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Draisci Studio at Mipim

Draisci studio

We are so pleased to hear that our good friends at Drasici Studio have designed The Royal Institute of British Architects’ ‘RIBA MIPIM UK Visitor Lounge’.  The temporary structure will stand in place through the duration of MIPIM UK, which will run at London’s Olympia from 21-23 October.

DraisciDrasici are known for their colourful pop ups. At CDW 2015 they worked with Sto Werkstatt to create The Sleeperie- a place for visitors to lay down and rest between their busy meetings.


And in 2012, they created the incredible ‘Spring Forest’ a pop-up in Clerkenwell in conjunction with CDW and Fulton Umbrellas.

Established by Francesco Draisci (DipArch, ARB,RIBA), after years of working experience with Richard Rogers Partnership and Ron Arad among others, the multi-disciplinary practice offers a platform that blurs the boundaries between the practical and the poetic.

For more information click here.


Northern Design Festival

2015 marks the 10th year of Northern Design Event, a festival taking place from the 21-25 October highlighting all things design in the North of England and showing that it’s not just London that’s a hot bed for design talent.

Susi Bellamy

Susi Bellamy

And quite right too when you think that Deadgood, Timorous Beasties and Susi Bellamy all hail from the North as does the famed product design course at Northumbria. With names such as Jonathan Ive amongst their alumni, they’re doing something right.



Deadgood bring their ‘Working Girl’ chair to the show, recently seen at LDF.



With AFID bringing the mid-century modern to the show with this gorgeous cabinet.

Hothouse ceramics

Hothouse ceramics

BLH Ceramics, from their studio from Newcastle, aim to combine traditional craft elements and hand built pieces to demonstrate a range of intricate and tactile surface treatments.

David Irwin

David Irwin

David Irwin’s new sustainable M Lamp, is available in a number of colours.


Taking place at the Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 1SG, tickets can be bought here.


Makers of East London

We were so excited to receive this stunning book with text by our great friend Katie Treggiden & photographs by Charlotte Schreiber.  Published by Hoxton Mini Press (, this gorgeous tome, outlines the history of one of London’s greatest craft centres, from those on the ground.

hoxton mini press

The book opens with a comprehensive introduction of East London, highlighting its importance as a hub of creativity for hundreds of years “That ‘part’, to the east of the centre… now the creative powerhouse of the capital.”

Hoxton mini press

Bellerby and Co. – Globemakers

There’s something heartening and comforting knowing that someone, not far from where I sit now, is making a globe. A beautiful and bespoke globe; something I had no idea would possibly still be made by hand- let alone running a thriving business.

hoxton mini press

Freed of London pointe shoes

Then there’s the ballet shoes, the pointe shoes that were revolutionised by Frederick Freed in 1929 and have continued to be made by hand in the Well Street factory in Hackney, since.

Hoxton Mini Press

New North Press- Letterpressing

Letter pressing, an art that has been around for centuries, is time-consuming, but there is nothing quite like it for beauty. Graham Bignell established his studio New North press 30 years ago and is seeing to it that this art-form doesn’t die off.

hoxton mini press

Rob Court- Neon signs

Then there’s those crafts that you almost forget are crafts, like the making/ blowing of neon signs. Rob Court has been blowing bulbs for neon signs for nearly 30 years and names celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey amongst his clients.

hoxton mini press

Barn the Spoon- spoonmaker

Sitting on the number 48 or 55 bus, you can’t help but see Barnaby Carder in his glass-fronted studio on the Hackney Road, whittling away at wood, creating his wonderfully unique spoons. It’s this image of modern life looking in on the traditional, that perhaps highlights what’s especially important about this book and indeed what it does so well. More and more people are starting to crave the simple life; a time where you bought something well-made just once… and that was it. Makers of East London brings these important characters together in one book and in one part of the city.

It is possible to live simply and enjoy it.

Find out more about this book and many more here.

Muuto Restore basket….and more

The Restore basket is one of the most cherished members of our household here at Despoke. Full of old newspapers, magazines, fitness DVD’s (that never get used) whatever it contains, it still looks good. We are therefore delighted to see Restore is back in 2 new shapes- round and tray.


Perfect for your files, paperwork and maybe even for a sneaky cuppa, the tray can be moved about and shoved onto bookshelves without things looking a mess.


