Culture

 London Design Festival Logo

The annual London Design Festival began on Saturday, September 17th and will run until Sunday, September 25th. Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans founded the festival in 2003 with the concept of creating "an annual event that would promote the city's creativity, drawing in the country's greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to deliver an unmissable celebration of design."
Now in its 14th year, the festival has grown to over 400 events and has spread all over London.

Tom Dixon Harvest Festival Party

For this year's festival, designer Tom Dixon continues his running theme of "furnishing and food," bringing unique design and cuisine to London's Wharf Building at Portobello Dock in Ladbroke Grove. Dixon writes that their mission is "to design, illuminate and furnish the future with innovative lighting, furniture and accessories of longevity, simplicity and a materiality inspired by Britain’s unique heritage."

Tom Dixon and Goldfinger Studio collaboration

Dixon is also premiering a range of benches and tables named Trellick, designed as a collaboration with London based Goldfinger Factory. Goldfinger Factory is an award-winning design, carpentry and teaching platform centered around recycling materials, building bespoke furniture, and allowing artisans to become self-sustaining through craft.

Goldfinger Factory Trellick Building

The exclusive Trellick range has been named after the building in which Goldfinger Factory is situated.

Trellick Range from Tom Dixon and Goldfinger Factory

Tom Dixon's project at Portobello Dock will last the duration of the London Design Festival, from September 17th to the 25th. The Trellick product line is available through a crowdfunding project, which will help Goldfinger Factory expand and reach more members of London's artisan community.
Find Goldfinger Factory's crowdfunding project at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fundfuturefactory 

Another site specific installation constructed for the London Design Festival is Omer Arbel's "44" design in London's Barbican Centre. Arbel, the creative director and founder of Bocci, has created a sculptural work comprised of over 300 free-poured aluminum forms, with intertwined lights. 

 Omer Arbel 44 at the London Barbican Centre

"As the sculpture, 44, descends into the space and expands, it punctuates the spaces of the Barbican foyer, engaging with notions of weightlessness and mass, craft and mass-production." Each unique aluminum form in "44" is cast by, pouring molten aluminum into a large canisters filled with rock-like resin shapes." They are then suspended from thin wire with low voltage electricity powering interconnected lights.

Close up of the aluminum forms in 44

Arbel's "44" will be on view at the Barbican Centre until April 18th, 2017.
Find more details at: http://bocci.ca/44barbican/

Moooi unexpected welcome

In central London, Dutch based Moooi celebates the design festival with a continuation of their Unexpected Welcome theme, along with the UK introduction of Paul Cocksedge's foam Compression Sofa.

Kit Miles custom Moooi carpet design for the London Design Festival

Also on display from Moooi is a custom Moooi Carpet design by award winning surface designer Kit Miles. Miles has created a 150 square meter carpet specifically for the entrance of the London Design Fair exhibition and explains that the abstract design is "based on the interplay of shadows and light, inspired by classic Mediterranean architecture, infused with the graphite and urban sprawl of London." 

Find Moooi's showroom at 23 Great Titchfield Street, London.

Lee Broom Opticality

For the London Design Festival, British designer Lee Broom is running a brief exhibition, titled Opticality, out of his East London flagship store. For Opticality, Broom has overloaded his store with his Optical collection of floor lamps and pendants and continues the Op Art theme premiered at Salone del Mobile.

Entrance to Opticality

Broom writes, "The store will become a surreal space inviting visitors to step into an immersive optical illusion. Visitors will become part of the installation as they journey through an infinity of reflections."

Inside Lee Broom Opticality

In Broom's Opticality, mirrors cover the walls and floor with a striped path down the center of the space, leading customers through what appears to be a never ending optical illusion.

Opticality opens on the 21st of September and runs to the 25th.

Find more details on the London Design Festival and those displaying at http://www.londondesignfestival.com/

Marcel Wanders:Portraits

“Marcel Wanders: Portraits” opened February 25th at the Friedman Benda Gallery in New York City.
Based out of the Netherlands, Wanders is co-founder and art director of Moooi.

Wanders' premieres a variety of new work at Portraits

Although Wanders’ fine art and design work is housed in several permanent museum collections, including MoMA NY and The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, “Portraits” represents two firsts for the artist. Friedman Benda is the first gallery to host Wanders for a solo gallery exhibition and this presentation of his work will offer an unsceen glimpse at Wanders’ darker side in a variety of fine art works that are less utilitarian and more ornamental.

Wanders explains, “My design work has always been about positivity, respect, love and trust. However, this output doesn’t fully represent me as a person. For me, it is also important to produce work that explores a different sensitivity and addresses other aspects of my life and character, otherwise it would feel incomplete.”

