Field notes from London Design Festival 2018

LDF in Effect

By Emma Lucek

The design extravaganza that is London Design Festival just wrapped up, and we came away filled with inspiration from the generous helpings of material experimentations and deliciously rich visual expressions. With over 550 exhibitors from 36 countries showcasing what's new and what's next in furniture, lighting, and objects, there were so many delights to choose from. Here are some of the most memorable.

PlasticScene in King’s Cross 

Curated by RCA-grad James Shaw and editor-in-chief of Modern Design Review magazine Laura Houseley, PlasticScene brought together new designs made from waste plastic and topped the numerous projects exploring new directions in sustainability this year. The goal—which was achieved and then some—was, according to Shaw, "to elevate the perception of waste plastic, presenting it not just as a material to be feared but one to be embraced, explored and enjoyed" and "to provide important starting points and inspirations for a wider use of waste plastics." Including tables, chairs, shelves, lighting, and more, the pieces on view were created by some of the brightest stars in contemporary design, all ones to watch: Wendy Andreu, Studio ilio, Dirk Vander Kooij, Max Lamb, Shahar Livne, M-L-XL, Kim Markel, Chris Pearce, Jorge Penadés, James Shaw , Silo Studio, Soft Baroque, Thing Thing, and Chen Chen & Kai Williams. Photos courtesy of PlasticScene.


Matter of Stuff Pop-Up Gallery at Fenman House in King’s Cross 

Matter of Stuff's pop-up had so much life, thanks to the scenography created by the always amazing Raw Edges, whose special genius lies in the duo's talent for transforming the humblest materials into enchanting art-like designs. Within the Raw Edge's environment, we spotted eye-catching, on-trend designs by the likes of Bohinc Studio, CC-Tapis, Simone Crestani , Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Julian Mayor, Novocastrian , Utopia & Utility, Uufie, Wonderglass, and more. In sum, we swooned at the combinations of colors, patterns, shadows, and light. Photos courtesy of Matter of Stuff.


Hilos Invisibles (Invisible Threads) at Aram Gallery

Aram Gallery is such a reliable venue to discover thought-provoking, imaginative young designers, and Hilos did not disappoint. The exhibition included new objects by one of our favorite London-based designers, Matteo Fogale, who collaborated on the project with seven Uruguayan studios. Last year, Fogale, who was born in Uruguay, accepted a residency at Montevideo's Vilamajó House Museum, the 1930s home of leading Uruguayan modernist architect Julio Vilamajó. The resulting furniture and lighting designs exude the strong modernist sensibility that Fogole found in Vilamajó's interiors and effects—especially in the efficient, streamlined forms—but the color palette and proportions feel beyond contemporary. Photos courtesy of Aram Gallery.


  • Text by

    • Emma Lucek

      Emma Lucek

      A British-born Pole currently based in Berlin, Emma has a background in research and design. In addition to being Pamono's Design Editor, lately she's been working on critical writing in the fields of art, architecture, and cultural theory, as well as design journalism.

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