Sunday, 31 October 2010

London Design Festival... leads to the start of Second Year

Busy, busy, busy...I have recently started back at university as a second year student, our first project is the RSA Student Awards. The seven different briefs are available on The RSA website, I have decided to do Double Duty Devices, which focuses on the lack of recycling within the medical industry and how no body wants to be responsible for it. The amount of medical products that end their lives in landfill sites is disgusting, all because the consumers are uneducated about the materials that these products are made of, along with the difficulties that manufacturers face due to the stigma involved with recycling in the medical industry with regards to cross contamination, however the materials used could be applied to another industry where complete sterilisation isn't a nessescity.

With regards to design week, I went to numerous exhibitions all over London, The big trade shows I went to were 100% Design and TENT, as usual they were both quite overwhelming due to the intense amount of design in one place. However the Made in Kingston Exhibiton at TENT was quite interesting as it feature work from Ed Carpenter, Gitta Gschwendtner and Jasper Morrison. At 100% Design the TEN stand was my favourite part, the sustainable topic they were targetting was PLAN, a project that supplies instructions of how to make products, as a form of open design. My favourite was Legs by Alex Hellum, the plan focuses on how to make a jig in order to drill holes at an angle, along with how to wittle old wooden legs to fit into these holes.

TEN won the Blueprint award for best stand at 100% Design and Jamie Shaw of the Made in Collective also won the Blueprint Award for Most Promising new designer, which is really inspiring. As a student still studying at Kingston it has been really exciting to see what all the graduates are doing, after their succesfull Made in.. exhibition I mentioned before. Julia Georgallis and Jess Jones time rings seem to be quite successful and Rosemary Anrudes trestles have been featured in three exhibitions in total over summer including one in Paris.

I particularly enjoyed the smaller exhibitions throughout the design festival including the open studio and workshop at the BarberOsgerby Studio. It was really interesting to see their process and how it goes from concept to reality, it was also nice to see someone in in there stil working on foam models. This broke up the gallery style environment which can get slightly tedious, throughout the design festival.

The Norwegian Prototypes Exhibition was really refreshing, their restrictive theme of aeroplane luggage triggered some highly insightful products. Little Big Light by Hallgeir Homstvedt was probably my favourite as the use of materials was unexpected along with the defient aesthetic it appears to have in relation to the luggage restriction. Keel Seat by Oscar Narud, has a really raw visual quality which I find very appealling, it is reminiscent of the Bodging Milano exhibition which featured the work of Carl Clerkin and Gitta Gschwendtner at Designers Block earlier on in the year in Milan.

I also visited Jasper Morrisons shop, where he had sourced a variety of trays from around the world. Each time I go to his shop I leave feeling quite inspired as he obviously very informed, and this is evident in his designs that always seem to strike a perfect equilbrium between style and function. This is evident in the DP01 telephone, which is produced by Punkt, Switzerland.

Tom Dixons Shop was another must see, at Portobello Dock in Ladbroke Grove, which was not the easiest place to find, especially in the rain. However it was good to see Simon Hassan's vending machine in action, along with his blatent knowledge of material and how to fully exploit leather. Despite all the pricey industrial design that surrounded me the most interesting product was the £15 bio-degradable bowls. They were very plain and straight to the point, I think my fascination with them is due to the type of products Tom Dixon is usually asscoiated with. The shop showed he is more than capable of being versitile as a designer, as in the past he did put 500 polystyrene chairs in Trafalgar Square which offered the public some insight into materials and manufacture.

Overall the London Design Festival was the perfect way to end the summer and to start the second year of uni.

Legs by Alex Hellum

Time rings by Julia Georgallis and Jess Jones

Trestles by Rosemary Anrude

Keel Seat by Oscar Narud