, juxtaposing cording, metal and nails in unexpected combinations, as can be seen in their “Rope Trick” lamp.
MR. AND MR.’s “Altar” shelves, have a lighthearted, impromptu aesthetic, as if the designers were just playing around with shop leftovers. But they force us to ask, “Is there such a thing as an unremarkable object?”
Brands love the word ‘timeless’, but only marble is literally classic. The elegant stone had a strong showing at the festival, cropping up in everything from LA CHANCE’s pedestal tables...
...to these martini glasses by LEE BROOM. Its polished cool worked best with other noble materials, such as wood and glass, lending gravitas to lighter designs.