Design – London Design Festival 09 steps into the Limelight

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London Design Festival 09 reminded me of my very favourite drink this year – a long (as it snaked around London), slender (as it was more streamlined than last year), refreshing (as ever!) G&T with a great big slice of zesty lime to smack your tastebuds where it matters. Everywhere you turned, a certain vibrant shade of green hit you between the eyes and brightened up your day. When we filmed at Design Interiors earlier this year, the colour blocking trend was definitely in evidence, with bright primary colours banishing the credit crunch blues. Lime green is such an amazing accent colour against neutrals or black & white; here are some of the zingy images I took on my travels around the exhibitions…..

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Floor standing light by Liquidesign

Brief History
Liqui was first created by Cameron Fry while he was still studying at university so that he had a name to put on products that he was making for friends and family. Cameron went on to graduate in 2007 having been shortlisted for New Designer of the Year which lead to him being picked up by a well known London lighting company for freelance work. But his passion for design and a continued desire to create a unique brand soon lead him to set up his own studio workshop. Subsequently, Cameron has worked on several projects with his father Martin, an artist and graphic designer, and with their combined skill sets they are now endeavoring to build Liqui into a multi-faceted design practice.
The Brand
Liqui are a new design practice, based in the UK, who design and make innovative, statement furniture and lighting. With their multi-disciplined approach they strive to create pieces that are in some way different to the norm – whether it’s the materials that are used, the combining of traditional with contemporary elements or the incorporation of graphic design into a 3-dimensional context. As far as possible they make things that have a minimum impact on the environment and this is often reflected in their choice of materials such as paper and cardboard. As well as an interesting range of products, presently made by small batch production, they also create bespoke pieces on commission.

Cameron Fry, who graduated in 2007 and was shortlisted for New Designer of the Year, has become known for innovative lighting. He now works with his father Martin, an artist and graphic designer, and their brand Liqui created this funky floor standing lamp which is interesting for being so graphic it’s almost 2-D – see it at http://www.liquidesign.co.uk/

High Bloom by Mario MMeireles Studio

High Bloom by Mario MMeireles Studio

Apologies for the truly shocking image of this fun-ky cabinet, but in my defence it’s quite hard carrying bags full of brochures, camera, lunch and still managing to get spot on photo perfection every time! There is a much better image on their web-site at http://www.mariommeireles.com/. The Portugal Brands showroom was at the Truman Brewery as part of Tent and was full of unusual finds like this one, representing the very best products designed and made there – http://www.portugalbrands.pt/

This rad's no wallflower....

This rad's no wallflower....

Even Bisque Radiators got in on the act with this made to be seen model. Unusually they were at Tent, not in the main hall at 100% Earl’s Court, I wonder why..sensibly saving cash on a stand, wanting to be less ‘corporate’? They were the only ‘named’ company there really, in the sense that all the other exhibitors at Tent seemed to be designers / designer-makers. Hmmmm. Just an observation. http://www.bisque.co.uk/main.html

Random greenness, isn't that awful, I didn't note what they were called...

Random greenness, isn't that awful, I didn't note what they were called...

This wasn't actually for sale, but was being used by one of the designers to make something with :-)

This wasn't actually for sale, but was being used by one of the designers to make something with 🙂

Passivent ventilation system....think you might see this in a brick wall?!

Passivent ventilation system....think you might see this in a brick wall?!

This company provide natural and energy efficient ventilation for domestic properties, and nope that doesn’t mean they just knock a hole in the wall of your house 🙂 They knew a good colour trend when they saw it too….www.passivent.com

Its' a good job they're designed to be written on, or someone would have been in trouble.....

It's a good job these are designed to be written on, or someone would have been in trouble.....

This company make Chat Boards – glass boards which are magnetic and also designed to be written on, lots of different sizes, and shapes, and colours, including….durrrr, our 09 favourite.  http://www.chat-board.dk/Index.asp?lang=UK

Katadori - The Sand Chair

Katadori - The Sand Chair

I valiantly attempted to chat to the Japanese designers, Delibab,about this Sand Chair box. It’s called Katadori, which literally means moulding. They wanted to make something educational for children, but fun too. Plus you can carry your stuff to the beach in it, result. And it’s green 🙂 http://www.delibab.jp/Frame_exhibition_DW2008.html

Time for a sit down in the, yes, you guessed it, green press room.

Time for a sit down in, yes, you guessed it, the green press room.

The inside of Ella Doran's shed installation at Designersblock

The inside of Ella Doran's shed installation at Designersblock

There was a lovely interactive installation within 100%, where the team at Ella Doran showcased past and new products, this is an excellent blog post on it – http://www.verydesignersblock.com/2009/2009/08/14/ella-doran-at-designersblock-london-2009/ I really like her designs and images, hugely copied now, but the originals are the best http://www.elladoran.co.uk

Lush fabric from Kim Klelund Design

Lush fabric at Kim Klelund Design

This native Scandanavian inspired fabric is part of the Klara collection by Swedish designer Kim Klelund, who was showing at LDF 09 for the first time, She has an interesting web-site at  http://www.kimklelund.com, and was sponsored for this particular collection by a Swedish textile company who thought her work was crazy and beautiful!

The Prickly Pair chairs

The Prickly Pair chairs

Personally I would like to sit on one of these naked but I didn’t think that was a good idea in the middle of Earl’s Court. What a delightful experience it would be 🙂 The designer is Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers, and the idea – to create a fun and frivolous representation of a Mexican in Europe, blending the Nopal cactus and the Roccoco chair…. bonkers, but essentially for my post, green! http://www.valentinagw.com/

And last but by no means least, I have no idea who she is, but as she stood in the sun when I left Tent mulling over a lime inspired post, she sealed the deal….

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