London Design Festival 2013 - 3/4


Emerging Talent AwardsI love searching out new designers, trends and materials at Graduate shows; so I was very excited to be able to curate MADE's first Emerging Talent Awards (ETA's) you may spot some of the finalists from my Graduate 2013 blog* kirsty Whyte_Made.com_Emergint Talent award 2013

The five finalists were then whittled down to: Mona Tripp Tom Gottelier Josie Morris Emily Philips Josie Shenoy You can see a cool video below of the awards evening; edited by the Talented Deborah O.

Made Emerging Talent Award 2013

The short listed designs we're uploaded to the website for the public to rate their favourite. Josie Morris and her Range Table collection won the award receiving the highest average star rating. Although I'm sure this won't be the last we see of the other finalists.

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Here are a few photos from the awards evening.

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Josie Morris with her proud Mum.

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The award itself.

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Mades Creative Director Chloe Macintosh talking about the award, with guests looking on.

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Me talking about why each design was shortlisted.

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The finalists alongside Steuart Padwick and Chloe who presented the award.

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100% Design London |

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100% Design is always a good collection of corporate brands and small retailers. There were various zones all under the one roof at Earls court, Workplace, Emerging brands, Interiors, Eco, Design & Build, International Pavilions, materials and features.

The entrance was designed by Thomas Matthews and Studio Design UK.

Below are some of my top picks:

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The Walnut set by DDQ Design, The Nottingham based  studio had some beautifully industrial and well made pieces. Using the still very on trend, walnut and brass. They also have a really cool pen top which no executive table should be without.

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Some very pleasing stools from Zeitraum; I really like the crisp edges and smooth contours.

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I also have a small addiction to wall hooks. If my walls weren’t full already I would try to squeeze in these Geometric hooks by Plant & Moss. I think they work great as hooks and also wall art.

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Faceting is still very on trend and these hand made mirrors by Toby House are no exception. Shaped like Emerald-cut diamonds, they add a simple elegance to any space.

Toby House | MOIRÉ WALL-CLOCK 100% Design 2013

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Some candy sweet lights and cups by ceramists Ji-Hyun Chung from Seoul, South Korea.

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Great idea of stackable coasters by Beeen Company Limited inspired by traditional Korean crafts and motifs.

100% Materials

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A CNC 3D miniature world was constructed in the International Pavilion; Worldscape by Atmos studio.

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The international Pavilion area had a Paper Space, made from huge loops of paper, creating a great centre piece designed by Studio Glowacka.

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Mixing of materials and colour still draw me in ; above ‘Crack Vase’ by Taiwanese Designer Jacky Wu. The wood was soured from a factory scrap pile, as the wood had split and cracked during the drying process, for Jacky this is the most interesting element that he wanted to emphasize with coloured lacquer.

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Looking up at the Willow Lamp, by Christina Pacini of South Africa. This was a modern take on a a traditional chandelier;  each delicate drop was actually from metal chain; which would normally be more in place in a bathroom sink! Mesmerizing and tactile.

Designersblock |

This year Designersblock were at the amazing Southbank Centre, with the majority of work positioned in the Clore Ballroom; I had a wander around.

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Eric Calderon’s typographic Sphere used letters to create a layered text artwork.

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The multi Talented Reeps One also know as Harry Yeff has really developed his own graphic identity in the last year or so, these strong graphic shapes look great on the mural created especially for the Designerblock even.

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Gerald the Dog and pals took over a huge area, the 3D canines created by Lazerian Studio . Made entirely from a sheet of A1 paper each dog is assembled by hand. Each dog was displayed in a custom made kennel and rather than fur they were covered in exceptional artwork from artists all over the world.

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Man made crystal structures by Sara Lundkvist.

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Rosa Cobrizo , little boat shaped treys were inspired by the trajineras, thin wooden boats from her native Mexico.  The oxidized materials and verdigris are key trends that will continue on into 2014.

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The Royal Festival Hall also has a mini exhibition on the Festival of Britain; with some safely kept mementos dating back from the opening in 1951. well worth a look.

London Design Festival 2013 - 2/4

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Two days in to LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL (LDF) 2013 and this year I wasn't exhibiting anything personally at 100% Design; but that didn't mean I escaped the stress setting up a display and covering myself in paint!

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (34) was representing at 100% Design; with a small selection of products from Simon Denzel's Lichen shelves to Steuart Padwicks Fonteyn Dresser.

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A dab hand at designing the stand and painting it..not bad for a 7 day turnaround from being offered the space to set up!

100% Design 13–Setting up

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LDF was firmly underway and so we're the evening events. Celebrating the newly refurbished Heals flagship store was event 1; and what a transformation. With a new layout and high end feel; it's lighter brighter and encourages you to discover all the floors.

