Textile, Lighting, Interior Design Trends and Dubai – INDEXdesignseries

The creation of visitor features and experiences  at Index Design Series was our task and you may have seen our previous post about the Urban Gallery of sustainability already. Another such feature, was our Textile Experience displaying a range of textile artistry (some might simply say “Interior Products”) created by designers from around the world. A collaboration with Hull artist Debi Keable created a stunning Lighting installation. These spaces, like the Design Hub Urban Gallery, reflected the theme of the show ‘Design for the Senses’ with the materials and techniques used employing high levels of tactility, immersive sound and striking visual effects.

Lets walk through the products that we carefully selected and imagined by some very accomplished artists/creators/designers were:

Ronel Jordaan

Ronel Jordaan is an independent textile artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. She works with the textile technique of hand felting 100% merino wool fibres to create large wall installations, rugs and decorative designs which could be used as seating. Her work takes inspiration from the natural world and her designs are recognised for their originality and uniqueness. The wall installation ‘Garden of Succulents’, created especially for the show, made an impressive impact on designers and consumers alike.

Iota Project 

Iota Project is a social-business, both ecologically and socially conscious, with a commitment to sustainability and community support. They work with communities to provide mentoring and training programmes; re-appropriating traditional craft skills (crochet knitting) to create individual products which in turn provide not only income but skills and empowerment too.

Sugarcane Trading Co.

Pieces by this Australian company were displayed on the Design Hub (the post is here if you haven’t read it already). Similar to the Iota Project they work with communities preserving skills and providing a livelihood for communities in India. The Leela Rug, one of many displayed at the show as part of the Naya Rug Collection, has been made from recycled denim cloth from old jeans that would otherwise end up as textile waste in landfill. They aim to “bring beautiful products into your home”, “leave only the lightest touch on the world’s resources”, “preserve traditional artisan skills” and “give back to less well-off communities”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moss Trend

Moss Trend created the stunning jungle moss wall installation on the Design Hub at the show, and on the Textile Experience an alternative product was displayed showcasing the versatility of the moss, which is available in a range of colours through the addition of natural pigments. 100% natural the wall requires, a surprise to many, no maintenance or watering!

 

Our final space at the show was entitled the Lighting Experience which we collaborated with Hull artist Debi Keable. Hull is the UK ‘City of Culture 2017’ and over the year the city has been transformed by a constant series of events and exhibitions. The artwork exhibited at Index, was first exhibited at Hull’s Freedom Festival. ‘A Walk in the Trees’ takes inspiration from Nelson Mandela after he visited the city in honour of the abolition of slavery by Hull-born politician William Wilberforce. Created using phosphorus paint and UV light, Debi invited local school children to help with the work that celebrates Mandela’s greatest achievements re-imagined in light, colour and sound. As a result this installation fitted in perfectly with the show theme ‘Design for the Senses’. A true spectacle and immersive experience for all the senses!

Film by Alan Keable – Index Design Series – Dubai 2017

Posted by Debi Keable Art on Wednesday, 31 May 2017

 

Check out our Instagram for more photos from the show.

Exhibition Review: Top Drawer 2017

Last week we headed to Olympia, London for Top Drawer 2017, one of the first major UK trade shows of the year, presented are products for the Spring/Summer season. The show focuses on Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft by a range of both emerging designers and established brands from the UK and internationally.

Here are some of the pieces that caught our eye:

Firstly the ceramics by Sue Pryke, she creates stunning home ware ceramic collections.  Her background firmly rooted in crafts, is clearly evident to see in her practice as each piece is individual manufactured by hand. The navy and charcoal sit well with the pastel hues of faded pinks, lemon and duck egg blue, creating an elegant and contemporary palette perfect for spring/summer.Grey and beige remain a prominent combination for display styling as seen in the stand by Sue Pryke and also Blomus. The German retailer focuses on unique, elegant and minimalist design. The collection presented at Top Drawer featured a bathroom collection of a faded low-contrast palette offset with neutrals and anthracite, ideal for creating a muted and calming tone.
In contrast, the vibrant collection by Jansen+co brings a bold and fresh approach to kitchenware. The stand out colours of the cooking and dining products compliment with the functional natural terracotta.
Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2017 ‘Greenery’ was also represented at the show; it was hard to miss. A symbol for new beginnings, health, growth and positivity it will be interesting to see how designers and retailers adopt this colour particularly within products for interiors. We will have to keep an eye out for the Autumn/Winter edition of Top Drawer taking place 10—12 September 2017 as well as other events taking place this year.

