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AYASA colour range, featuring the popular AYASA container originally made in copper and brass; now in powder coated aluminium.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

Leading Culture Destinations Awards short list

The shortlist for the prestigious Leading Culture Destinations Awards, including the world’s most visionary museums and cultural institutions, has been announced. London and the UK do well in nearly all of the categories.


Biomuseo, Panama City

The award scheme celebrates the vibrancy and vitality of museums and institutions around the world, which are constantly evolving. Today cultural destinations are not only dedicated to art experiences and education; they have become social hubs for visitors to spend time, dine, shop, work and even sleep.

Guggenheim Museum Bilboa, Spain

Guggenheim Museum Bilboa, Spain

Now in its second year, the scheme has expanded to include ‘Emerging Culture Destinations’ from all over the world, sparking lively debate across creative communities everywhere about the changing role of museums and galleries. The 31-strong ‘Emerging Destinations’ shortlist includes the recently opened Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, and the spectacular Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, China.

Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, China.

Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, China.

The shortlist and winners are carefully selected by the jury from a long list of nominations put together by global Ambassadors, who are drawn from the community of the world’s most influential and travelled creative professionals – all of them cultural nomads, committed to supporting the arts and innovation wherever in the world they might be.

Fondation Louis Vuitton © Iwan Baan 2014 © Gehry partners LLP

Fondation Louis Vuitton © Iwan Baan 2014 © Gehry partners LLP

This year’s shortlist for the ‘Leading Culture Destinations’ Awards includes: LEADING CULTURE DESTINATION – BEST EXHIBITIONS & PROGRAMMING Tate Modern, London (UK) Museum of Modern Art, New York (USA) Victoria & Albert Museum, London (UK) New Museum, New York (USA) Serpentine Gallery, London (UK)

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano


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, www.subjectmatterart.com, 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.




5 minutes with Gilda Bojardi

gilda1Despoke managed to grab 5 minutes with the Italian design influencer and Interni editor, Gilda Bojardi, during LDF and the successful Interni Aperitivo talks.

interniThe Interni website is beautiful as well as easy to navigate. Do you think the design world works better online than in print and if so why?

INTERNI was born 60 years ago as one of the first magazines of architecture and interior design. Over the years it has evolved and updated, living up to its ethos: to inform its readers of everything going on in the world of design. Obviously the website, since the magazine is a monthly publication, is the fast version. An interface that collects content day by day from the world of design and architecture. I think they are both important and complement each other: INTERNI is in fact ‘a system’ that comprises many forms of communication, that need the magazine as much as its online presence. I believe that it is up to our readers to choose which medium they want to read, depending on the need for topical or more detailed information.

interni, patricia urquiola

Photo by Alessandro Paderni/Eye Studio- Patricia Urquiola’s home studio


You have been at the helm of Interni for over 20 years. How has the general public’s attitude to design changed across those decades especially given the rise in online funding campaigns and the resurgence in craft? Does everyone now think they know what good design is and that they can be a designer?

Certainly being able to get online has helped spread a design culture that today is becoming more  widely followed. The return of craftsmanship in this industry is certainly a value, even if Italian design, especially furniture design, has always had an artisanal aspect, in the creation, finishes, choice of materials and quality of workmanship. This was always the added value of the ‘Made in Italy’ stamp. Nevertheless, I do not think that the concept of good design is so widespread. Personally, I do not think that just anyone can become a designer: it takes talent, a good education, and a lot of energy in defending their ideas. It’s not for everyone.


Last year you said that Italy’s design output wasn’t in decline and that ‘Milan is still the capital of design’ (dezeen 19/9/2014). Given that Milan is also considered the capital of fashion, what is it about this city that makes it such a force for creativity? Has it always been this way? 

Furniture design was born in Milan in the immediate post-war period. In those years, some companies were beginning to work with the architects who convinced them to abandon the traditional style of furniture production in favour of contemporary furniture and mass production

Then, Salone del Mobile and FuoriSalone together became a catalyst force for the international creative energies, transforming central Milan into the international capital of both project and design. It has certainly been FuoriSalone who has sanctioned the ‘Milan model’: a format that has grown over the years that INTERNI created and nurtured, making Milan Design Week a unique experience. As for fashion, Milan became one of the international capitals of fashion in the sixties and seventies with the emergence of the ready-to-wear and the arrival in town of designers such as Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferré and Krizia. They invented the Milan fashion that is still appreciated around the world.