The round option too, is perfect for all the many random goods the modern household seems to contain- boots, umbrellas, old Easter eggs….(just us maybe?) We thought we would celebrate some of Muuto’s other gorgeous goods with some of our faves below.


The Cover Chair

There’s something about Kvvadrat material on simple wood that makes us very happy and the Cover chair ticks all those boxes-  made from all wood and no metal.


The Five pouff

We are always harping on about the Five Pouff chair, maybe it’s just because we love the colour-ways. Or we like to imagine our house looks like the above. Anyway,  pouf explores the possibility and tension of the pentagon shape. The design process was very much about tailoring; the quilted ribs are seemingly wrapped around the shape and enhance the dynamics of the pentagon.


The Grain Lamp

There is something so pleasingly simple about the shape of Muuto’s Grain lamp launched earlier this year and already featured on Despoke. The natural flow of its shape and the fact that is made from Bamboo give it good green credentials too.

To see more, head here.

Tiipoi get colourful

This year during London Design Festival 2015, London based design studio and accessories brand Tiipoi launched new collections infused with colour, including powder-coated tableware and their first collection of handwoven rugs and cushions.


We first spotted the London based design studio at Design Junction 2014 and then again at Clerkenwell Design Week 2015.


Tiipoi invited long term collaborator Foxall Studio to take over their stand at Design Junction during London Design Festival with remote controlled smoke and colour, as part of Tiipoi’s new colour collections – to convey a type of unabashed excitement unique to India. The interactive installation allowed people to control coloured smoke on screens through a suspended remote.


JAMA-KHAN Collection

Tiipoi’s first collection of textiles includes handwoven rugs and cushions in 100% cotton, dyed in organic dyes inspired by the tradition of ‘Jamakhan’ or ‘Jamakalam’ weaving in Erode – the textile centre of Southern India. Historically, the patterns of these floor coverings from the region have been a series of horizontal lines in stark colours that created strong optical patterns.


AYASA colour range, featuring the popular AYASA container originally made in copper and brass; now in powder coated aluminium.

The new collections include a range of powder coated tableware. Made by a process known as metal spinning, each container is manually spun by a specialist on a traditional spinning machine, hand finished and then powder coated.

For more information click here.



Bookcases from Poltrona Frau

We’re pretty mad on books at Despoke. Living in a small London flat however, means our books are in piles around the bed- making perfect small tables for glasses of wine and water. If we did find ourselves with a massive abode suddenly thrust upon us, we’re pretty sure we would want something like Poltrona Frau’s Albero.

poltrona frau

After the huge success of the re-release of the freestanding Albero bookcase, a little-known yet very fascinating and masterful piece created by Gianfranco Frattini in the late 1950s, Poltrona Frau is launching the Albero Limited Edition in olive wood.


Who can spot the mini armchair? Given the English weather’s preference for rain, this might not be so practical, but when we finally own an olive grove, this will be making an appearance….


From the same parent company comes the gorgeous Drop bookcase- almost Scandi in its minimalism, but with the Italian fun found in the precarious cube on top. Nendo-designed, he used his native Japan as a colour-way- the grey of the brooks and the pink of the cherry blossom.


For more information on both styles, head here for Cappellini and here for Poltrona Frau.


Mid-century in Haggerston

We went to Mid-century Show East yesterday and enjoyed an array of mid-century design pieces that, sadly we could only covet after (prices were eye-wateringly expensive.) Chairs were a real standout at the show, with original Eames glass-fibre moulds.

modern shows

A great deal of the furniture had been lovingly restored, which somewhat made up for the hefty price tags.

modern shows

Strong traditional colours and graphic prints had been used on fabric chairs.


2 stunning 1950’s original Knoll chairs.

modern shows

A gorgeous wooden piece sat in a prime window position.

modern shows

This light caught our eye. An unusual piece in a colour that would complement any scheme without dominating.  The mushroom-like shape was very pleasing.


In fact colourful lights were another recurring feature.

With Columbia Road flower market only streets away, there were stunning small room sets across the show.


On the Hackney Road an advert for new housing reflected the area’s interest in design perfectly!

For more information on Modern Shows, head here.