Wanders' Digital video compilation Athanasius 1 to 3.

As the name suggests, one aspect of “Portraits” depicts beautifully rendered creatures coming to life in the three part digital video installation “Athanasius,” which Wanders has composed from rose petals. The images appear as if they sprout to life and are very remeniscent of the 16th century painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

 Wanders' one minute sculpture out of ceramic.

Other works shown in “Portraits” include a line up of quick sculptures that are composed similar to Lucio Fontana’s ceramics of the mid 20th century. Wanders describes these sculptures in the show as “free-form 3-D sketches of lost pets.” Some are gilded in gold and others are glazed.

Marcel Wanders - "Virtual Interiors - Cottonwood Spa, Cottonwood, USA"

Wanders’ has also included a digital video collage named “Virtual Interiors” which touches on the wondrous and futuristic interiors that he envisions. In an article on 1stdibs about the show, Wanders explains “I started to make interiors that traded reality for eternity,” and he continues, “[These interior spaces] will be good forever, because they will never be built.”

Wanders' Shiqule Nuhai Ceramic Vases, 2016.

Wanders has also expanded on his well known ceramic collection, Delft Blue, with new pieces like Shiqule Nuhai. Standing 63 inches high and 25 inches wide, the two massive ceramic urns play towards the show’s overall arching theme of darkness, and makes the spectator wonder whether the flowers are living on water or actually drawing nutrients from the ashes within.

Tempter, bronze and rubber, 2016

And lastly is Tempter, “an over-sized adult rocking unicorn cast in bronze with metal chain stirrups.” This piece perfectly completes the show as fans of Wanders will recognize this as an interpretation from his solid wood rocking chair, Arion. Once again showing that Wanders is not just about “positivity, respect, love and trust” but instead is a true visionary and artist not afraid of going deep within his own personal emotions and connecting to a side that is not as mainstream as the work we normally associate with him.

“Marcel Wanders: Portraits” runs until April 9, 2016 at Friedman Benda.

Marcel Wanders headshot

Marcel Wanders is a product and interior designer who drew international recognition for his Knotted Chair produced by Droog Design in 1996. His work is ubiquitous; designing for leading international companies such as Flos, Alessi, Puma, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, MAC Cosmetics, Cappellini, B&B Italia, Moroso and Target. Wanders also designs for architectural projects, such as the Kameha Grand hotel in Bonn, the Mondrian South Beach hotel in Miami and the Villa Moda store in Bahrain. In addition to running his studio, Wanders is cofounder and Artistic Director of the successful design label Moooi (2001).

He exhibits widely and his work is included in such significant museum collections as MoMA New York, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the V&A Museum, London. Wanders has further published numerous books and is extensively profiled in the global media, appearing in such publications as the New York Times, Domus, The Financial Times and Wallpaper Magazine.

Find more details on the show at:
http://www.friedmanbenda.com/exhibitions/current/marcel-wanders-portraits

And on 1stdibs at:
http://www.1stdibs.com/introspective-magazine/marcel-wanders

The London Design Festival was conceived by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans. Building on London's existing design activity, their concept was to create an annual event that would promote the city's creativity, drawing in the country's greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to deliver an unmissable celebration of design.

Below are highlights of Twentieth's designers and their contributions to this years London Design Festival.

TOM DIXON Eight weeks in the making Tom Dixon's Multiplex is an immersive, "multi-sensory department store of tomorrow", divided into sections dedicated to technology, art, cars, food, and fashion. Called Multiplex because of its layers, it is an exciting new take on both the concept of a department store and the concept of a pop-up, aimed to predict "the future of shopping" and immersing visitors senses in sound, smell, taste, and feel. The London Design Festival is home to Tom Dixon.

Tom Dixon's furniture furnishes the Multiplex.

The Multiplex by Tom Dixon.

The Multiplex Layout.

LEE BROOM Earlier this year at Milan Design Week, Lee Broom created The Department Store. Following its success Broom presented The Flower Shop, the installation celebrated the launch of his new Podium Vases and pieces displayed in Milan. The Flower Shop.

Fulcrum and Crescent Lights illuminating Lee Brooms Podium Vases.

EDWARD BARBER & JAY OSGERBY BARBER AND OSGERBY Recipients of the London Design Medal, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby spoke of the importance of design to world capitols. They stated that London is reaching a "tipping point" that could lead to the demise of its world-famous creative scene, similar to what has happened to New York.

JULIAN MAYOR

STRIPED ORGANIC LOOP CHAIR BY JULIAN MAYOR British designer Julian Mayor presents his new Striped Organic Loop Chair as part of this years London Design Festival. The fiberglass chair is constructed using three planes and features a graphic pattern that references military dazzle ships.

