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Top picks from Tent London 2011



The London Design Festival has come to an end, unfortunately. With bags full of information and a head full of inspiration, it’s now back to business! During the festival, a visit to Tent was high on my list, and it proved to be right up my street. As a result, there is simply too much I want to share, so here are just a few things I liked:

  • the ‘Festival’ mix and match tableware design collection of Mini Moderns, a collaboration with homeware brand Magpie.
  • the DEK table lamp by Khairul Hussin, where the coiling of the cord (usually the ugly part) has become part of the design. The lamp is made of recycled felt and oak wood.
  • the concrete collection by Ivanka Studio, including their stunning floor/wall tiles.
  • La Bibliochaise by Nobody & Co is a chair and bookstorage at the same time. It has hidden wheels and the leather cushions colors are customisable.

There were so many things I liked about Tent: the cutting-edge products, the innovation, and even the location (the Old Truman Brewery). I wish I didn’t have to wait a whole year!

Some upcoming design graduates to look out for

I have a thing for innovation, whether it be the use of a new material, a new manufacturing technique, or just a different interpretation of an existing concept. For this reason, I particularly like exploring work from designers fresh out of university as they often literally have a ‘fresh look’ on things. Here are a few (of many) products from graduate designers I like. Hope you like them too.

Industrial design graudate at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich Florian Schmid designed these stitched concrete stools. These stools are made of the material concrete canvas, where a fabric cloth is impregnated with flexible cement. When in the desired form, water is added which then hardens. I love how these stools have a roughness and softness to them at the same time. The bright coloured stitches give them a funky look.

Freya Swell is a 3D Design graduate from the University of Brighton and designed the Hush, a cosy ‘cocoon’ seat made from 100% wool felt. The seat allows you to withdraw and enjoy some private space and time. I noticed many cocoon type products this year, perhaps it’s following a trend of escaping from everyday busy lives and people wanting some ‘me time’. Living in London, I definitely would like to escape sometimes. I saw this at New Designers a month ago (for my review see here)  and when you see it you just want to jump in.. Rumour has it (unverified) she is currently in talks with Fatboy to commercialize it.

Also at New Designers this year, but in a different discipline, were the ceramic bowls from Jill Shaddock. Jill, a 3D Design graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University, has already won quite some awards with these stunning bowls (love the colours!). The bowls are made through a method called ‘slipcasting’, where slip (liquid clay) is poured into a plaster mould and excess water is drawn out leaving a layer of solid clay. Read The Rest