Artek’s 80th Birthday


Yesterday we celebrated Artek’s 80th birthday in the Vitra showrrom, Clerkenwwll. Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Today Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, creating new paths at the intersection of design, architecture and art.


Here are just a few of the pieces from the Kaari collection by the Bourroullec brothers for the brand.


The brothers wanted to create a collection that was unique and functional as well as a table network that could be multi-functional- unusual for a table, unlike it’s close cousin the chair! Wood and steel have been used to keep the pieces as simple as possible. The ‘kaari’ collection is comprised of rectangular and round tables in two sizes each, in addition to a desk, a wall console, small round shelf and larger wall-mounted shelving.


Artek presents Alvar Aalto’s iconic Tea Trolley 901 reinterpreted by Dutch designer and colour expert Hella Jongerius. Get planning a cocktail evening to enjoy these iconic designs. For more information click here.

DSIGNIO for Beltà

Despoke loves this new puzzle-like table from Spanish brand DSIGNIO.


Pent is the new table designed for Beltà. A modular system consisting of a pentagonal piece that can be used again and again, creating countless compositions, it’s a playful piece of furniture for the office. It is a kind of puzzle to play with, looking for the result that best suits your needs.


The finish of the pieces in natural ash provides warmth and, due to the way the modules can move about, a kind of timeless design is achieved. You can also create more fun compositions using lacquer ware in different colours.


For more information head to

Driade top picks

Italian powerhouse Driade have sent us over some of their latest work and it’s amazing. Working with some of the world’s top designers including Nendo and Konstantin Grcic, we were lucky enough to see new creative director David Chipperfield speak a few weeks ago. Below we have picked some of our top products. To see more, head to the Driade website.


Nendo- Astrology- Clock in Clock


Gear by Philippe Bestenheider

Oyster by Marco Zanuso Jr.

Oyster by Marco Zanuso Jr.

Root by Giorgio Bonaguro

Root by Giorgio Bonaguro

Zigzag by Konstantin Grcic, driade

Zigzag by Konstantin Grcic

Archipelago by Fredrikson Stallard, driade

Archipelago by Fredrikson Stallard

Meridiana by Christophe Pillet, driade

Meridiana by Christophe Pillet

Arlo and Jacob- stunning lounge furniture

Arlo & Jacob are a family run business, recently launched into the UK market. A website and showroom to source designer sofas, armchairs and accessories.

arlo and jacob

We are particular fans of this gorgeous Emilia Cocktail Chair which screams Mad Men and comes in a range of fabrics that you can pick online or in store.

arlo and jacob

They have worked with a range of in house and known designers including Daniel Heath who created this circus inspired cushion, featured Living etc and Good Homes magazines amongst many others.

arlo and jacob

The brand promote the idea of affordable yet high quality furniture, and offer lifetime guarantee on their products. This makes their sofas/armchairs stylish, affordable and of superb quality- if they look like the above…..that’s fine by us. 

They created an infographic showcasing what country’s inspire their pieces and why. See London and Paris below:

Interior Design Infographic copy

Visit them at their showroom:  Melbray House, Melbray Mews, London, SW6 3NS

Subject Matter Art

Subject matter Art,, photographic specialists,  will be launching  a small open edition prints section over the next few weeks, selling 10 different prints (30cm x 40cm and 30cm x 30cm) for around £85. The prints will be from their existing collection and a few new ones.

jeff Claes

KM 67, Jeff Claes

Subject Matter Art supplies for art for everyone. Their ethos and their aim is to make the art buying process an easy and enjoyable one and they are very keen to offer a variety of different price points as well as sell art from both up-and-coming artists as well as well-established artists.

philip miller

NY Taxi, Philip Miller

subject-matter3Aqueous Fluoreau, Mark Mawson

Subject Matter Art firmly believe that all artists should be paid fairly for their work and as part of the fairness and transparency policy, the profits for all pieces sold are shared 50/50 with the artists and their prices include framing and shipping so that there are no hidden costs for the buyer.


Brazil sea of Dunes, Daniel Stanford

They are currently hosting an exhibition at the lovely furniture showroom NOR11 in Mayfair, running until October 22nd.