A detail of the hand painted stripes.

MOOOI MOOOI LONDON Moooi presented iconic and decorative designs at their London Showroom. It was the perfect place for architects and design professionals to experience the Moooi collection.

Moooi crosses the ocean and lands in New York to open its first Showroom and Brand Store in the US, introducing a 'brand' new world of design opportunities in Manhattan’s Nomad area! Moooi New York will open its doors to the public on the 14th of May, just in time to celebrate NY Design Week.

Moooi is the very first Dutch design brand opening a store in the upcoming Nomad area, which is known for its fine architecture and central location next to the iconic Chrysler and Empire State building. Having developed at a quick rate over the last years, Manhattan’s Nomad area has rapidly become an attractive commercial hub for stylish brands and Moooi is delighted to take up residence next to luxurious hotels, quality restaurants and cutting- edge mono and multi brand stores. 'New York is the capital of the US and Manhattan is the place to be for an upscale design brand. We need to have a clear first hand representation of who we are and what we stand for', reveals Moooi’s CEO and Founder Casper Vissers.

Five years ago Moooi began conquering the US market as a consequence of its rapid growth. 'The clients in the US needed a lot of service so we decided to ship out most of our products, commence warehouse activities and start invoicing in US dollars. It became the natural moment to found Moooi USA Inc., daughter of Moooi BV', explains Casper Vissers. Now the time has come to invest in the brand’s image and immense potential by showing the US public that Moooi is not only about ground-breaking lighting products but also about exceptional furniture, a brand new Moooi Carpets collection and a whole lifestyle experience based on the belief that design is a question of love. 'Moooi is an urban brand designing for a new world, delivering the coolest things together with a sense of surprise and expectation', clarifies Moooi’s Art Director Marcel Wanders and he adds: 'It fits perfectly with the city’s vibe and has achieved a great following, even before the opening of Moooi New York'.

The 3.875 Sq. Ft. interior is defined by a characteristic raw concrete structure and flooring, which englobes an eclectic mix of designs and acts as a creative platform to showcase products, designers and lifestyle ideas for inspirational homes. 'Its eclectic atmosphere, connected to the cultural world, and its interesting designs will certainly inspire all sorts of people and bring an addition to the design world of Manhattan', points out Casper Vissers and he elaborates: 'Behind every product exposed is a great story and that will be translated to the public by specifically trained personnel'.

A clear testimony of Moooi’s active role in the cultural world is the enduring collaboration that Moooi initiated with artist Rahi Rezvani. A selection of his photography will be exposed at Moooi’s collection presentation in Milan and then on the walls of the New York store, embracing its interior with a powerful stream of human depth, energy and emotion. Beauty rules in this marriage of creative minds.

Next to the entrance door, the shop window reveals an inspirational home environment that will certainly engage the onlookers with interesting interior ideas. Just inside, on the left side of the entrance wall, Moooi spells its name in the universal braille language with the use of Round Prop Lights by Bertjan Pot. While in the first part of the store poetic haikus reveal in an instant how Moooi’s different products can be combined to complement each other; in the central area several inspirational settings showcase different solutions to improve the interior design of homes, offices and public spaces. Right at the back of Moooi’s Showroom and Brand Store a skylight brings daylight to its deepest section, highlighting the skillful interiors by showing off their colors and beauty. A multifunctional room and an upstairs office space of approx. 538 Sq. Ft. complete the picture. 

A number of fascinating carpets of different shapes and sizes are on display, intensifying the product haikus and completing the settings with their innovative designs and vibrant colors. They belong to the new collection of Moooi Carpets, a brand new company that offers a wide range of carpet designs and countless customizing possibilities to always find the perfect match for any kind of interior.

Since Moooi is a forward thinking brand that always looks at the bigger picture, the Showroom and Brand Store is also going to be a focal point for architects, designers and design lovers, in order to gather ideas during their daily quest for beauty and inspiration. 'Together we can create pure magic', points out Marcel Wanders, who is looking forward to all the amazing projects to come: 'They will experience unexpected design and beauty with a European twist!' Everybody will be welcomed in Moooi’s learning and sharing platform where beauty, information, curiosity and fun will converge to connect to the contemporary culture and contemporary people.

The Manhattan Showroom and Brand Store is the pilot project for Moooi USA. 'I am pretty sure that soon enough there will be at least one more Moooi store on the West coast. California would be the next logical geographical choice', explains Casper Vissers with due anticipation.

For the moment the Moooi team is looking forward to establish its unexpected welcome in New York and share unique design products and its love for life, fun, culture, stories and new experiences!