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Exhibitions

London Design Festival 2022

A city-wide celebration of contemporary design, TDE guides collectible design lovers to the stand-out projects.

17th – 25th September 2022

By Charlotte Abrahams / 13th September 2022
On.entropy, ‘Cutting Corners’ table, 2022 COURTESY: On.entropy & Curio / PHOTOGRAPH: Studio Verve

On.entropy, ‘Cutting Corners’ table, 2022
COURTESY: On.entropy & Curio / PHOTOGRAPH: Studio Verve

THE 20TH EDITION of London Design Festival (LDF) opens on 17th September. Spanning the capital in 12 Design Districts from Brompton to Shoreditch, Mayfair to the Greenwich Peninsula, LDF is an exuberant celebration of contemporary design. If you can take the week off, we recommend seeing it all. If not, here are our must-sees for collectors and dreamers.

MASAYA, ‘Ink’ side tables, 2021 COURTESY: MASAYA

MASAYA, ‘Ink’ side tables, 2021
COURTESY: MASAYA


CENTRAL

‘Gestures’, Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, W1
‘Gestures’ is a new body of low-slung, functional sculptures from Irish artist, designer and furniture maker Joseph Walsh. This collection began as a series of charcoal sketches and the final artworks – carved free form in ash and finished in ebonised black – are a sinuous, three-dimensional expression of those first drawings. The culmination of three years’ work, ‘Gestures’ is showing for the first time at Sotheby’s London.

Joseph Walsh, ‘Gestures Sculptural Bench’, 2020 COURTESY: Joseph Walsh & Sotheby’s / PHOTOGRAPH: Norman Wilcox Geissen

Joseph Walsh, ‘Gestures Sculptural Bench’, 2020
COURTESY: Joseph Walsh & Sotheby’s / PHOTOGRAPH: Norman Wilcox Geissen

‘Hand in Hand: Making in the Modern Age’, The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley St, W1
Curated by new online design platform Curio, this exhibition explores modern making and cultural vernaculars through new and rarely seen work by a range of exemplary contemporary craftspeople. Amongst the highlights are a new version of Greek marble atelier On.entropy’s curvaceous ‘Cutting Corners’ table, and new brass objects by Danish artist Ane Christensen in which simple, heavy, bowl forms are interrupted by delicate, visually complex structures.

Ane Christensen, ‘Rambling Bowl’, 2022 COURTESY: Ane Christensen & Curio

Ane Christensen, ‘Rambling Bowl’, 2022
COURTESY: Ane Christensen & Curio

‘Through the Looking Glass’, Sketch, 9 Conduit St, W1
London-based artist Moritz Waldemeyer is bringing some extra magic to Sketch’s woodland-themed restaurant The Glade with a new sculptural chandelier composed of 45 specially designed LED lights that mimic flickering candles.

Moritz Waldemeyer, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ at Sketch, 2022 COURTESY: Moritz Waldemeyer & Sketch

Moritz Waldemeyer, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ at Sketch, 2022
COURTESY: Moritz Waldemeyer & Sketch

Working under his Mori London label and in collaboration with Mayice Studio, Waldemeyer has sought to define a completely new form of LED lighting. The bulbs are framed by stylised magnifying glass, a pairing that infuses this environmentally low-impact technology with the playful, atmospheric appeal of a natural flame. ‘Through the Looking Glass’ is site-specific, but collectors can commission a bespoke version.

Moritz Waldemeyer, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ at Sketch, 2022 COURTESY: Moritz Waldemeyer & Sketch

Moritz Waldemeyer, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ at Sketch, 2022
COURTESY: Moritz Waldemeyer & Sketch

‘Swivel’, St Giles Square, W1
Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis has created a large-scale public seating scheme in this busy thoroughfare. Each of the 10 gently rotating chairs is crafted from a selection of travertines, quartzites and marbles chosen for their unique colours and patterns. “I wanted to respond to the space by injecting a bit of colour and fun into this urban environment,” Marcelis explains. “Being an interactive piece, it welcomes audiences to decide how they would like to experience the space. It could encourage strangers to interact with each other, friends to sit together or even allow people to create a moment of pause for themselves.”

