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School of Life this Christmas

The School of Life is open all year round, not just at Christmas. They do amazing courses and fun get togethers…..and they also do brilliant presents for you and your friends and family. Christmas is a tricky time. When gift-giving takes up so much time and energy, we can easily become impatient with the things we buy. Joining in with all those who, when they want to pinpoint the root cause of corruption in our age, only need to point the finger at our attachment to material things. We’re apparently sick because we’re so materialistic, so fixated on brand products and nice new things.

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Last weeks of Perfectionism exhibition

Griffin Gallery’s successful group show PERFECTIoNISM (part III.): The Alchemy of Making is coming into its final weeks before it closes on the 18th November.

tess farmer

The exhibition features nine London-based, talented and award winning artists, who focus on transforming their materials in unusual ways. The artists include Tessa Farmer, who creates miniature evil skeleton fairies that are taking over the insect world. She creates hanging installations with her own taxidermied insects.

piers secunda

Piers Secunda is exhibiting a 7ft sculpture of Chinese mountain, with intricate hanging monasteries made entirely out of floor paint. It is a retreat that is impossible to escape from, which embodies how he felt while he was making it.

liane lang

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Liane Lang is showing a series of photographs and a film called Saints, which is about the lost stories of female saints and the lack of female figures in sculpture. All of her realistic figures are actually dolls that Liane has crafted herself out of silicone.

The show takes place at the Griffin gallery – click here for more information.

The Studio Building, 21 Evesham Street, London W11 4AJ

Northern Design Event follow up

Now becoming a must-visit on the design event scene, Northern Design Event took place last week. With some of the UK’s biggest designers, who all consider themselves from ooop North, including names like Deadgood, David Irwin, Psalt Design and more, here is some coverage.

assemble

Photo by Michelle Tennick

Assemble created a site-specific installation in the historic Assembly House. The 2015 Turner Prize winners displayed a new range of products alongside moulds and materials, tests and tools illustrating their experimental, smoke-fired and BBQ-ed ceramics.

david1

Photo by Michelle Tennick

Take a Seat was a retrospective of seating designed by award-winning Newcastle-based industrial designer David Irwin, including his iconic Tyneside Lounger for Deadgood and his Hardy Chair for Another Country-plus prototypes shown in the UK for the first time.

Michelle Tennick

Photo by Michelle Tennick

Hollywood Hates Me showcased rejected poster artwork for some of world’s favourite movies by the man behind the designs for The Revenant and True Detective.

To see a full round up of the events and designers, head to the website and get ready for next year!

Rive Roshan at LDF

Rive Roshan were commissioned by the London Design Fair to create an installation of five large hanging screens for the venue’s cafe using Divina fabric by Kvadrat. It’s the first time we have heard of this London-based design studio and we like what we see. Airy spacial partitions of modular panels separated the space playfully as partially open windows between communal tables, adding softness to the industrial backdrop of the Old Truman Brewery.

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Skandium Selects for the London Design Fair

In partnership with the London Design Fair, Skandium continues to champion its ongoing dedication to Scandinavian design. As part of ‘Skandium selects’, the Scandinavian- lifestyle store chose ten products from seven Scandinavian designers. Here are our top three below.

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Doshi Levien present Pilotis

When we heard that Doshi Levien were presenting their new curtain collection for Kvadrat and that the breakfast would have food served by none other than our fave culinary tricksters Blanch and Shock we got very excited.

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Shilling bar and Brewery

Up to the North, as architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles complete the new Shilling Bar & Brewery in Glasgow. Opened this month, the new 160-seat brewpub is set inside the former Commercial Bank of Scotland built in the 1920s and they have made the most of the ornate architectural site features they found as well as adding in a few nods to the past of their own.

shilling

The design strips back the former interior of architectural ‘clutter’ to reveal, for the first time in decades, a beautifully proportioned banking hall with 20ft-high coffered ceilings. Fragments of the past have been uncovered and cleaned, including fluted marble columns that frame a glimpsed view to a wood-burning oven.

shilling bar

It’s rare to find beauties like these and if the ceiling heights and columns weren’t enough, they’ve added to the features already there by bringing in a mural of a majestic unicorn by local artist Gaz Mackay – one of Scotland’s most famous heraldic mythical creatures and a huge inset star embossed into the concrete floor.

shilling

Now all we have to do is get there…..Click here to read more.

