This year at London Design Festival was a little different as I was actually working at Brompton Design District, invigilating an exhibition for one of the studios I work for. It was great to be in the heart of Knightsbridge and in such a creative building, and having the opportunity to spend some time properly look at the other exhibitions without having to rush off to the next one!
This year the district's focus was on ‘Material Consequences’, concerning the sustainability of the materials we are using and being conscious of our waste.
Why Materials Matter
Ma-tt-er also combined the exhibition with their book launch of the same name. They cleverly encorporated the book and it's subject by having designers make bookends in a variety of sustainable materials. The whole piece was beautifully laid out, with some super interesting (and often surprising) materials on show.
The Lost Masterpiece of the Hotel Praha
The hotel Praha was built in Prague for the communist party during the 1980s. It was lavishly designed using by the best architects at the time, and furniture by the most famous designers. It was demolished in 2014, and only 5% of the contents were recovered. Some of the pieces were in the exhibition, with curtains setting the scene of each room, giving us a taste of what this extraordinary hotel would have been like.
Franklin Till were showcasing some of the brands, organisations and individuals actively trying to change the way we consume ‘stuff’. It was great to discover some more ways that we can adjust our habits to be more conscious of what we’re buying and using. I especially liked; Petit Pli who make children’s clothes that expand as they grow and Who Gives A Crap who produce recycled toilet paper and use the profits to build toilets in countries that need them.
Feel Free to Consume
Next door was ‘Feel Free to Consume’, an installation that featured a new type of bioplastic called NUATAN, which can biodegrade in compost. It looked and felt just like normal plastic and in so many beautiful colours. It’s brilliant to think that this could be the future for packaging, I just hope that it happens quickly.
The Conran Shop x Pinterest
The last on my highlights list was Pinterest’s collaboration with The Conran Shop. Any excuse to visit The Conran Shop is fine by me! It’s my absolute favourite homeware store, their use of colour is so spot on, I just wish I had a little more spare cash! But it’s a perfect inspiration destination, so it seemed fitting that their installation was with Pinterest. They were introducing the future of shopping with merging online and offline worlds. Scan the object with your smartphone to add it to your Pinterest board. I’m sure things like this will start popping up all over the place in the near future, so it’s interesting to see what this could be like and maybe promote less impulsive buys.