Sabine Marcelis, ‘Swivel’, 2022 COURTESY: Sabine Marcelis

Sabine Marcelis, ‘Swivel’, 2022
COURTESY: Sabine Marcelis

The Wonder Room, Atelier Achille Salvagni, 1a Grafton St, W1
Italian designer Achille Salvagni is turning his Mayfair atelier into a ‘Wonder Room’, the highlight of which will be a pair of Tutankhamun chairs. The result of Salvagni’s first ever collaboration with interior and textile designer Toyine Sellers, these elegant bronze chairs have been upholstered in a wonderfully tactile fusion of raffia, wool boucle and leather. Eight more pieces are promised for the autumn.

Achille Salvagni, ‘Tutankhamun’ chair, 2020 COURTESY: Achille Salvagni

Achille Salvagni, ‘Tutankhamun’ chair, 2020
COURTESY: Achille Salvagni

SOUTH
Material Matters 2022, Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf, SE1
Making its debut in the Bankside District, Material Matters 2022, like the critically-acclaimed podcast it has sprung from, is a celebration of the importance of materials and their ability to shape our lives. Over 40 world-leading brands, designers, makers and organisations will be exhibiting, including London based architectural design studio OZRUH, who continue to push the limits of sand 3D printing with their second ‘PRIMITIVES’ collection.

OZRUH, ‘SECOND’ of the PRIMITIVES[2] series, 2022 COURTESY: OZRUH

OZRUH, ‘SECOND’ of the PRIMITIVES[2] series, 2022
COURTESY: OZRUH

Like its predecessor (which will also be on show), ‘PRIMITIVES[2]’ is an architectural system of puzzle-like sand bricks combining earthly haptic qualities with high tech. Currently at the prototype stage, Director Levent Ozruh envisions ‘P2’ becoming both a collection of ready-made architecture scale objects and a modular system tailor-made for individual clients.

OZRUH, ‘TWO POINT ONE’ or the PRIMITIVES[1] series, 2022 COURTESY: OZRUH

OZRUH, ‘TWO POINT ONE’ of the PRIMITIVES[1] series, 2022
COURTESY: OZRUH

Design London, Magazine London, Greenwich Peninsular SE10
Running within LDF from 21st-24th September, Design London is a curated showcase of cutting-edge international brands, but there are some fine examples of collectible design here too. Making their UK debut are Thai brass casting specialists MASAYA who use lost wax techniques to create intricate, unique designs. Their latest ‘Ink’ collection of delicate, intertwining side tables, chair and bench is inspired by the rhythm and flow of Chinese calligraphy.

MASAYA, ‘Ink’ side tables, 2021 COURTESY: MASAYA

MASAYA, ‘Ink’ side tables, 2021
COURTESY: MASAYA

In vivid, geometric contrast, British designer Paul Kelley will be presenting a new iteration of his best-selling magnetic modular ‘Re-make, Re-model, Re-imagine Cubes’, made using Memphis-inspired surfaces from Abet Laminati (the original surface suppliers to the Memphis Design Group) in a bold, post-modern palette of surface colours and patterns. Also on show will be a series of new camouflage ‘Tall’ and ‘Lowboy’ storage pieces, finished with fluorescent interiors and edging.

Paul Kelley, ‘Cubes’, 2022 COURTESY: Paul Kelley

Paul Kelley, ‘Cubes’, 2022
COURTESY: Paul Kelley

EAST
‘The Gathering Hand’, GRAS at Blue Mountain School, 9 Chance St, E2
‘The Gathering Hand’ is the first product collection from Edinburgh-based architecture and design studio GRAS. Comprising smoked oak and scorched cork tables, crackled glass vessels and sandblasted Portland stone objects, the forms are deliberately simple to both celebrate the innate qualities and textures of each material and showcase the skills of the specialist makers and manufacturers GRAS collaborated with.

GRAS, ‘Carpenter’s Low Table’, 2022 COURTESY: GRAS

GRAS, ‘Carpenter’s Low Table’, 2022
COURTESY: GRAS

WEST
Material Experiments, Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, London SW7
This year, the V&A, a long-standing Festival Hub, will host an extraordinary collection of specially commissioned installations and displays centred on the theme of transformation. Canadian multidisciplinary artist Omer Arbel’s presentation, ‘Material Experiments’, turns the John Madejski Garden into an immersive glass blowing studio which, over the nine days of the Festival, will see copper and glass flea market finds returned to their raw materials and used to create a new series of iridescent, fragile glass sculptures collectively titled ‘113’. Each piece will be signed, numbered and available for sale, along with three Polaroids documenting the making process.

