OK, to end what was meant to be a week-long highlight to kick off the new year yet has inexplicably sprawled out over seven weeks, I give you my final tips for the (stylish) top. Normal service to resume after this!
Furnish – charmingly witty Bunny vases with flowers forming the ears
Haoshi – Taiwanese design house featuring a whimsical update of the retirement gift classic – the carriage clock. The figurines rotate inside the piece giving an innovative way of telling the time
Twenty5ive – a combination of a rocking chair and stool, this curious little number is reminiscent of a spider but in a charming, rather than horrifying-phobia sort of a way
Brigid Strevens – after a sexy, feminine table inspired by surrealism? Then the Stiletto is for you
Penelope Batley – stunning collection of supersized necklaces doubling as a somewhat extravagant light. Also in the range are giant light pendant earrings to put even Pat Butcher to shame
Anya Keely – creates fantastical, Victorian influenced artworks and objects from found items and ephemera
Shawn Soh – kooky sleek products abound from this Korean-based designer, including this upside-down standard lamp, furry ‘relation-sheep’ stool and ‘A tree becomes a book becomes a tree’ bookcase
Ize + Studio Toogood – uber-stylist Faye Toogood continues to conquer the design world, this time branching out into product design. Based on pieces in her collection, she has collaborated with Ize to produce a collection of door and cabinet handles and coat hooks, designed to ‘bring the tactule textures of the natural world to the usually geometric realm of hardware’. Toogood is definitely one to watch throughout 2011.
Cathrine Maske – through combining photography and glassware, Catherine isolates images, encapsulating them in glass to produce a surreal, isolated effect
Daily Life Clock – gorgeous conceptual clock from designer Dongjin Byeon, the musing behind the design is how time seems to fly the older you become – hence, rather than hands, the time is told by figurines of an elderly woman (the ‘hour’ hand), a young adult (the ‘minute’ hand) and a dog, racing round in place of a second hand.
Tortie Hoare – creator of one of 2010’s most talked-about design pieces, this slimline desk is formed of boiled leather and wood which almost seamlessly blend into one another to create a slick yet tactile laptop workstation
James UK – future design classics in the making abound courtesy of the James’ who run this design outfit. Think mid-century modern with a modern twist
Alex Bradley Design – airing your laundry never looked so good but thanks to this multi-purpose indoor/outdoor table-cum-clothes airer (perfect for teeny flats), knicker-drying on radiators can become a thing of the past. Hurrah!
& then – stunning shaker-inspired cabinet range featuring on-trend colour blocking panels
Ercol – the 90-year-old heritage brand shows it can still keep up with those hip young things by collaborating with the ever-fabulous Donna Wilson on a chunky-knit recovering of its bench seat, plus releasing a special edition tri-colour nest of tables (available at twentytwentyone) http://twentytwentyone.com/displayProduct.asp?productID=2993
Mark – this Cornish collaborative continue to go from strength to strength, with slick modern designs produced 100% in the UK, such as this Slide/Sofa by Anna Hart and Kay + Stemmer’s Shaper/coffee table
Decode London – check out the textile floral credenza by Jethro Macey – with white gloss lacquer units beautifully contrasting with the floral image embossed into its Corian doors, as well as the striking C Shelves and Heavy Desklight featuring on-trend red flex.
Phew! Back soon with something a bit less substantial…
Crikey, what happened to January?! Well for me at least I’ve been finishing off a rather time-consuming extra curricular project which is now finally over, so hopefully normal blogging can resume! So without further delay, I give to you my final picks for general excellence in 2011, today in the form of illustration and print:
Curiosa and Curiosa – striking range of fabrics and wallpapers with an edgy touch of whimsy
Design Bark – with a nod to the Victorian craft of marquetry, designer Sarah Newman screenprints abstract illustrations in neon brights onto wood veneer, creating a very 21st-century Hoxton type affair, then forms the resulting designs into drum lampshades
Lizzie Mary Cullen – award-winning young illustrator whose distinctive line drawings have adorned the walls of numerous exhibition spaces, buildings and installations (seen here up top as snapped by my own fair hand, creating a live mural as part of Tent London 2010). For those looking to get the look at home, she is available for commissions and also stocks a range of limited edition prints
Westergaard Designs – along with cute animal designs is the Rejse side table, providing a modern take on the notion of placing a doily or tablecloth onto a side table through its laser etched design
Scandinavian Surface – by photographing and studying nature, this design outfit have created a range of panel designs – arrange like for like together or mix it up a bit for a more personal, bespoke look
Hive Space – this fresh London collaborative produce an array of intelligent design pieces, such as their Elle Deco approved Cityscape rug, depicting New York City at a scale of 1:25 000
Grimm Designers – producing a small yet punch range of homewares including an Evil Bunny eggcup, Grimm have also subverted the traditional art of marquetry to produce this ‘Grandmother’ artwork as part of their Little Red Cap series
Kate Usher – more whimsical wallpaper designs from illustrator Kate in her modern-vintage style, including this charmingly retro meerkat print, rather on-trend right now thanks to a *certain* TV ad…
Grace and Webb – run by former textile designer Natasha Webb, the company apply their patterns to an array of ‘hard’ surfaces, from smaller items such as this chair to large-scale fretwork panels for retail spaces
Spineless Classics – a truly unique idea, entire volumes of classic novels are reproduced in tiny font onto a single print, with negative spaces cunningly designed to hint at the story surrounding them. With something for everyone on offer, from Alice in Wonderland to Wuthering Heights, in a world where e-books are threatening to take over it’s great to see the printed word fighting back
Creative Trust – one of the knockout stands at London Design Festival, this multi-disciplinary practice not only creates designwork for the likes of Nokia and Coca Cola, they also apply their delightfully quirky touch to a small range of illustrated items, including their cardboard range (as shot on my iPhone hence the dodgy pics) as well as etched acrylic pieces and encapsulated vintage doilies (yes, these aren’t illustration or print, but as they are doilies they bypass all rules by virtue of their sheer excellence).