La Chance at Design Junction

One of the stands that caught our eye this LDF was La Chance’s  at Design Junction. The brand picks only the best new designers to showcase and their website is pretty stunning too. Here are a few of our top pics. borghese, lawrance

Borghese by Noé Duchaufour Lawrance


Bolt by Note Design Studio


Iconic by Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova


Float by Luca Nichetto


Magnum by Pierre Favresse


Apollo by Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova

Hem at LDF

Online furniture and design brand Hem, launched Luca Nichetto’s Alphabeta lamp at Somerset house and opened up it’s new pop up shop this LDF.

hem, alphabeta

Alphabeta is the world’s first digitally-customisable pendant lamp with more than 10 billion possible combinations. The Alphabeta shades come in eight different shapes of interchangeable top and bottom shades, each available in its own colour, as well as in black and in white. This creates a total of 24 available shades, and thus billions of possible combinations when four pendants are combined (as above). The shades are crafted from steel and spun by hand in a factory near Venice, Italy, resulting in a pristine finish. The pendants adapt to a bi-directional lighting source that brightens spaces above and below the lamp.

hem, alphabeta

Just like combining letters of the alphabet to create words, or combining notes to make music, the Alphabeta lamps reflect a playful functionality. To bring the collaboration to life, Hem and Luca Nichetto created an immersive and interactive environment as part of the ‘Ten Designers in the West Wing’ exhibition in London’s Somerset House, now over.

hem, pop up store

POP UP SHOP. You may have missed Hem at LDF, but their pop-up shop will be in Seven Dials Covent Garden for the next 5 months. The store will feature customisable furniture and innovative design accessories showcased in room set displays; and interactive customisation technology allowing visitors to design ‘their own’ versions of Hem’s exclusive products.

hem, pop up store

This autumn’s launches include a palette of products in solid woods, metals, soft earth and nature tones for sofas and chairs, smoked glass and corks by an incredible roster of international designers such as Nendo, design studio Form Us With Love, Sylvain Willenz, Max Lamb, GamFratesi, Gemma Holt and Staffan Holm amongst others.



Clark Pickett at Moroso

Friday evening saw the last of the hugely successful Design Aperitivo talks in conjunction with Interni Magazine and Salone del Mobile.

moroso, chair

Taking place in the basement of the stunning Moroso showroom in Clerkenwell, the final talk saw Clark Pickett, architect and interior designer from global design powerhouse NBBJ. Known for the design of environments that are functional, imaginative and meaningful, Pickett titled his talk ‘beauty in the time of the machine’.

clark pickett

26/09/15 Picture by Ashley Bingham. Picture taken at the Interni event at Moroso, London.

A passionate and enjoyable speaker, Pickett explained how important data, analytics and being able to read the behaviour of people has become to creating and designing buildings. Indeed, physical spaces can become like networks themselves. He stressed however the importance of making sure humans have the final say:

‘Algorithms should never make decisions, only provide information and solutions.’

samsung headquarters, nbbj

NBBJ, (with their new Samsung headquarters under construction in Silicon Valley, above) bring to the table a sense of community in addition to vast knowledge of technology and how it can help create a communal and well-used space. Worryingly, he stated that ‘every day humans create as much information and data as we did from the beginning of time until 2003.’ Yet, does this need to be as terrifying as it sounds? Could we not embrace this technology and use it to make informed decisions about the way humans behave- especially within work environments?

bill gates foundation

What’s perhaps most interesting is the way NBBJ use algorithms to allow people’s working day to be a lot more enjoyable. Pickett spoke about placing toilets further way from desks so workers walked a lot further, but food and drink closer, encouraging people to dwell together and talk. NBBJ believe that chance encounters create innovation.

grange insurance, nbbj

The landscape of a building is also something that NBBJ take great care to get right. Using rapid prototyping that they have worked to develop, they are able to prove that workers efficiency will increase if the natural environment they are working in is peaceful.


26/09/15 Picture by Ashley Bingham. Picture taken at the Interni event at Moroso, London.

Top tips from Pickett and NBBJ:

NBBJ have drawing classes- the rise of technology and rapid prototyping shouldn’t mean that architects and designers lose this talent.

They often design furniture for the spaces they create, thus making an overall theme complete- as in the case of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

INTERNI Design Aperitivo ran across 5 nights between 19 and 25 September for London Design Festival 2015, with Salone del Mobile, Milano

To read more on the INTERNI programme click here



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