Taking it to the Streets on BlogTour

Taking it to the Streets on BlogTour

Taking a little editorial break today, here are just a few visuals of how some of the design themes translated out and about in London on my recent trip with BlogTour.

The Apple Store in Covent Garden is a fabulous architectural design fusion of old and new. Whose creativity wouldn’t be inspired in this beautiful space.

The Kate Spade store nearby perfectly illustrates the current penchant for bright color and graphic pattern.

More pattern mixing at Liberty

Repurposing of everyday objects is seen in this plumbing pipe coatrack at Liberty

And Karl Lagerfeld’s ubiquitous design is a bright graphic new interpretation of an old favorite.…

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Trending at Tramshed

Trending at Tramshed

Another smaller show celebrating innovative design and authenticity was Tramshed. Located on Rivington Street in the heart of the artsy Shoreditch Design Triangle, this was the second year for the event during the London Design Festival. Although Tramshed offered many seminars and interactive lifestyle discussions, we just managed a quick whirlwind tour through the loft-like space to become familiar with some of the exhibitors. 

Leading the show was De La Espada, a design management firm and manufacturer, representing seven designer-led brands, all focused on high quality contemporary products. The Turkish-based architecture, interior design and product design studio of Autoban was one of my favorites.…

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Originality at Origin: Made not Manufactured

Originality at Origin: Made not Manufactured

One of the most interesting aspects of the London Design Festival was the variety of shows included in the 9 day celebration. From the larger “bigger brand” shows like Decorex and 100% Design to the smaller venues like Origin that showcased the work of artists and artisans, there was inspiration everywhere.

Origin fell more into the latter category. Organized by the Crafts Council, this contemporary crafts fair in Spitalfields represented a wide range of designs from ceramics, furniture, metalwork and glass to fashion accessories, jewelry and knitwear. I love their slogan “Made not manufactured”

One recurring theme was the use of paper. …

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Creative Collaboration: Poggenpohl & C.P. Hart

Creative Collaboration: Poggenpohl & C.P. Hart

As I backtrack a bit here, our first BlogTour morning in London definitely started off on the right foot (yes, pun intended). A walk across the Millennium Bridge on a glorious morning offered a perfect introduction to British design.

Sometimes a picture says it all. Christopher Wren’s magnificent 17th century St. Paul’s cathedral, framed by the 21st century bridge, eloquently sums up my design themes of the trip – juxtaposition of old and new and creative collaboration. Wren’s collaboration was one of styles – for the first time melding elegant continental forms with the previously Gothic predominance in English churches. Wobbly bridge, as it is affectionately known, is a successful creative collaboration between Arup Engineers, Foster and Partners Architects and the sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, resulting in a whole that is equal parts of each discipline, linking St.…

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The Charm of Print & Pattern at TENT London

The Charm of Print & Pattern at TENT London

One of the most popular booths at TENT London had to be Mini Moderns. Their cheerful range of wallpaper, textiles and home accessories just oozes with charm. The mix and match designs are a comfortable mix of retro and modern, giving them a universal appeal. As they say, they create “homeware for design conscious families” – perfect!!

I just love this new Festival wallpaper celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition. See how the tableware coordinates?

A creative collaboration with homewares brand, Magpie, the Whitby porcelain grouping is a true mix and match collection – no two pieces are alike.…

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Temptation from TENT London: Eclectic Excellence

Temptation from TENT London: Eclectic Excellence

As I look back through my photos from TENT London, I am amazed to see the incredible assortment of eclectic excellence. Some companies showed impressive uses of technological advancements. I loved Ditto, a revolutionary new 3D modular product from Danish company 3form. The fabulous orange notwithstanding, I adored the unlimited level of customization this offered. From partitions or room dividers to wall features or art pieces, the variations are endless.

The majority of the producers, however, were focussed on more handmade or artisanal craftsmanship. Bodo Sperlein’s luminous ceramics for Nikko were beautiful. Another successful example of creative collaboration – between a British designer and Japanese company.…

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Lamp Gras at Tent London

Lamp Gras at Tent London

The first show the BlogTour group attended in London was TENT, a collection of over 200 exhibitors from 26 countries. There was most definitely an eclectic indy flavor at this unique trend setting show held in the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. With a huge range of products, many continued the theme of old and new.

One of my favorite booths was that of the iconic Lampe GRAS. Designed in 1921 by Bernard-Albin Gras for use in offices and industrial settings, it quickly became a cult favorite of many design legends including Le Corbusier (in his studio below), Jacques Ruhlmann and Eileen Gray, who appreciated it for its modern and functional aesthetic.…

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Creative Collaboration: Samuel Heath & Victoria + Albert

Creative Collaboration: Samuel Heath & Victoria + Albert

Two of our BlogTour sponsors have already realized the advantages of creative collaboration. Samuel Heath and Victoria + Albert are both British brands based in the Midlands. They had attended many of the same trade shows but it was when they each settled into their beautiful showrooms at the fabulous Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, that they recognized their compatibility and now show each other’s wares in their respective spaces.

I was already a longtime fan of Samuel Heath. Their classic fixtures have always been on my radar for great design and craftsmanship. Founded in 1820, their fittings represent the best of enduring heritage and new technology.…

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The Future of Art as Seen at the V&A

The Future of Art as Seen at the V&A

One of the most popular London Design Festival-sponsored installations at the Victoria and Albert is “Textile Field” by the French Bouroullec brothers, Ronan and Erwan. Created in collaboration with Kvadrat, the forward thinking Danish textile company, this seemingly simple concept is brilliant. Made of stripes of colored textiles and foam, the large expanse (30 x 8 meters) is like a giant lounge chair in the space.

The Raphael Gallery, built in 1865 during the artist’s heyday, was a serious, reverent room. Housing seven enormous cartoons, the Victorian space could be quite intimidating. The installation changes all that, offering visitors (like our group above) a new perspective and comfortable setting to appreciate the paintings.…

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BlogTour: Old & New at the V&A: Murray Moss

BlogTour: Old & New at the V&A: Murray Moss

What an incredible whirlwind of a trip BlogTour was. Design 24 hours a day with nonstop visual inspiration. Thanks to Heathrow and the good people at Virgin Atlantic, I have my laptop back and am ready to share some of this amazing experience.

As I just returned yesterday evening, I am still in the throes of processing all that I saw but one theme was abundantly clear – the juxtaposition of old and new. This was especially evident at the beautiful Victoria and Albert museum, where the London Design Festival had several stunning installations.

One of the most publicized was iconic design purveyor Murray Moss’ curated  “Industrial Revolution 2.0: How the Material World Will Newly Materialise.” Working in conjunction with eight designers, he commissioned 3D printed projects to be created (printed) in one piece by Belgian 3D printing pioneers Materialise.…

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