Final chapter to follow shortly!
Ready for the next visual feast in my top hot new designer tips for 2011? Well saddle up, partner, cos here comes a double whammy. First, some interactive shizzle:
Siwen Huang – beautiful hanging panels made up from hundreds of cut pieces – by manipulating the fabric on the ‘plain’ side, you can create a myriad of different designs formed by revealing the multicoloured fabric on the other side
Tactile Wonderland – offers a bespoke service featuring ethereal lasercut designs in wallpaper, fabric and wood veneer
Znak Life – with various kits, you can customise your own easy-to-apply wallpaper patterns by tearing off sections of the paper – you can even amp up the drama by painting the wall beneath it a statement shade, allowing it to shine through
Hive Space – this fresh London collaborative produce an array of intelligent design pieces, such as this Crossbow stool with interchangeable bead legs and the Slash customisable lampshade, which manages to even make shredding look sexy
Kristine Bjaadal – bad table manners are positively encouraged in this camp, as Kristine’s Underfull tablecloth comes alive when drinks are spilt on it, revealing a damask pattern that gradually builds up over time through use
Bettina Nissen – her Rustic bench, with its subtle leaf design, may look like weatherproof stainless steel, but whilst the bench itself is constructed in this way, the leaf pattern is actively built to rust, revealing its pattern more and more over time. She has also turned her hand to Ikea’s ubiquitous Billy bookcase, creating simple ‘Victorianiser’ panels that adhere to the product to give a traditional British element to this simple Skandi minimalist piece.
And now for something a little different – ceramics and glass:
Stine Jespersen – creates sculptural ceramics by chopping, tearing, pinching and pressing clay coils. Love the unusual combo of stark black on such ‘soft’ pieces
Kaori Tatebayashi – dark yet rustic, evocative ceramic range
Mizuyo Yamashita – cute-yet-edgy ceramics featuring miniature houses to form, amongst other things, salt and pepper pots and modernist butter dishes (featured)
Curiosa and Curiosa – double shade glass ceiling lights – stunning modern silhouettes with a nod to traditional styles, kept fresh by exciting colourways
Xinyaoyao – using traditional Chinese purple clay, the details and texture of embroidery have been perfectly captured in ceramic form
Wik & Walsoe – refreshingly simple, delicate pieces constructed from the design house’s handmade, high quality porcelain. Designs are simple with a light, ethereal feel along with a touch of skandi whimsy.
More to follow later this week!
Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the festivities wherever you are. I thought I’d hit two resolutions with one stone (1. blog more, 2. don’t leave bags of exhibition flyers and literature hanging around the desk area for months whilst ‘getting round’ to going through them) to bring you my top picks for new design talent to watch for 2011 (aka my review of London Design Festival, repackaged in a more time-appropriate posting). Just to spread out the joy, I’ve themed my reviews into sections: Ceramics and Glass, Illustration, Print and Pattern, Interactive Design, Furniture, Quirky Finds and Upcycled – which is first up:
Zoe Murphy – not sure how appropriate it is to call someone the matriarch of a trend when they’re still in their twenties and are barely into their third year of business, but Ms Murphy certainly did help kick this trend into the mainstream and get everyone talking about upcycling. Inspired by her seaside hometown or Margate, she screenprints her unique designs onto tired old furniture and discarded lengths of Formica to create original homewares and artwork
Wycliffe Stutchbury – creates art compositions from discarded wood such as old roofing joists (in images), cow sheds and holly branches
Claire Brewster – uses old and out of date maps to create achingly pretty, ethereal 3D papercut birds
Katie Bonham – reclaimed London bricks form the canvas for Katie’s illustrations of iconic London landmarks, re-fired in the kilns of the London Brick factory where their ‘lives’ began
Betty Pepper – original artworks and jewellery created by Betty’s ‘book orphans’ – books she finds in charity shops, awaiting a new lease of life
Furniture Magpies – by reworking the shapes and structures of everyday pieces, this design house has managed to make the old seem super-spanky new. Bonus eco points for their furniture range constructed from discarded drawers, reformed into funky upholstered storage stools
Lucy Turner – updates retro pieces with her bespoke, customised laminate designs
20 Age – by redesigning classic furniture pieces by the likes of Ercol, mid-century and Victorian seating is given a modern twist with quirky reupholstering
Quirico – Beautiful range of pouffes, cushions and seating upholstered using old hand-embroidered Suzani fabric.
Stay tuned for the remaining reviews, to follow shortly!