Endless stairs at Tate Modern, designed by dRMM Architects, in collaboration with American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)
Like I mentioned previously, there were no major landmark projects at the V & A museum this year, but there is the Endless stair installation at the Tate Modern ( open until 10th October), which is designed by dRMM Architects and sponsored by American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). The scale of 187-stair installation is slightly smaller than I expected, but I managed to spend a few minutes enjoying the view of the river and St Paul’s Cathedral at the viewing deck after a short queue up the stairs.
Korean artist, Myung Nam An’s work at Squint in the Brompton design district
With so many events taking place during the festival, it was impossible to visit all the events across town, so I picked a few in the Brompton design district and Shoreditch design triangle.
In the Brompton design district, I was quite taken aback when I stepped into Squint, an independent design company which produces and retails bespoke, hand-crafted furniture and home accessories. The 2 floors of the gallery/ shop has been transformed into a colourful, eccentric and textural space full of velvet-covered furniture, vintage fabric lamps and organic-shaped ceramics. All the works were created by the London-based Korean ceramic artist and designer-maker, Myung Nam An, and they can be bought online and in store at Squint.
At Mint next door, “Cabinet of Curiosity” ( until 30th Sept) exhibits a range of furniture that focuses on the identity of objects through the examination of craftsmanship and design process. The collection includes a collaboration with Swedish Design Institute Svensk Form and the Czech Republic based gallery Krehky, and other new talents from around the globe.
Over in Shoreditch, London-based design studio, DesignMarketo created a multi-sensorial exhibition, “Perfume, Sir” exploring the different effects of pepper and scents, accompanied by ice Sculpting and cocktail making workshops.
Top left: Roughed out soldiers by Peter Marigold at Blanks in between; Top right: Protest plates by Pentagram at 1882 Ltd.; Main: Perfume, sir? exhibition by DesignMarketo; Middle 3 pictures: Cabinet of Curiosity by Krehky gallery and Svensk Form at Mint; Bottom left: A talk by Alice Rawsthorn with ICA Executive Director Gregor Muir; Bottom right: aftermath of the festival…
Being rather unwell all week, I didn’t attend the talks that I originally intended to attend, but I did manage to attend a talk by leading design critic, Alice Rawsthorn at the ICA. Although this talk was not part of the London design festival ( which meant that the attendees were less than usual), it was very design-relevant. I have attended Alice’s talks before and I have always enjoyed her wit, passion and insights on design. The talk concentrated around some of the topics discussed in her new book, “Hello World: Where Design Meets Life” ( which I have yet to read). One of the topics that mentioned is the need for more socially-responsible designs esp in the technology world, which I also feel very strongly about. The fact is that we can no longer ignore the electronic waste clogging up all the landfill sites around the world ( esp. those dumped in the third-world countries by first-world countries). This is the responsibility of designers, manufacturers and consumers. Good design has the power to enhance our lives, but at the same time, bad design can also ruin our lives, so changes must be addressed before it is too late.