for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

LONDON DESIGN WEEK: DESIGN UK

Liberty has teamed up with design curator Max Fraser over London Design Week, and the result is Design UK: an exciting array of contemporary furniture and home accessories showcased in the stunning Tudor building of the department store. As a collection of pieces they range from the handmade, intricately decorative wallpapers of Catherine Hammerton, to the simplified functional lines of NaughtOne’s ‘trace table’, each piece making a unique statement and yet fitting together surprisingly harmoniously.

The feeling of the show was of the importance of both the artist and artisan, with many pieces exhibiting a true respect for material and production. Favourite examples are the witty ‘Perfect Crime’ cast concrete chair by Peter Woollin and Kate Staddon which is shown opposite the innovative hand crafted leather and wood chair byImg_0688 Helen Murray .

Text seems to be playing an increasingly important role in product design, illustrated best here by Tracy Kendall’s bespoke wallpaper which was laser-cut with paragraphs of words, turning walls into stories.

Decoration of mundane objects is a topic that many young designers are addressing, none better in this show than Laurie Dickason’s elegant sinewy switch decorations. Other impressive displays include Jess Shaw’s ‘Clarinet’ lighting and CJ O’Neill’s ‘Feeding Desire’ decorative plates pierced with words and images.

Favourite piece of the show however was ironically the only piece disguising its design to blend into its environment – the ‘Up and Over’ bookcase by Linden Davies, cleverly designed to make the books a real feature of the room by encasing the door frame. A refreshingly  unassuming product creating a beautiful and personal result.

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