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All the items from the acclaimed Heals Discovers 2013 were on display. As well as Sebastian Cox, Matthew Elton and Ian Archer, Heals have collaborated with CASS and their third year graduates selecting their top three for customers to vote for.

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There were also showcases in the window for their existing designers; its great to see Heals optimizing on their current design talent, they certainly know how to treat them as their Designer Dinner shows!

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Plenty of Prosecco and designers to rub shoulders with; also some unusual musical drama from Silent Opera, David Irwin, certainly seems moved!

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Tuesday was already here; next job taking French and Italian journalists around LDF pointing out trends, products and designers to promote the Brits abroad. First stop the Design Museums "The Future is Here" exhibition. Where the crowd sourced Love bird sofa for was featured alongside, 3D printers, modular housing and personalised lemon squeezers.

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Up on the 3rd floor was a display from the Designers in Residence,below Objects – Identity parade.


Then onto the ever expanding DesignJunction at the old sorting office on New Oxford street; with a huge queue for entry despite the poring rain I knew it would be good!

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Designjuntion was the most superior show of all LDF for me; especially at its size (competing with 100%, Tent and Decorex). With just a good mixture of established brand, small independents and new creative talent.

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Farrow and Ball had a little instillation of their new 2014 colours, there was also a talk on Pattern & Colour in the Home; very informative, although my skirting board now needs painting!

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Lighting |

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Foldability’s  new The Sonobe CollectionOrigami lights which creates complex and beautiful layering of tones of lights, emanating from the centre.

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The modular lampshades of Apollo by International. Designed by Marc Bell and Robin Grasby, each piece is independent and can be mixed and matched to create a multitude of shapes.  The instillation looked great.

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Blown SW3 by & Tradition explores the shadows created by patterned glass.

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Looming above this mini room set of carefully crafted maquettes is the Turned and Spun lamp by Magnus Long Studio.

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Some modernised retro lampshades by Shepherd Wheel.

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Homeware and Accessories |

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Absolutely love these dinky anodized letter tidies by Gavin Coyle.

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From VW+BS comes the Stilt collection, created from purple clay; a traditional Japanese teapot material.

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The textured and faceted wood trend continues; I have my eye on one of these highly crafted vessels from the Experimenta range by The Andes House.

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Wood and polished copper also runs though many projects, Studio Brava based in Chili use local resources of both materials. The design concept is so the inner and outer can either be used as one piece to save space or separated into to two.

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Ali Miller had some of her new customised pieces on display, displayed by some eye-catching wallpaper in her signature style.

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One of my highlights of all of LDF was the Patternity stand (I been an avid follower of the blog and Instagram for a few years now). Which had some beautiful striped ceramics, created in collaboration with Richard Brendon. one for the Christmas list.

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Furniture |

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Dare studio was out in force with a large stand and furniture for every room. New to the Stand was the Katakana dresser, with  cleaver little mirror with hidden storage.

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Barnard debuted with 4 brand new pieces.

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Midcentury Modern has its own zone at the show, with multiple companies , I have blogged about before – lovely stuff indeed.

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Modus Furniture presented the strongly named Norse Chair by Simon Pengelly, following the trend of wooden curved back feature chairs, they come in  a selection of colours but I favour the wooden finish.

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They also extended the successful Noughts and Crosses range by Michael Sodeau into completing tables.

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Simon Pengelly was also busy with his own collection.

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I liked the colours used on these funny little units by Dean Brown, Callum Brown and Namyoung An.

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Another Country; have successfully moved away from their signature rounded leg furniture. Creating another original collection in the form of their new ‘Dining Table Three’ the tables trestle base is influenced from industrial furniture; so it can be used in commercial or domestic interiors.

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The interactive Poke Stool by Kyuhyung Cho for Innermost, adds a nice bit of fun and colour, to a simple product.

And other things that caught my eye |

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Brilliant courier backpack made from English Oak Bark Tanned Leather by Amble; tangible quality.

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The Sorting office itself is a great space with some of them remnants from its past life still present.

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Joy of Design exhibition featured photos by Barbara Chandler a best selling photographer and design and interiors journalist.  The photos were for sale and the money raised will go towards Out of the Dark a furniture restoration workshop for disadvantaged young people.

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Hi-tec 3D printing and crowd sourced design; you can’t escape it!

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Not as hi-tech but highly skilled and made by hand, Brooks, the saddles are a piece of art, which could be mounted on a wall as well as sat on!

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I originally spotted the Lovely Pigeon notepads in the Design museum, and I was pleased to discover the rest of the design collection was just as fantastic!

I had to make a little purchase of some Copper Triangles earrings – lush!

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Following the mint theme, the pleasingly shaped Monocle speaker by Native Union.

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These exquisitely delicate vessels and art, made from Porcelain by Fenella Elms.

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The FAO shop with their new exclusive lines in their monochrome glory.