These two industries, that sometimes intersect, make the city a unique hotbed of creative proposals and ideas. Today, this focus has further expanded and established itself thanks to the Expo’ – Universal Exhibition in Milan (May 1 to October 31 2015). This extraordinary event, of which INTERNI is also a partner, which has already attracted over 15 million visitors, a tremendous opportunity to spread the culture of Milan around the world.

ron arad, big easy chair

Ron Arad, Big easy Chair, Moroso

London is also considered a creative capital, the world leader some might say. What does London do right and what does it do wrong for designers and creatives? 

London has certainly had and continues to have excellent creatives, and many factors contributes to maintain it like that, in particular the ‘ education factor ‘, stemming from the number and quality of schools in the city, and from an attitude to self-production typical of young professionals just out of school.

The ‘Brit Style’ is a phenomenon now known internationally. However, London doesn’t have the same level of manufacturers and industrial makers in design, and it is not able to provide the same industrial milieu that is present in Milan, and Italy. A great majority of British designers have become acclaimed designers, only after having been supported and launched by Italian companies who understood and appreciate British creativity: from Ron Arad, Ross Lovegrove, Jasper Morrison, to Tom Dixon and Michael Young, and many others. Now even the great architects like Zaha Hadid or David Chipperfield – and I quote just a few names – realise and produce their ideas in collaboration with Italian companies. Designer furniture is, above all, made in Italy.

gilda bojardi


If you could have had any other career- what would you have done? Why? 

I am very glad to have chosen my career because my education was of an entirely different nature- I am a lawyer! But I have ‘betrayed’ my education when I was still a university student, therefore I can say I chose this career really early on. If I were to do something else, I would say that I like decorating my houses, and giving advice to my friends. So I’m probably a failed architect!


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



Lee Broom and The Flower Shop

British design superstar, Lee Broom’s debut collection of Vases, ‘Podium’, has launched this week.

lee broom, flower shop

He has transformed his flagship store into ‘The Flower Shop’, an immersive floral display where Podium will take centre stage.  Broom also presents his 25 piece collection ‘The Department Store’ for the first time in London, following the recent award winning Milan exhibition.

lee broom

Available exclusively at the store, the ‘Podium’ vases will take centre stage in an immersive floral display across the space, which has been completely re-designed for the event.

lee broom

Hanging Hoop Chair.

Broom’s 25 piece new collection is also shown for the first time. Furniture, lighting and accessories will be presented in glass display cases and on marble plinths surrounded by a sweeping display of fresh flowers.

lee broom

Crescent Table Lamp.

lee broom

Fulcrum Chandelier.

See the collection at: Shoreditch Design Triangle, Electra House, 95 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY.

LDF: Design inspiration is everywhere

Despoke revelled in the sunshine in Islington on Saturday,  popping into Aria to see Camille Walala’s take over of the front window.


The powerful and explosive prints and patterns felt like a clash between a 1980’s and 1960’s art studio.

Head there now for pattern and colour: www.londondesignfestival.com/events/walala-house

v and a, cloud

The LDF’s head quarters for the week are at the V&A and houses a number of one off commissions. Inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, renowned Austrian design duo mischer’traxler have collaborated with boutique champagne house Perrier-Jouët to bring a sensual, interactive installation to the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room.common

New last year, the Queen’s Park design district is now a well-loved part of LDF. A top pick is Bill Amberg Studio who are hosting an open studio from 21-27 September, where they will be showing their Common Collection of benches and stools. This furniture features the Studio’s signature combination of traditional leather techniques and technology.


Our faves from Clerkenwell Design Week, The Goldsmith’s Centre are back with A Sense of Jewellery. The show  brings together outstanding examples of modern jewellery by forty artists and designers made in Britain over the past forty years,  setting out to rediscover British jewellery design and celebrate the quality of design thinking and material innovation in this period. http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/sense-jewellery

union chapel, islington

As if LDF isn’t enough, the weekend just gone was Open House London. Upper Street Islington’s Union Chapel was spellbinding, with a free music gig also going on. www.unionchapel.org.uk

Plan your LDF here.