Exhibitions are changing, visitors give more time and attention to those companies that have stands that provide experiences, not simply information, products & sales people. Just as they do in today’s retail environment. If you’d like to have a stand/booth that attracts, holds and excites more visitors than ever before; get in touch with Phil …..  Don’t leave it too long, exhibitions are too expensive and improving conversion rates is the key to a better return on your investment.

 

London Design Festival 2016 – designjunction Review

This year, designjunction was held for the first time at its new long-term home Kings Cross, having made a partnership with the University of the Arts London. The destination is set to become a new creative district as well as an international business hub for design in central London. Coal Drops Yard, an exciting retail space that brings together industrial heritage and contemporary design is set to open in 2018.

designjunction in it’s 5th edition featured 180 different brands as well as more than 50 carefully selected design led pop-up shops as well as numerous installations and collaborations.

Here are a few of our favourites…

Foldability: We were drawn to the 3D geometric pieces (see post on New Designers) and the work by Foldability, located in Cubitt House, was no exception. The London based studio creates bespoke installations and products inspired by geometry and origami, all of which are created by hand. The technique itself is quite simple – essentially meticulously folding by hand before securing the folds with heat. A truly versatile material, it has applications in wall covering and lighting for various sectors of the interiors market as well as set design and textiles. This links strongly to the A/W16-17 trend: Native with its main themes of craft and technology. This is further emphasized by the materials used, a cardboard base onto which natural and synthetic fabrics are heat set.

Foldability

Another Studio: Another Studio is a craft-design practice that creates products for the home and workplace covering lighting, stationary and accessories. They are also inspired by origami as well as the craft of tailoring, not only within the construction of each piece but also in the aesthetics. The company works with flat sheet materials like wood, metal and paper to create intriguing and playful 3D forms. Created are equally functional and aesthetically stunning designs that we love and will add interest to any room or desk space.

Another StudioOlivia Aspinal Studio: Olivia Aspinall creates bespoke handcrafted surfaces for use within the interiors industry. Her work links strongly to the terrazzo trend. Terrazzo isn’t a new idea, originating in 15th century Italy, however recently the material has now been reworked into flooring, wall and home accessories.She predominantly works with the material of Jesmonite, a material that allows her to translate her ‘textile aesthetics into solid materials.’ A successful Kickstarter campaign enabled her to exhibit at her first solo show. It definitely goes to show if you are an independent designer you can successfully exhibit at high profile showcases through the help of support from around the world.

Olivia AspinallKirkby Design: Kirkby Design, a brand situated under the ROMO group presented their latest collection of fabrics suitable for the home and contact furnishing market. In a blend of contemporary design, minimal and monochrome graphic grid patterns are combined with quilted velvet and a rich jewel palette. The company also created new versions of its Piccadilly textile design exclusively for MADE.COM. It was designed in collaboration with Transport for London to help them celebrate over 150 years of transport design history.

Kirkby DesignGRID: The GRID design is also reflected in the external cladding of Cubit House which we love. Designed by Peter J Lassen, the flexible structure blends together exterior and interior as light passes through the simple structure that is filled with mirrors and vegetation. Bringing the outdoors in has become increasingly popular across all sectors; retail, hospitality and leisure. This was further represented by exhibiting stand bloomon. The company has recently collaboration with & Other Stories with the aim to bring fresh flowers direct to the consumer.

GRID

Lastly, one of my personal favourite pieces…The knot cushion by Icelandic-based designer Ragnheidur Osp Sigurdardottir which has gone into production with Swedish brand Design House Stockholm. The soft statement design, which is available in multiple contemporary tones, is made from knitted strips where the start and end seamlessly merge into one.

KNOT

We thoroughly enjoyed visiting many events over the fortnight and are very much looking forward to next years event when many more exciting events will be showcased across the capital. We certainly will be keeping an eye on the website from May when events are uploaded!

New Designers 2016 – Part 1 – a most important Creative Showcase

This week New Designers took place at London’s Business Design Centre now in its 31st edition. The UK’s most important exhibition for emerging design is split into two parts. Part 1 focuses on textiles, jewellery, ceramics and glass and contemporary crafts. Part 2 is slanted towards product and industrial design, graphics, illustration and animation.

