Now in its 14th year, the London Design Festival has really come into its own. Concurrently running across dozens of locations across the capital - from 100% design at Olympia to the Brixton Design Trail – and including hundreds of exhibitions and installations to immerse one in, the showcase provided the perfect opportunity to explore the newest in craft, creativity and design.
As the festival hub, the week kicked off with a launch party at the Victoria & Albert Museum. “It was the highlight of the week to be able to mingle with the London design crowd at this event held within the museum itself,” says Ross Urwin, co-founder and Creative Director of Hong Kong-based design agency Infrastructure. “It’s such an amazing backdrop as a venue and its one of those rare opportunities to catch up with designers, artists and curators.”
Contemporary craft and upcycled furniture designer Nic Parnell is one to watch, and this season he showcased the Strata collection of tables, inspired by the folds and erosion in rock formations, to create unique abstract patterns. Furniture designer Russell Pinch also unveiled sofas upholstered in Martyn Thompson’s paint and drip prints.
Designjunction, held at Granary Square in King’s Cross which is a rising emerging hub in the city, showcased some of Europe’s established and up and coming names. It was here that Bethan Gray introduced her new Shamsian collection, a collaboration with Iranian artist Mohamad Reza Shamsian. The remarkable series merges traditional craft with modern, elegant and contemporary design.
These designers speak of a renewed focus on ‘crafted’ design. “Brands are working with techniques and manufacturing processes to create beautiful well made product,” says Urwin. “There were a large number of Danish and Swedish brands on show and what I love about what these guys do, is how they incorporate the incredible quality of heritage skills and merge it with innovation to create stunning modern pieces.”