Omer Arbel, ‘Material Experiments 113’ at the V&A COURTESY: Omer Arbel & V&A

Omer Arbel, ‘Material Experiments 113’ at the V&A
COURTESY: Omer Arbel & V&A

R for Repair: London x Singapore, Victoria & Albert Museum
Continuing the theme of transformation, this exhibition – co-curated by Hans Tan Studio in Singapore and London’s Jane Withers Studio – celebrates the possibilities of repair as a creative process that can both preserve meaning and breathe new life into our possessions.

R for Repair 2022, ‘Maxim’s Plate’ COURTESY: R for Repair 2022 & V&A

R for Repair 2022, ‘Maxim’s Plate’
COURTESY: R for Repair 2022 & V&A

As with the first iteration in Singapore last year, members of the public were invited to submit broken objects and to share the stories that gave them meaning. Ten of them were chosen and passed on to 10 different designers, including Singapore-based STUDIODAM and British design duo Studiomama, for imaginative repair. The repaired objects range from a cracked tea saucer smuggled out of Maxim’s restaurant in Paris by Jane Birkin in the 1970s, to a set of doll’s house furniture and a wooden puffin.

R for Repair 2022, ‘Graham’s Secrets the Puffin’, repurposed by Ng Si Yung COURTESY: R for Repair 2022 & V&A / © Zuketa Film Production

R for Repair 2022, ‘Graham’s Secrets the Puffin’, repurposed by Ng Si Yung
COURTESY: R for Repair 2022 & V&A / © Zuketa Film Production

London Design Festival
@l_d_f_official

Joseph Walsh, ‘Gestures’ at Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1.
17th-29th September 2022.
‘Gestures Sculptural Bench’, ash and ebonised finish by Joseph Walsh. POA

‘Hand in Hand: Making in the Modern Age’, The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley St, London W1
17th– 27th September 2022.
‘Cutting Corners’, 2022 is available as an edition of 18, £8,587
‘Rambling Bowl’, Verdigris brass, 2022 by Ane Christensen, £2,280

‘Through the Looking Glass’, Sketch, 9 Conduit St, W1
Through the Looking Glass Chandelier’, LEDs and magnifying glass by Moritz Waldemeyer, from £4,700 for a 5-piece chandelier. 

The Wonder Room, Atelier Achille Salvagni, 1a Grafton St, W1
Achille Salvagni, ‘Tutankhamun chairs’, bronze, upholstered with INDI OR Cinq Cent Quatre-Vingt by Toyine Sellers, 2022. Edition of 20. POA.

Material Matters 2022, Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London SE1.
22nd-25th September 2022
OZRUH, ‘TWO POINT ONE ‘of ‘PRIMITIVES [1]’ . POA
OZRUH, ‘SECOND’ of the PRIMITIVES[2] series, 2022. POA.

Design London, Magazine London, Greenwich Peninsular SE10
21st-24th September 2022
MASAYA, set of ‘Ink’ side tables, approx. £1,155.
Paul Kelley, ‘Re-make, Re-model, Re-imagine Cubes’, £5,000 for a set of 20. Limited edition of 40 sets per colourway. They can also be seen and purchased from Paul Smith, 9 Albemarle St, W1

‘The Gathering Hand’, GRAS at Blue Mountain School, 9 Chance St, E2
17th-25th September 2022
‘Carpenter’s Tables’, smoked oak and hand-textured cork by Studio Corkinho, and Namon Gaston for GRAS. Dining table £12,000; Low Table, £6,000; Side table £3,000.

Material Experiments, Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, London SW7
17th – 25thSeptember 2022
Omer Arbel, ‘113 Vessels’, copper alloy and glass. POA

R for Repair: London x Singapore, Victoria & Albert Museum
17th September- 2nd November 2022

 

 

Article by Charlotte Abrahams
Article by Charlotte Abrahams
Charlotte Abrahams is a writer and curator specialising in design and the applied arts. She trained at Central St Martin’s and since then has written regularly for the national and international press. Her latest book, Love Pattern & Colour (Frances Lincoln) is out now. View all articles by Charlotte Abrahams