It was a new kind of challenge to gather design trends at the London Design Festival last week. Due to pandemic offline events were almost non-existing compared to the usual hectic schedule. But, those few design locations felt even more special. Here is a summary of my findings.
IImage: Graffic art by Camille Walala, Rich Mix building during London Design Festival
The main themes at the Design Festival were the same ones you can find pretty much anywhere in the world at the moment: Wellbeing, Nature & Sustainability.
The big winner benefiting from the home centered pandemic nesting lifestyle is craft. It combines the three main themes (Wellbeing, Nature & Sustainability) in a perfect way. Consumer interest in craft has been growing for many years. Now, craft is appearing in both luxury and mainstream categories in growing variety of ways including new materials and craftmanship technique developments.
- Favourite exhibition last week was by The New Craftsmen.
Each interior designer had created a concept and chose key pieces from new collections to present their design story at the exhibition. As craft objects are sensorial they need to be seen in a real setting offline. Online viewing of imagery does really not give the same experience.This exhibition was a reminder how emotive a well put together great exhibition can be.
- Theme Nature
Pandemic has highlighted our need to have a close connection to nature for health reasons. Another reason is practicality. Social distancing and need for fresh air guided many events during Desing Festival.
Life is expanding to streets in many parts of London at the moment. During the Design Festival in King’s Cross area Planted Unplugged’s green studio was created by living wall specialists Biotecture Ltd, featuring new sustainable vertical planter, PlantBox, covered in a variety of plants.
Any outdoor space has been put in a good use during pandemic revealing new opportunity areas for design products.
Images taken in MatchesFashion townhouse, Tom Dixon Shop, Cassina, SCP Ltd and Peter Marigold with Graduates London Metropolitan University.
- Theme Wellbeing
Cosy comfort is the leading the direction of furniture design. Soft edges, fluffy materials, mood enhancing light are all creating a safety barrier against harsh realities of restricted pandemic life in the city.
Images taken in B&B Italia, Tala studios, SCP Ltd, Tom Dixon Shop and Mint Store.
- Theme Sustainability
Circular economy is still in the distant future, but recycled and waste materials are found more and more embedded in the manufacturing and making processes.
London has been known for speedy demolition instead of fixing old buildings. Is this trend finally starting to turn?
London design company Pearson Lloyd have repurposed a series of Hackney workshops that once housed a plethora of makers into their new studio, workshop, archive and gallery. They have very carefully restored old buildings and built a new extension fitting to the neighbourhood of two hundred years history in workshops across the borough.
Let’s hope this was a one off reduced festival, and full program will be back 2021. Already looking forward to it!