Brewing up an International Showcase: London Design Fair
London Design Fair will bring an international selection of designer, brands and materials together at the Old Truman Brewery, September 20-23
It has been two decades since beer was brewed at The Old Truman Brewery, London. But, from September 20-23, this industrial site that has become a hub of startups, cuisine and events will be brewing up a creative showcase at London Design Fair. The Fair has become a highlight of the larger London Design Festival in which it takes place–last year it attracted more than 28,000 visitors over its four-day run.
Despite nervous concerns around Brexit and how it will affect the design industry in the UK and its international relations, this year’s fair will bring together a global array of designers, brands and exhibitions which showcase the diversity of contemporary design. Hailing from 12 nations, the Country Pavilions will include Denmark, South Korea, Dubai and of course the UK. Japan has been invited as this year’s special guest country. While Holland’s pavilion, Dutch Stuff nonchalantly oozes of a confidence that has come from being known as a key player in the world of design.
As well as being grouped by country the fair also focuses on materials and proposes other ways to approach and think about them. The exhibitions Wood in Progress and Material of the Year: Plastic Beyond the Chipper reimagine standard raw materials of design. Wood in Progress debuted at last years show. It was the brainchild of Envisions, a collective of 24 multidisciplinary designers with a fascination for experimentation founded by Sanne Schuurman, Simone Post and Iwan Pol in 2015. This year’s edition sees them collaborating with Finsa, a wood manufacturer from Spain, who invited 12 designers to explore their production facilities. The result of this is wooden products but not as you know them. Colorful and bold, the products act as visualizers of where the project could go rather than being the final object. As the exhibition’s title states it is all still in process.
Investigating a more sinister material, Material of the Year: Plastic Beyond the Chipper addresses how to reuse single-use plastic. Although this idea has been thoroughly explored over the past few years with projects like Precious Plastics by Dave Hakkens who breaks plastic down into chips and then uses these as raw materials, this exhibition asks: what else can be done with plastics? What other techniques are available to tackle this problem? Are there more types of plastics designers need to focus on? On display will be the works of four designers who are tackling these questions. These include material designer Charlotte Kidger who uses industrial waste from CNC polyurethane and Dirk Vander Kooij who uses household plastics to feed a 3D printer of his own design.
Color, fun and play will also be on show with HARU stuck-on design which is a new design tool from Japanese company Nitto. The adhesive tape can be stuck onto a range of surfaces and peeled of later without a trace. The tapes come in many widths inviting all sorts of projects from interior design to graffiti to craft or just some old-fashioned present wrapping.
Other designers to look out for include Hi Thanks Bye, Swedish Ninja, Jiyoun Kim, Studio PESI, Boris de Beijer, Spekva and Tom Rossau and REM Atelier.
All this and more will be on display at the London Design Fair from September 20-23
Keep an eye out for TLmag’s upcoming interview with Charlotte Kidger about her project Industrial Craft which will be on show at Material of the Year: Plastic Beyond the Chipper