London Design Biennale at LDF2016

The first London Design Biennale will open this September at Somerset House with over 30 countries participating (7 – 27 September). Nations from six continents will present newly commissioned works that explore the theme Utopia by Design.

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Taking over the entirety of Somerset House, including The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court and River Terrace, the London Design Biennale will explore big questions and ideas about sustainability, migration, pollution, energy, cities, and social equality. Visitors will see engaging and interactive installations, innovations, artworks and proposed design solutions – all in an immersive, inspiring and entertaining tour of the world.somerset-house-london-england-hd-wallpaper

Here’s a bit of what we know about some of the countries so far: Austria will present a specially developed installation by mischer’traxler studio. The Austrian contribution will be curated by Thomas Geisler, Curator Design Collection, MAK Vienna, and organized by Austria Design Net. mischer’traxler studio will create a kinetic light installation entitled LeveL: the fragile balance of utopia.

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LeveL: the fragile balance of utopia

Helidon Xhixha’s installation takes the Renaissance city layout – built around a central core – as its starting point. Using his trademark reflective surfaces, the installation is a space for both interaction and personal reflection (literal and metaphorical), highlighting the need for a cohesive society in the midst of a migration crisis.

Albania_©_Helidon_Xhixha

Porky Hefer, from South Africa, will be exhibiting his signature hanging constructions that are both working seats and fantastical creatures. Hefer’s playful nests are symptomatic of a new era in South African design that is built around themes of equality and unity.

Porky Heffer

Porky Heffer

Mexican architect and urbanist Fernando Romero is looking at the potential of car-free future cities. How would this work and what would it mean for Mexico City, one of the world’s most polluted places?

Mexico

Mexico

Make sure to book tickets by clicking here.

100% Design opens in September

How on earth is it nearly September again (ok it may be July but it’s only 2 months away.) LDF is gearing up all it’s engines and the biggest trade show and heart of the festival, 100% Design is ready for it’s 2016 edition. We look at some of the brands in the Emerging Brands section below.

 

Addicted to patterns

Addicted to patterns

Addicted to Patterns is Bristol based design studio created by Justyna Medon professional Printmaker and surface decoration specialist and Mani Swiatek designer and photographer. The studio specialises in bespoke printed – artisan collections of textiles and wallpapers.

Fikkisimo

Fikkisimo

The Fikissimo trademark is a production division of a company that for over 100 years has worked with concrete and other waste building materials, with constant imput by designers, architects and by master craftsmen.

Se7e

Se7e

Born and raised in Lisboa, Se7e represents the city 7 hills. They are a multidisciplinary team, based within a research centre exploring new possibilities for furniture and objects. Every Se7e product is produced in their factory in Portugal.

Shockwaves

Kate Cledwyn

Using photography, Cledwyn creates innovative art design for commercial and residential projects. The artwork reinterprets and brings new shapes, patterns and designs to the images photographed. Products include acrylic mounted pictures, rugs, wallpaper, sculptural picture blocks and aluminium printed pictures which give a wonderful reflective quality to the work.

To attend the show, register here.

Y-Rack by HCWD Studios

We don’t have massive living abodes here at Despoke. But we always need more storage places.  Coats are annoying as they take up a load of space but are used frequently. That’s where this bad-boy comes in. Y-Rack is the first modular coat rack system which can be assembled and reassembled into different configurations to fit different needs.

Y-rack

It is capable of adding more hanging spots for more clothes and can expand infinitely without limits. It consists of Y shape modules with a free standing base, and an optional wall mounting kit.

y-rack

The Y-rack comes from Hsin-Chun Wang & Ye Liu, Founders of HCWD Studio, who are based in New York City. They are one of the 50 Young Professionals of Red Dot 2016, 2016 Best Designers/Best Design Studio from International Furniture Fair Singapore and nominees of the German Design Awards 2016.

y-rack

The Y-rack will be launched on Kickstarter on July 26th- get on there and bag yourself one.