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The talented Lindsey Lang extended her successful floor tile range.

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One of the 6 pop-up cafes was The Camden Town Brewery Bar in association with TFL, the benches were upholstered in this great moquette design.

Next stop the ETA awards.

Carraway Cushions

Working within a small creative team at gives me to opportunity to explore creative avenues I haven’t before. For AW12 we had a new textiles manufacturer where I selected up and coming textiles designers such as Tanya VentressRachel Rosie West and Eleanor Young developing designs with them that I had originally spotted at show like Pulse and New Designers.

As well as working directly with the designers and manufacture in getting these designs released I also had the chance to work on some in-house briefs, creating some exclusive designs. Looking at inspiration from current trends such as the Art Deco revival and graphic patterns. I used traditional shapes and contemporised the colour pallets.

Some of these successful patterns have now been used in the AW12-SS13 rug collections.

Images here show the some of the original artwork, behind the scenes of the shoot, me signing off the mass production in the Chinese factory and then back in the UK with the re-touch team finalising images for the website.

Original Artwork above.

Signing off the samples at the factory.

Styling the photoshoot.

Lifestyle shots with the model.

Retouching the images back in the UK office for the Made website product pages.

The final product; available to buy now.

More Passport Stamps


Travelling is an inescapable necessary evil in the product and furniture world. 
Visiting factories around the world comes hand in hand with design, development and manufacture. It may sound like a glamorous jet-set lifestyle but the truth is you never see the countries and see more of the inside of factories and airports, plus I need to plant allot of trees to offset my carbon footprint!
So below are some snaps of the inside of factories and glimpse of the countries through car windows. From my most recent trip across China and India.





Chair frames as far as the eye can see.


Followed by a 2 day photoshoot; the New Jonah Table coming soon to MADE.


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I went to an amazing fabric mill, that had the latest Italian machinery parked right next to some turn of the century mills, that still used punched cards; both busily clunking away  being used.

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Painstakingly connecting the next roll of thread.

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QC check – fancy staring at that for 6 hours a day.



Was information overload for the eyes, everywhere I looked was a photo ready to be snapped. Below is a fleeting view of what I managed to spot.

I saw a huge range of animals roaming the streets as I was carted,from factory to factory. Cows, goats, dogs, pigs, camels, horses, elephants, monkeys…

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I think the entire Indian economy is funded from this chair it was everywhere.

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A brief stop for Xmas presents then onwards.

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Loving the cello taped flowers on this wedding car.

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Nowhere looks quite finished!

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Off to rug factories and I just love the ‘pompom’ books, like Pantone Chips for rugs.

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Picking out some colours for new rugs.

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Metal elephant anyone?

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Stool forest

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Dinner under the stars, eating my weight in meat skewers, yum.

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Hand painted signage on shops and truck, just add to the kaleidoscope of colours as you drive down dusty roads.

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Always look up, how amazing is this and I nearly missed it.

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Another showroom stacked high.

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ooh lovely swatches.

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Nomadic corner shop.

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a proper traffic jam.

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I saw allot of people and things being transported about on a back of a bike, but this trip this was my record: 6.

Note the Dad is the only one in a helmet!


2 Countries

4 Flights

6 train journeys

15 Days

25 factories

+ 2 Day shoot

= 1 exhausted Kirsty!

London Design Festival 2012, Part 1 of 3.

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1 of 3 V&A, The Dock, Top Drawer and

My time of living is China has come to an end with many exciting opportunities coaxing us back to the UK, but this is not the last of my Chinese blogs, no not by a long shot; with a trip booked in for more factory visits and photography in November.

My timing couldn’t have been better landing just in time for the London Design Festival and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like jet lag stop me squeezing as much as possible.
Celebrating its 10 anniversary LDF has expanded and evolved, the guide get bigger every year with ever expanding venues and events. I managed to make it to a few of the big hitters, but working for a company heavily involved with the festival left limited time.

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From what I did see there were some definite trends emerging, traditional hand crafting techniques using natural materials contrasting with digital instillations like Prism at the V&A. Copper, brass, shiny and matt and mixing materials. Also bright colours are still en-vogue in reaction to the financial downturn, creative are still remaining fun and positive.

These are the edited highlights..there are still allot of photos so I hope your sitting comfortably.



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The Victoria and Albert Museum is a ‘go to’ destination for me any free weekend, but with the design nuggets stowed around its amazing Victorian architecture a visit during LDF was a must. First stop Heatherwick Studio “Designing the Extraordinary”, I’ve been a fan of Thomas Heatherwicks work, way before the 2011 Expo Pavilion, New Rout master and Olympic torch, I love the way he and his studio, don’t just settle with a good design, they always take it a level further. The exhibition was a little small but squeezed in many projects.

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Some of the brilliant Christmas cards.

