Originally conceived as a smaller cluster of fairs, the festival now encompasses a
total of 400 events spread throughout Clerkenwell, Islington, Shoreditch Design
Triangle, Bankside, Chelsea, Brompton, and Brixton, the newest area on the
design map. Historic landmarks including the Victoria & Albert Museum, which
functioned as the festival’s unofficial hub, hosted site-specific projects including Mathieu Lehanneur’s “Liquid Marble,” “Foil” by Benjamin Hubert of Layer,
and Glithero’s “The Green Room.” Across town at Sir John Soane’s Museum, an
exhibition titled “Below Stairs” celebrated the Georgian home’s newly restored
Regency kitchen while featuring works by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Jasper
Morrison, Martino Gamper, and Paul Cocksedge, all emphasizing culinary life.
The latest iteration of Design Junction, another burgeoning fair relocated to
Central Saint Martin’s Granary Square, has been incorporated into the
re-envisioned area of King’s Cross. Across town in Central London, the Old
Truman Brewery was teeming with British manufacturers in what was formerly
Tent London, a smaller fair which launched 10 years ago. It is now re-branded as
The London Design Fair, a four-day industry event gathering 500 exhibitors including
independent designers and international pavilions like 100% Norway, while highlighting
the country’s output of modern British art, design, and crafts.
At Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Focus/16 highlighted the building’s top
interior showrooms while Decorex International, located in the outskirts in bucolic
Syon Park, is the U.K.’s premier interior design show, now in its 39th year. More
than 400 exhibitors featured new collections of fabrics and furniture that appeal to
the professional decorator and design trade as well. Smaller presentations show-
casing contemporary craft included Future Heritage and The New Craftsmen, also
demonstrating maker skills at Burberry Makers House exhibition in town.
The Brompton Design District celebrated a decade of design, highlighting exhibitions
while offering up cocktails concocted by designers; Martino Gamper’s “Gingerini,” for
example, was a mixture of ginger root, strawberries, champagne, and ice.
Sixties-inspired textiles, including painterly and abstract expressionist patterns, were
some of the trends spotted in showrooms with wallpaper taking centerstage. British-born photographer-turned-textile-designer Martyn Thompson showcased Rock Pool,
his newest collection of water-inspired motifs woven in cotton on a jacquard loom.
And while the fairs offered something for every taste, several independent exhibitors stood out. In Shoreditch, local designers including Lee Broom at Electra House
had the public lining up to see Opticality, while Dutch transplant Tord Boontje curated
Electro Craft, presenting 30 kinetic works outlining the connection between technology
and the creative’s fascination with craft. Around the corner, Sheridan Coakley, owner
of SCP, a veteran British furnishings manufacturer and retailer, presented a mix of U.K.
designers and Mexican craft alongside work by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek.
Read on for more highlights from the fairs and news around London town.
interiorsandsources.com november2016 interiors+sources 25
Blackpop, a new independent producer of wallpaper, fabrics, and furnishings, uses
digital technology to produce its range of textiles specified for commercial and residential
projects. Artist Maxine Hall launched the brand in 2013, and her newest collection
Homage is inspired by the Abstract Expressionist art movement of the 1940s and 50s.
Selections include Vanguard wallpaper and Vanguard Vibe velvet fabric (shown).
PHO TOGRAPH COUR TESY OF BLACKPOP
Retailer David Alhadeff represents
the British furniture company
Pinch—created by the husband and
wife team Russell Pinch and Oona
Bannon—at his store Future Perfect
in New York. The two parties continue
to collaborate and have now
brought Martyn Thompson Studio’s
Accidental Expressionist Collection
of fabrics into the mix. Thompson’s
fabrics can now be specified on
Pinch’s newest pieces, the Pendel
Sofa and Leta Chaise.
PHO TOGRAPH COURTES Y OF PINCH
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