With a continued sense of doom and gloom hanging over the world we need a shot of colour to lift the mood. I’m not advocating a riot of colour (best not to encourage that kind of behaviour especially here in London! shhh! nobody mention the riots….) What we can do is introduce a kaleidoscopic piece that add an instant hit of happiness.
Sonya Winner’s After Matisse rug is inspired by the paper cut outs of the painter. Blocks of colour are overlapped like floating pieces in a kaleidoscope; the thick New Zealand wool pile is hand carved to give variations in depth. Its a beautiful piece that I had the chance to stroke at Super Design so I can personally vouch for its vibrancy and soft touch. You can also read an interview with Sonya on Pop Art Rock Girls blog
Plaid Bench by Raw Edges for Dilmos
“Each of the designs can stand alone however, Raw Edges has made the three benches in such a way that they interlock into one another horizontally and vertically, creating a large rectangular platform forming a vibrant plaid pattern.”
Boca do Lobo’s Pixel Cabinet features 1088 individual triangles of lacquered wood. The pieces have been overlay ed with gold and silver leaf and translucent lacquer applied to give the cabinet a lustrous shimmering finish.
Bashko Trybek’s Color Wheel Clock “A Color Wheel clock provides a new perspective on the way of communicating time. This idea refers to the Sun — the first, primtive clock in nature, reflecting the passing of time. The Sun emits light, a spectrum of colours visible while going through a prism. This phenomena was an inspiration for designing the face of the clock. Reading the time from the color wheel clock is simple: red stands for noon, the wheels from biggest to smallest stand, respectively, for hours, minutes and seconds.” I found it a bit tricky to read at first but pop back to his webistie and you’ll see an online real time version.
Bright vibrant colours have also been used in a couple of Hotel refits that have opened up this year. In Paris Matali Crasset has designed the interior for Hi Matic
The hotel contains 42 flexible cabins that allow the visitor to use the space as a home from home. With 100% internet access a memory foam bed that serves a sofa during the day the cabin is designed to change with with your needs througout the day. Each cabin features bright panels of colour with translucent panels allowing the light to filter through.
In Barcelona the Hotel Mimic aims to further enhance your mood with a shot of colour. As designer Xavier Claramunt says “Colours provide a dose of optimism: vibrant colours are capable of lifting the morale as a palette of dull greys is to make it sink. Colours will not raise the economy but they can brighten your mood”
I went to quite a few talks at this years London Design Festival. Its a great way to catch some fascinating insights into the design process directly from the designer and; if you’re brave enough, ask a question or two!
The V&A ran breakfast talks at the Sackler Centre and the first talk of the festival for me was Kiki van Eijke and Joost van Bleiswijk interviewed by Surface Magazine. The talk covered their careers to date from the graduation and early Milan shows up to their new textile collection for Bernhardt Design,which was launched at the festival.
Despite their close connection and showing their work together they sketch out ideas independently before discussing and developing projects. Kiki talking about a room divider and chair shown in Milan a couple of years back. “A lot of people think that the construction, the metal part is Joost’s design but its not; I was drawing it. Its just… I think somehow superficial that people think “oh its metal it must be Joost” but it doesn’t work like that’ Joost “We always see the same films, we have same books I think you can see a sort of wave across the things that we do, it has the same feel “
For the Bernhardt project Joost explained that the project was initially given a working title of “Fun Fight with Fabric” reflecting the conflicting opinions that went into this collaboration.
Joost wasn’t really used to doing patterns so he escaped from the computer making structures from pieces of metal or wood and Kiki would add on to the piece either with stitching or on the computer to develop the designs. I really liked the playful “Fun Fight with Fabric” title and how it describes the process; but from a commercial stand point Workshop best conveys the actual outcome.
The sofa was initally made from themselves but became a part of the project when it became clear it was a great way to show the breath of the collection they had created. “We liked the fact you have a number of different textiles on 1 sofa in different colours ….there are 40 textiles, 5 different textures, 8 designs, and they can all be combined.”
It was also interesting to hear about their new studio in Eindhoven and how space can have an influence on what and how they develop products. The huge new studio was originally a Phillips paper factory building and its scale has an impact on how they can design. At 1200sq metres and 11 meters high,the scale allows many different uses in one space, it also acts as a showroom for pieces that are not out on display or haven’t been sold. It suits Kiki’s play on proportion that runs through her work and the industrial architectural feel to Joost’s.
Kiki also revealed a collaboration with Haagen Dazs for a Christmas cake made of ice cream. Its not gone through the final tasting test yet but I can’t wait to see what it will be like – no pictures were seen so I guess we’ll just have to wait for Christmas!
The Victoria & Albert Museum holds an amazing collection of works from across all fields within Design and the Visual Arts; and for the London Design Festival it is showing 12 installations across the site. I had a preview of the pieces yesterday and its certainly a “must visit” on the design trail. If you’re not able to get into London for the Festival here’s a look at some of the pieces on show.
The Cromwell Road entrance has undergone a dramatic transformation with the installation of a 12m diameter timber wave cascading down the steps. Architects AL_A (winner of the V&A’s recent international competition to design a new courtyard and exhibition galleries) collaborated with structural engineers Arup in the creation of Timber Frame, a striking three-dimensional spiral made from oil-treated American Red Oak. This material is usually used in the construction of furniture and its the first time it has been used structurally and on such a large scale. Ultra thin laminates have been glued together and bent to create the tightly curved shapes.
The second dramatic piece is by design duo Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec collaborating with Kvadrat(if you click the link they have a lovely stop animation preview). Textile Field takes over the entire gallery that holds the Raphael Cartoons and gives the visitor an entirely new angle to view Raphael’s work. The gentle undulations of the fabric pieces allow you to lay back and look up at the huge canvases. Its a wonderfully playful piece, the springy foam lets you bounce along as you decide which art work to lie infront of. I’d just love to know how they chose the colour pallette I’d like to think they pulledcolours from the Raphael’s.
Beyond the Valley also created an interactive piece, inviting visitors to try out digital design. The iPad ‘Granimator’ gives you an assortment of patterns and wallpaper designs that you can remix in your own interpretation. You design can then be uploaded on to a website for all to view. Surrounding you in the room are digitally remixed pieces by Beyond the Valley.
The other installations are dotted across the gallery for you to seek out. And I personally like the way they encourage you to hunt down pieces sited next to works in the collection that you may not have noticed before. Its a vast collection and you can be tempted to only go for things you already like; its refreshing to be sent into rooms you might walk past.
New York design gallerist and curatorMurray Moss’s collaboration with Belgium-based Materialise takes you on such a journey. Industrial Revolution 2.0: How the Material World Will Newly Materialise used cutting edge laser and digital technologies to build 3D objects. Angel is a wearable piece that has been placed in a spot that has been unoccupied for years. It references the classical statues that line the stairwell where the empty plinth in sited.
The dress, again wearable, pulls you to a phenomenal rococo fireplace that despite numerous visits I’ve never seen before!
I was lucky enough to chat to Murray after the tour and I’m gutted that I didn’t record everything he said. What I will take with me is the idea that museums can be seen as radical spaces; they contain the cutting edge work of their time. Its a great mind shift, you can all to often look at a museum or gallery as a place for old things but if you shift your thoughts and look at objects as radical and new it gives you a greater insight.
Do have a look at the V&A programe of events they have some great talks and activities going on across the Festival.