New Designers is back

New Designers returns to the Business Design Centre for its 31st edition from 29 June – 9 July. The two-part design show reveals trends for the year ahead, presents the country’s best emerging talent and offers design-savvy public the chance to snap up their work before it hits the high street. We will be visiting Part 2 for furniture, products and interiors a well as One Year On.

 

Charles Dedman

Charles Dedman

Charles Dedman will be bringing his turner Carve chair to One Year On. As per the rules, he is in his first year of business and alongside commissions, Charles is exploring an emerging field in the design-craft industry- he calls it Craft-Tech, the theme of updating traditional processes with modern tooling.

Katie Gillies

Katie Gillies

Katie Gillies graduated from Leeds College of Art with a First Class Honours Degree in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design in 2015, specialising within surface and material innovation. Her projects are  influenced by Modernist architecture of the 20th and 21st Century, focusing on the form, structure and proportions of the building. From this she begins to start combining new materials and modern technology to develop and create contemporary surfaces that fit within the concept.

Ana Jaks

Ana Jaks

Ana Jaks’s colourful and pattern heavy prints come from her studio in Falmouth. Taking inspiration from the minimalist print work of the 1980’s, the pieces wouldn’t look out of place on album covers and magazines.

 

Studio Haran

Studio Haran

We are big fans of Studio Haran who keenly focus on sourcing their wood locally as well as making sure it can be disassembled to be recycled whilst producing stunning pieces of furniture.

Make sure you head down and see the next generation of interior talents, buy tickets here.

COS x HAY Spring 2016 – Garden Collection

Two of our favourite brands are back with just the sort of gorgeous interiors offering you would expect. This isn’t Hay and Cos’ first partnership. Centered around three core categories: live, work and dine, the spring collection features a hand-chosen edit of accessories and furniture for the home in fresh shades of green, blue and pink, alongside tactile light wood and the ever-fashionable cork.

Hay and cos

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Design saves the birds!

Common garden bird numbers have declined 20% on average since 2009- a shocking figure and one that all of us need to try and turn around. East Village, the former Athletes’ Village, alongside the RSPB, has commissioned a range of London landmark bird boxes to encourage birds back to the capital. These perfectly designed little birdboxes have captured our imagination and will be on display in East Village from 26 May.

orbital

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Jardin Chic from Galerie

Sometimes it’s comforting to go for the traditional and British brand Galerie, have got that covered (forgive the pun) with their new wallpaper collection Jardin Chic.

galerie

The designs are simple, vintage and pleasing to the eye. They would work perfectly as a feature wall in a bedroom, or if you are lucky enough to have a large space, could easily go across all walls.

galerie, jardin chic

The wallpaper has a very traditional yet up to date feel to it with the patterns not seeming over-crowded, clustered and fussy as many older styles tend to do. The colours are rich and well-matched.

galerie, jardin chic

The new range is really reasonably priced too with rolls starting at £24.95 for a 10 metre roll- great price for a quick update!

Click here for more information.

Wendy Morrison Rugs

New for Spring/Summer 2016 and continuing her exploration of nature, rug designer Wendy Morrison has created her new Orient collection with gorgeous rich colours and Art Deco inspired design. All the rugs are hand tufted wool with viscose highlights to create a shimmer which bring the design to life.

wendy morrison, rugs

We love the peacock tree above. Stunning colours and beautiful craftsmanship create something you would probably not ever want to tread on!

mount orient, wendy morrison

This gorgeous cut out from a rug named Mount Orient is a rich and textured piece, with vibrant colours and again the bird motif.

wendy morrison, rug

The above rug looks stunning in this white and neutral room and creates a wonderful centrepiece, bring the splashes of colour in the rest of the room to life. All rugs start at £990.

For more information click here.

 

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