Designers who have completed their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees exhibit their work representing their university. A breadth of specialisms and talents are on display exhibiting high levels of originality, innovation and craftsmanship. Here is a round up of our favourite pieces as well as some of the trends which caught my eye.

First is Bath Spa graduate and Texprint 2016 finalist Lydia Knight. Inspired by botanicals, plants and flora she creates beautiful prints developed from exquisite hand drawn illustrations and paintings. I was attracted to her artworks which have then been developed in repeat using digital print techniques. Her designs could easily be adapted in the commercial interior and home furnishings sector; specifically wallpaper or the bedlinen market.

Lydia Knight Lydia Knight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fellow Bath Spa graduate is Rhian Beynon whose stunning paintings have been developed digitally. What I liked most about her collection, was her preference to display both the digital fabrics and a large scale painting (right) which would look beautiful as a bespoke artwork. The details and colours have been translated wonderfully into her repeated designs, again highly suitable for the commercial interiors sector.

Rhian Beynon Rhin Beynon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the themes I noticed at the exhibition was ‘pleating’. This covered various disciplines including weave, knit and print. Catherine Kinsbury-Smith of Herriot Watt University uses iridescent yarns within the knitted fabrics.

Catherine Kingsbury-Smith

As the light shines depending on the time of day, the 3D illusion is emphasised. Likewise Glasgow School of Art graduate Rochelle McGuiness; the sharp lines and iridescent surfaces of her collection entitled ‘Distorting Perception of Depth’ allows the pieces to take on the colour of their surroundings and vary depending on the viewers standpoint. I particularly like the projection of her designs when used for lighting.

Rochelle McGuiness

‘Folded Nature’ by Loughborough Textile Innovation & Design graduate Lauren Saunders explores a three-dimensional, structured aesthetic for fashion. Taking inspiration from natural forms she combines a variety of fabric manipulation methods including ‘heat forming’. Enabling the fabrics to not only demonstrate functionality as they become flexible in response to the body, but also remain visually appealing. Although intended for the high end/haute couture fashion market, her designs could also be considered in other contexts such as an architectural installation.

Lauren SaundersL. Saunders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing with the theme of optical illusion, a number of new designers exhibiting represented this trend in the form of printed textiles. I’ve selected the work of graduate Stefan Volder for simple yet very effect designs. His menswear collection entitled ‘Concrete Nostalgia’ took inspiration from post-war modernist architecture in Scotland.

Stefan Vold copy stefan volder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Helgesson‘s work, from first time exhibitors Swedish School of Textiles the University of Boras (winners of the award for Best Stand); particularly stood out to me for its simple and striking primary coloured designs providing a clever optical illusion. It reminded me of the work by Japanese design studio A.P.Works. I really enjoyed all the Swedish School of Textiles’ graduates use of scale including the collection (UN)PERFECT – ‘Breaking the rules in textile printing’ by Lisa Fredin (left). These particular pieces I think would work well as drapes for windows or room divides as light can still be passed through whilst offering privacy.

Anna Helgesson

Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking of large scale work, to be admired is the work of Katherine Plumb. The printer from Central St Martins takes inspiration from purpose built landscapes which are then developed into cut-paper collages and large scale prints destined for interiors. The quirky pegs used to display the fabrics are also playful and really suit the fun and bold colour palette.

katherine plumb csm

One Year On is a feature of the show that presents selected designers in their first year of business. Chosen by an independent panel they are selected based on their flair and quality of product. All work exhibited can be bought or commissioned directly from the designers at the show. Favourites of included Aimee Bollu, a member of the Crafts Council’s Hot House programme, Aimee seeks out objects that have fallen out of use and aims to bring them back to life. Combining found objects which may be viewed as conventional and mundane she adds newly created simple vessel forms offering the viewer something familiar yet fresh. With a subtle and contemporary palette, splashes of bright, the vessels can be viewed as a collection or as individual objects.

aimee aimee bolu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well that’s it for the Part One report, I had a great time and highly recommend the exhibition as a great day out, a wonderful way in which to discover new talent and of course, a great place to buy some exquisite and unique pieces.

Let us know what your opinion is about what you’ve just seen and if we’ve persuaded you to go next year………