Attracting 29,000 visitors annually, the London Design Fair makes every effort to excite, enthral and inspire its design-conscious audience. With a wealth of experience and keen knowledge of diverse creative industries, the London Design Fair 2019 is well placed to accommodate the global tastes of architects, product designers, interior designers, collectors, retailers, journalists and more.
The London Design Fair 2019 will again showcase a comprehensive mix of country pavilions, brands, features, experiences, new launches and new talent. Visitors can look forward to exploring 550 exhibitors from forty countries, including Peru, Poland and Palestine. As well as an opportunity to peruse the design world’s latest artistic endeavours, there will be a chance to shop for a unique design accessory. Design Milk, the hugely successful design blog, is opening its Milk Stand pop-up shop at the Fair. With a variety of independent American and European brands in store, visitors can meet the makers and bag themselves an individual piece of design.
Adorno — the design-focused online platform that exists somewhere between a digital gallery and marketplace—has announced that one hundred designers will take part in Crossovers, an exciting cross-cultural, collectible design journey. Creative lighting exhibition [d]arc room, with its new home at the Fair, has confirmed the attendance of Belgian architectural lighting brand Delta Light, Italian lighting technology solutions group Linea Light and Belgian workspace design brand Buzzispace.
Joining The Bathroom Gallery, the Fair’s new dedicated bathroom component in partnership with ELLE Decoration UK, are celebrated bathroom brands Villeroy & Boch, NIC Design, Roca and many more. And for visitors seeking sustenance and a place to pause, Ole & Steen café will offer a taste of Denmark, serving up its delicious breads and pastries on the Old Truman Brewery’s first floor.
The London Design Fair 2019 – A destination for international design
The London Design Fair 2019 is a one-stop destination for international design.
The Fair’s Guest Country Pavilion in 2019 is the United Arab Emirates. Representing the UAE, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council will debut its first exclusive product collection. Based in Sharjah, one of the UAE’s seven member states, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council operates a pioneering programme of creative, cultural and commercial initiatives, designed to empower women through craft. Such initiatives include artisan exchange programmes, vocational training, youth education and introducing talented craftswomen, in and around the UAE, to international markets.
With a focus on preserving and promoting indigenous craft heritage, visitors can expect to find an inspiring collection of handmade items from more than forty female artisans, all of whom are employed by Irthi’s Bidwa Social Development Programme. Moreover, as the Fair’s Guest Country, the objective is to create a pathway between the UK and the UAE, providing visitors with direct access to products and designers they might not otherwise have had the opportunity to see and meet first-hand.
“Each year we nominate a Guest Country, drawing special attention to activities and creatives in the chosen region. We have long since been intrigued by the Middle East, nowhere more so than the UAE with its ambitious plans to develop its creative sector. The establishment of Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, focusing on female artisans in the UAE, MENASEA and Central Asia, is such a great initiative and we are honoured to host the UK launch of their first product line at the Fair”, Jimmy MacDonald, Founder and Director of the London Design Fair, comments.
Presenting Hungarian design with a twist, Budapest Select will exhibit idiosyncratic objects that reflect the multilayered intersection of design and art, with pieces that go beyond the pure representation of form and material. Plydesign is an up-and-coming Hungarian furniture label whose work and approach builds on extensive experience in manufacturing moulded plywood components.
Its Flagship armchair, designed by András Kerékgyártó, received the ‘Design Without Borders Award’, part of the yearly ‘Design Without Borders’ exhibition. In 2010, a number of Hungarian designers joined together to create Position Collective, a studio providing design solutions across a range of disciplines. The collective works on both Hungarian and international interior and product design projects, supplying its furniture and lamp collections to clients worldwide.
The International Craft Pavilion makes its debut at the London Design Fair, succeeding the British Craft Pavilion. Inaugurated three years ago, the British Craft Pavilion became the must-see exhibit for high-end craft during the London Design Festival. Recognising the need for a more comprehensive global representation of craft, the Fair’s organisers decided to expand beyond British craft, creating the newly named International Craft Pavilion.
