London Design Festival 2015
This year Somerset House, one of London’s most important centres for arts and culture, becomes a major new destination for the London Design Festival, showcasing an exciting programme of events during the Festival. Within the historic setting of Somerset House will be exhibitions showcasing collaborations between internationally renowned designers and brands, a presentation of the winning entries from a competition with Twitter, an exploration of how an ancient tree can continue to have a function even after being felled and a display showing the work of the four winners of the British Land Celebration of Design awards, allowing visitors to experience a diversity of design excellence and innovation.
Jonathan Reekie CBE, Director of Somerset House Trust said: “Somerset House embraces a broad range of cultural activity including music, fashion, film and photography and design is a very important part of this mix. As well as being both a stimulating environment in which many designers and makers work we also are an important public platform for the best in contemporary design through our exhibitions and events. With strong links to the design community, we are pleased to present a number of projects as part of the Design Festival and look forward to working with them over the upcoming year to create new opportunities to bring design in all its manifestations to the heart of London and to a new audience.”
The West Wing Galleries will host the work of an impressive list of ten internationally renowned design names, many of whom will be collaborating with a design brand to create thought-provoking and innovative individual room installations within the recently renovated rooms in the building’s West Wing. The exhibition is a showcase of creativity and the very best in contemporary design and production.
Participants will include Barber & Osgerby working with Knoll, Nendo, Faye Toogood, Arik Levy with architects Tabanliogu, Jasper Morrison with Punkt., Alex Rasmussen for Neal Feay, PATTERNITY with Paperless Post, Tino Schaedler with United Realities, Ross Lovegrove with Kef and Luca Nichetto with Hem.
British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby will create an intimate reading room, filled with Knoll furniture designed by the pair, alongside other collaborators including Glas Italia. Visitors will be invited to sit and read the designers’ new book ‘One by One.’
Santa Barbara designer Alex Rasmussen will bring a giant wave to Somerset House: over 700 anodised aluminium panels, invisibly fastened to form a curving structural swell, will reflect crystalline shades of Pacific blue. Alex’s factory, Neal Feay, fabricated the modular installation which will fill the entire room.
Japanese design studio nendo is presenting an installation of its latest shelf collection ‘nest shelf’. The shelving unit, from within a second shelf of the same size, seemingly grows outward and gives users the flexibility to choose a width appropriate to the space available.
Tino Schaedler is an award-winning designer whose background in film and set design involved leading on productions ranging from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ to ‘Harry Potter’. Schaedler’s understanding of film brings a cinematic sensitivity to Optimist’s projects by fusing cutting edge technology aspects of storytelling - where spatial designs are sequential, time-based and choreographed - to create phenomenal layered experiences. Schaedler is joining forces with virtual reality Director Nabil of United Realities to take the visitor on a journey that will transcend the space – redefining the relationship between the physical and virtual.
Consumer technology brand Punkt. will launch its brand new MP 01 mobile phone designed by product and furniture designer Jasper Morrison. Morrison will curate the space at Somerset House so that it reflects his belief in creating thoughtful, intelligent consumer electronics which rebalance people’s relationship with technology.
Paperless Post, in collaboration with London-based pattern pioneers, PATTERNITY, will launch a limited collection of graphic, monochrome greeting cards with custom patterns that celebrate the key moments that shape our lives. To bring the collaboration to life, Paperless Post and PATTERNITY are creating an interactive environment at Somerset House. The installation will fill one room entirely with the patterns designed for the collection, creating an immersive space that invites guests to explore, play and connect with one another in the real world.
Lovegrove Studio is staging an installation featuring 100 unique anodized MUO wireless speakers designed by Ross Lovegrove for KEF and finished by Neal Feay Studio. These special edition MUOs showcase the convergence of Art, Design and Technology, relating the story back to the original MUONs, which are still regarded as an industry standard.
Istanbul-based architects Tabanlioglu are joining forces with artist and industrial designer Arik Levy. Using the diverse mediums of light and solid, dry and wet, warm and cold, the installation explores the theme of transparency. A layering technique will create different effects of light and texture in an interdisciplinary collaboration between architecture and art.
Hem has collaborated with renowned Italian designer, Luca Nichetto, on the modular Alphabeta lamp. Just like combining letters of the alphabet to create words, the pendant lamps, which can be customized by shape and colour, evoke a clean Scandinavian minimalism and allow for each constellation of lamps to be wholly unique. In the centre of the room will be a grand piano, the 88 keys of which will illuminate 44 lamps at its surround, allowing a special interaction between light and sound.