My recent trip to London and London Design Fair was as usual over in a flash! There’s so much to see and with limited amount of time, you have to be very selective.
What left most of an impression with me was all the smaller independent brands who had an emphasis on handmade, eco friendly and sustainable design. I felt like there was a real shift and a lot of brands, are now changing their ways of thinking. It’s more about the story and the idea behind the product, than just having the latest thing. It might be a little more expensive to create items this way, but the result is a lot better and of course the environmental impact a lot less. It would be nice to see more larger brands thinking along these lines too.
LONDON DESIGN FAIR
The indoor garden space, LAND was a collaboration that left a big impact. An unusual installation and it’s one that will stay with me. Beautiful textiles and plants, but not only that there was a special scent too. It was a great collaboration for us all to sit down and take some time out, draw, breathe and enjoy nature. The collaboration was between Laura Slater and The Plant Room, and I have never seen anything like it. We definitely need more spaces like this one!
One stand in particular was very interesting. Having had a conversation with designer Roland Pieter Smit from Studio Ro Smit and understanding his mission it all made perfect sense. He has a clear mission to put needs, desires and human well being at the centre of everything he does.
“People with a mental or physical impairment in particular create the products, where the process reflects the psychological and physical capability of the creators. The platform makes the creator visible and offers them self-esteem.” – Roland Pieter Smit
The RO SMIT product and colours are beautiful. The blankets are made by Dutch wool, which was a bi product that Roland wanted to make use of. He was telling me that he joined the „Maartenhuis”, a social work community for people with disabilities on the island of Texel. He discovered that everyone in the community has their own talent: people with autism work very sophisticated and well with thin threads. People with Down syndrome are more in skilled with thick threads, because they enjoy fast results. Fascinated by their unique personal skills, Roland recognised the potential in each member of the community. So inspiring!
Maria Sigma‘s – zero waste design was simply stunning. Woven textiles, made in London using natural British wool. Her work is beautiful. You can see more here.
“My approach to design is based on the idea of creating beautiful functional textiles and objects through ‘zero waste’ design and craftsmanship by re-interpreting traditional craft techniques in a lively and contemporary way.”– Maria Sigma
With a focus on designing and making furniture that is beautifully crafted and environmental responsible, Andy King was telling me all about his designs. I think his work is stunning. It’s the attention to detail I like the most. Have a look at that wonderful flat packed stool! Wouldn’t that be a great thing to receive in the mail?
A huge appreciation to all the brands who bought real plants to their stands! It made the experience to much more enjoyable! Who needs plastic plants anyway… (hate them!)
There’s of course no way I would do this roundup without ceramics!
Pottery West caught my eye straight away. The ceramics are made by Catherine and Matt West, based in Sheffield. Their work is beautiful. I would love to drink hot tea from one of those gorgeous cups. That teapot though, it’s a keeper!
Chatting to Nienke was really interesting. I love Nienke’s work and I learned all about how she avoids waste in the casting process. All objects are slip-casted by hand in Nienke’s studio in Eindhoven. She actually had to built her own machine to be able to make this happen. Impressive!
And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s my appreciation of the Old Truman Brewery. It’s such a great building and I will treasure the fact it has been kept so original forever. I always look forward to seeing it! Bring on the next London Design Fair!