“As the London Design Fair continues to grow, making it the largest and most respected international destination during the London Design Festival, it stands to reason that the Craft Pavilion should be international in nature”, Jimmy MacDonald explains.
Artisans from Peru and Mexico, just two of the countries to join the International Craft Pavilion, will showcase their designs. Based in Peru, Allpa is a leading producer of handmade Peruvian crafts. Established in 1986, Allpa’s products come from eighty small and medium-sized studios around Peru, and include ceramics, furniture, painted glass, textiles and jewellery.
By working with local artisans, Allpa is able to help with fighting poverty and improving living conditions. México Territorio Creativo is a creative organisation with a countrywide residency programme called ‘Vision and Tradition’. Building a collaborative platform that unifies craftsmen and designers (from Mexico and beyond), the programme generates objects that work to establish a dialogue between traditional Mexican production and contemporary design. Following the residency programme, objects are exhibited for three weeks at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
Crossovers by Adorno
One hundred exhibitors have been confirmed for Crossovers: presented by Adorno, this is a much anticipated new component of the London Design Fair 2019. Part digital gallery, part marketplace, Adorno is creating a global design community by bringing together designers, curators, collectors and enthusiasts from cultural hubs around the world. Crossovers will showcase a range of aesthetic, dynamic works by independent designers from eleven countries. Celebrating those designers and communities throughout the world striving to preserve and revitalise local design and craft culture, Crossovers will facilitate a cross-cultural dialogue—with a departure from design, the conversation will stimulate debate around both cultural and societal issues.The Crossovers exhibition is organised with leading design curators from each country. They are: Belgium curated by Elien Haentjens; Denmark curated by Pil Bredahl; Finland curated by Sebastian Jansson; France curated by Francois Le Blanc; Iceland curated by María Kristín Jónsdóttir and Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir; Italy curated by Annalisa Rosso and Francesco Mainardi; Mexico curated by Annalisa Rosso and Francesco Mainardi; Norway curated by Kråkvik and D’Orazio; Sweden curated by Paola Bjaringer; Switzerland curated by Davide Fornari; Turkey curated by Gokhan Karakus.
Exhibiting as part of Switzerland’s showcase, Lausanne-based design studio Panter & Tourron will show its ANC collection of stools and lamps. In a time of global automation, the collection reflects on the role of both designer and machine, questioning such concepts as functionality and decoration. In Denmark’s showcase, design duo Troels Flensted and Ragna Mouritzen of Flensted Mouritzen, created Revolve, a project rooted in a fascination with old stucco materials and moulding techniques. Objects created as a part of Revolve are ambiguous pieces that exist somewhere between function and sculpture.
Design Milk presents the Milk Stand
Founded by Jaime Derringer, Design Milk is an online magazine dedicated to modern design, offering a fresh perspective on art, architecture, interior design, furniture and decor, fashion and technology. With its Milk Stand, Design Milk has created a unique pop-up shop that provides independent designers and makers with an opportunity to showcase and sell their latest wares to a design-savvy audience. The Milk Stand has already popped up at ICFF in New York, West Edge Design in California and IDS in Toronto.
At this year’s London Design Fair, the Milk Stand pop-up shop is the sole retail boutique. Visitors will have an opportunity to meet a choice group of designers and makers and bag themselves an individual piece of design. It’s a chance to discover some fresh American and European brands who are creating one-of-a-kind products.
“We are thrilled to bring Milk Stand to London Design Fair for the first time. Expanding overseas enables us to introduce some of our favourite independent American brands to a European audience and allows us to partner with some incredible European brands too. At the Milk Stand, you will discover new, rising talent and accessible design, so you can take home a design souvenir from your trip”, Jaime Derringer, Design Milk’s founder and executive editor, observes.
