London Design Festival has dominated our screens for the past couple of weeks, with Pentagram's revamp of the event's red branding illuminating the social media stratosphere. As the rush of openings, unveilings and cascading reviews dies down, think takes a look back at some of this year's most memorable features with the young, Lisbon-based architecture trio – Spacegram. This super-trend-aware studio was founded by Bruno Martins Pereira, Ana Raquel Ferrão and Gilberto Pedrosa. Ana and Bruno travelled to rainy London to survey some of the best emerging international design that this festival unfailingly has to offer – and they had a few favourites.
Cover: London Design Festival 2017 brand identity, Pentagram
1. Fabric folding – Transmissions by Ross Lovegrove
Transmissions, Ross Lovegrove, tapestry room, V&A Museum.
Transmissions was one of the most popular installations on Instagram. Its fabric folds – which stretch out to 21 metres – were inspired by a gown worn by a woman in one of the hunting scenes displayed in the enchanting compositions in the V&A dark tapestry room. The gown was red, lined with miniver, and is reflected in the free-standing fabric sculpture that divides the space in the room, its undulating shape in turn hiding and revealing new views of the 15th-century tapestries.
2. Red, orange, blue – Reflection Room by Flynn Talbot
Reflection Room, Flynn Talbot, Prince Consort Gallery
This immersive light installation at the Prince Consort Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum was designed by Australian lighting artist Flynn Talbot. Reflection Room illuminated its visitors with red and orange hues on one side of the space and blue on the other. This was the first installation to be housed at this location for the festival. Talbot's departure point was the ambition to create a unique lighting-to-user relationships. Judging by the fantastic imagery that's been shared so far, he achieved that in spades.
3. Stone lacing – While we wait by Elias and Yousef Anastas
While we wait, Elias and Yousef Anastas
This lace-like structure made from stone by the palestinian architects Elias and Yousef Anastas was a favourite for its gorgeous material manipulation and its narrative context. The tapering volume was built out of elements of stone from different regions of Palestine, moving upwards from earthy red to pale limestone. The installation combined a marriage of digital and human craftsmanship – both working in union working to celebrate Palestine's natural beauty.
4. A century of drama – Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion by Cristóbal Balenciaga
Balenciaga Exhibition - an exhibition to celebrate the 100 years of his first fashion house
A dramatic exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga's first fashion house. The colours, the drapery, and the silhouettes all testify to the brand's major influence on 20th century fashion. This was a show which put design innovation at the forefront with one of the world's masters of material sculpture.
5. Plywood pleasures – Material of the Modern World and Ice-Skating Shelters by Patkau Architects
Ice-skating shelters; Plywood: Material of the modern world
Another top pick was a tie between Material of the Modern World – the first ever exhibition celebrating plywood, the material that revolutionised design, from the WWII plane Haviland Mosquito to the world renowned chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames; and Ice-Skating Shelters – a gorgeous plywood sculpture cluster designed by Canadian practice Patkau Architects.
6. Cutting-edge motoring – Trezor by Renault
Concept car Trezor by Renault
The designjunction 2017 show at Granary Square served up a couple of favourites for Ana and Bruno – one of which was the new concept car from Renault called Trezor. This new, razor-like, streamlined beauty has already been hailed "the most stylish electric car in the world right now" by GQ magazine. That's pretty tough to top.
7. Colour in Granary Square - Gateways by Adam Furman
Gateways by Adam Furman in collaboration with Turkish Ceramics at Granary Square
Turkishceramics collaborated with designer Adam Furman to create Gateways – a ceramic installation that brought vibrant colour to Granary Square even on its wettest, gloomiest day. The installation was made up of four boldly coloured gates, each four metres high. Visitors meandered through the angular archways enjoying a respite from the grey clouds, and taking in the history and character of Turkish ceramics.
8. Art screenings – The Frame x Saatchi Art by Samsung and Yves Béhar
The Frame x Saatchi Art - To introduce the Frame, a collaboration between Samsung and the designer Yves Béhar
The Frame presents a collaboration between Samsung and the designer Yves Béhar. It's a TV screen that looks exactly like framed artwork – blending in perfectly with other pieces of art hung up in the home. Users will be able to use the TV to browse through a range of galleries – like the Saatchi Gallery. Spacegram loved this product and considered it a mascot for the future of art – a way to bring art into everyone's homes. Artists get the opportunity to sell their original pieces, whilst having a continuous income from selling digital versions for this kind of screen. The question is: will this product revolutionise the size and format that artists work with?
9. Wobbly walls – Entangle by Lynne MacLachlan
Entangle' 3D printed wall tiles, London Design Fair in the heart of Shoreditch - 500 exhibitors from 31 countries, Lynne MacLachlan
Entangle is an energetic, 3D-printed wall tilling system designed by Lynne MacLachlan. It takes inspiration from mathematical tiling principles and quantum mechanics and serves to enliven interior spaces with its optical playfulness and punchy colour. The tiles are reconfigurable and can be ordered in bespoke hand-dyed colours.
10. Soft and striped – Villa Walala by Camille Walala
Villa Walala, Camille Walala
Ana and Bruno loved this soft-textured architectural landscape filled with bright colours and digitally printed patterns at the Exchange Square in Broadgate. The installation featured playful structures like the jumping castles that all children love to play in, and was full of textural surprises looking to trigger tacit memories from its visitors' most exuberant moments.
11. Leggy lamp – Arthropod Lamp by Ghassan Salameh
Anthropod lamp designed by Ghassan Salameh showed at the Middle east design pavillion
Gaussian Salameh's Arthropod series from the Middle East design pavilion was another top pick amongst this year's numerous designs on display. The lamps take inspiration from insects, spiders and crustaceans – each being defined by their jointed, high-mobility limbs. The lush, metallic finish elevates the lamps from creepy-crawly to chic statement lighting. Spacegram just loved the effect of these multi-legged lamps.
All photos by Spacegram.
The London Design Festival was first established 2003, with this year's event becoming it's fifteenth edition. For more information on all the event's exhibits visit the official website.
Spacegram is an emerging design studio founded by Bruno Martins Pereira, Ana Raquel Ferrão and Gilberto Pedrosa – three young creatives looking to bring together graphic and spatial design. With a combined range of international experience, this collective works across a range of design disciplines with a common set of design values and an ever-growing catalogue of techniques. They are motivated by experimentation and innovation and are united in their quest for unique design solutions.
NEXT: Playing with fire, clay and nylon