New Designers: London Design Fair’s Associate Prize winners
The London Design Fair is a long-standing supporter of new design talent. Visiting this year’s New Designers London, the Fair has once again chosen its two Associate Prize winners, with sustainability the main determinant.
From its studio in Wales, Sit Still Studio designs and makes a collection of distinctly playful interior pieces. Working with Welsh makers and sustainable materials, including organic sheep wool and locally sourced ash, the studio emphasises a timeless, enduring aesthetic. High Society, a sustainable design start-up based in Italy, creates plant-based lighting using post-industrial waste: from hemp leftovers, discarded leaves and stalks from tobacco cultivation, and pomace, made using the solid remains of wine production. Each light sold by High Society supports initiatives against drug dependency, in collaboration with Forum Prävention in Bolzano, NE Italy.
The Bathroom Gallery in collaboration with ELLE Decoration UK
A wonderful new addition to the London Design Fair, The Bathroom Gallery is a collaboration with ELLE Decoration UK. A bespoke exhibition, The Bathroom Gallery will feature many celebrated bathroom brands, including Villeroy & Boch, NIC Design and Roca. Its aim is to offer an insight to those innovative features shaping today’s modern bathrooms.
Designed by architect and artist Ioana Lupascu, the exhibition gives participating brands an opportunity to transform a 20 square meter space: brands will have six options of freestanding wall configurations in a choice of colours by colour communication experts Calzada Fox, and will need to think carefully about the products they wish to display.
One company exhibiting as part of The Bathroom Gallery is Italian bathroom brand NIC Design. Recognising that we live in a time of constant change, NIC Design is focused on creating a specific style for the bathroom. Using simple lines and clean volumes to create unique forms, the brand alternates colour and white components, realising contemporary bathrooms that merge seamlessly with the everyday.
Material of the Year: Bio Materials
Material of the Year was an exhibition component first introduced to the London Design Fair in 2017. Its purpose is to explore the creative potential of a specific material that is having a significant impact on the world of contemporary design. In 2017, the Material of the Year was Jesmonite; in 2018, it was plastic. For 2019, the Fair has chosen bio materials as the its Material of the Year.
Bio materials (not to be confused with the medically-related biomaterial), are materials typically derived and made from agricultural by-products. Once the waste has been identified, the hard work then begins. It involves many hundreds of hours of unpicking the agriculture chain from which the by-products were derived, judging the best moment to harvest these by-products and then working out how to sustainably use them en masse. In order to demonstrate the complexities surrounding bio-based materials, four brilliant examples have been identified that will, it is envisioned, firmly move the needle in the environment’s favour.
Exceptional brands and designers
At the London Design Fair 2019, visitors can expect to find a host of exceptional design talent, ranging from well-known brands to up-and-coming stars.
London-based Flatwig Studio was founded by Erica Agogliati and Francesca Avian. At Flatwig, projects often come about from observing and studying past customs and traditions, along with folklore. Objects explore the intersection of art and design and the studio will often collaborate with young artisans. In Flatwig’s Ondula collection, light, mobile furnishings were designed using corrugated metal.
Collaborating with Slovakian textile designer Kristína Šipulová, the Ondula collection enters into a dialogue with a series of garments, made from reused handwoven linen fabrics.
Based in Bristol, KONK! is a multidisciplinary design studio and workshop making handcrafted custom furniture. Dreamt up by architecture graduate Alex (it’s a first-name basis at KONK!), products—from beds to bookcases—are made by hand in the brand’s Bristol workshop.
American artist Matthew Day Jackson has created Kolho, a series of tables and chairs made in collaboration with leading surface solutions company Formica, for the Finnish design brand Made by Choice. Named after the small town of Kolho in Finland—home to the Formica Group factory—the Kolho series was inspired by the surface of the moon. Jackson has a long history of using Formica in his work: in cooperation with the company, he developed bespoke steel press plates to create a textured laminate at a depth of 80 microns—a scale representation of the surface of the far side of the moon.