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Prism an alternative view of London. By digital artist and film-maker Keiichi Matsuda, each section of the Prism was a digital display of data round London, and constantly evolved throughout the day.

The added bonus was that the access was via the ceramics collection and up a spiral stair case normally out of bounds to visitors.

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Behind the dome at the main entrance.

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Keiichi telling us about the work first hand.

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Don’t look down.

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Then up some more spiral stairs, to reveal and unseen 360 view of London.

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Down to the V&A court yard.

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A peak inside the Prism.

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Then Looking up from below.

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Of course the prolific Nendo; who have conceived a collection of ‘mimicry chairs’ composed of pressed and punched metal and lacquered white. They were in various configurations and positions spotted throughout the V&A showing how an object works with its environment.

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Then a cup of tea and an ENORMOUS meringue to keep me going and off again.

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Out via Dominic Harris and Cinimod Studio’s Walk the Light installation.


The Dock:

Visiting The Dock over the weekend just before LDF kicked in meant not too many visitors, but unfortunately missed some of the action. The Tom Dixon Website has a great short video from the event.

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The Dock has become an established location during LDF, now with a large showroom, which was the office when I interned there.

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Lustre ceramic lights made by hand.

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Top Drawer:

Trade Fairs aren’t usually considered as part of LDF, but thought it worth a look before heading home, and I’m glad I did.

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katie Leamon’s wrapping paper really caught my eye, I’m a sucker for graphic patterns.

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Although for me the best area was ‘Spotted’ at Top Drawer, which had 12 hand picked emerging design businesses.

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Lucy Alice Porter who I first spotted at New Designers 2011, had some great new textiles and brooches.

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All Lovely stuff have expanded their carefully considered collection, I loved the simplicity of their New Birds nest. Below I had a quick demo of their Drawing Machine.

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tuke & tuke and their ‘This Clock’

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Esme Winter and her amazing collection of wrapping papers and cards, her graphic style is really on trend but remains individual. If I received a present in this paper is would be unwrapped VERY carefully!

Being part of the Made team I’ve been lucky enough to see behind the scenes and contribute to their ever increasing ranges of affordable designed furniture for the home. For LDF it was time to open their new studio and showroom space on "The Ninth Floor”.

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The ‘Grand’ opening with the 3 founding partners, where the Made team got a sneak preview.

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We’re gradually taking over the whole building, at the lift your greeted by these mini-Made products.

Then Launch night with Brent Hoberman, Sir John Sorrell and Sebastian Conran debated the impact of the web on design, then champagne, macaroons and mingling between the products and designers who designed them.

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Hugh Leader-Williams being interviewed, who recently won the award at New Designers 2012 with his Spun furniture collection..

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mini models

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A very different space to your usual furniture showroom.

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The Jonah Range by James Harrison and Hexag tables by Jochem Faudet.

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And its not just the furniture that’s worth looking at the view of London is amazing too!

Flash Bang Wallop..

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…What a picture.

Allot of my recent blog posts have been focused on China, there is such a huge selection of things I want to post about, there may not be enough time!

I thought the design/creative side was getting neglected so here's a post about my work over here in Shanghai.

I'm a Designer and Product Manager for, as it's a relatively new start up I've had the opportunity to add some extra strings to my bow alongside design and working with factories.
One of the other elements of my role has become orchestrating the Made new product photo and video shoots, in the last year it's expanded from 20 products a shoot to a mammoth 166 items on the most recent shoot.
An 8 day marathon shoot was quite daunting at the beginning, but we made it through and got some great images of our new products due to be launched on the website soon.
So hears a sneaky peak of the behind the scenes of how the magic happens!

Snazzy photo filters courtesy of Instagram.

Day 1 – Bedroom, lighting and cushions.

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Dressing and styling the shots.

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Shooting our yet to be seen Designer cushions, Lucinda Ireland and Rachel Rosie West here.

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And the shoots wouldn’t be possible without the skilled Bertrand Stark the photographer and Tomasz Sztajer the videographer

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Day 2 – Lighitng

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Just prepping the new Alfred Light.

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Some fun stop animation for the Jenkins lights.

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Day 3 – 5 Upholstery

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The eternal questions…how many men does it take to assemble a sofa?

A: 2; the Rest are just supervising!

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Getting some nice details.

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Day 6 – it gets exciting with the model arriving. 

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Some rather lovely cushions by Tanya Ventress in the foreground.

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Chloe Macintosh the Creative Director, takes over the reigns with the model shots.

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New stylish lifestyle photos.

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Some more traditional and super comfy upholstery coming soon.

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Day 8 – And I’m starting to flag.

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New Wilton dining chairs in Cool Pebble blue, due for release soon, what this space.

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Then the photshoot marathon was over…now all we had to to was pack it all away again!

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Our snazzy slippers where hung up until the next shoot.

Limpet Wall Hooks in the New Made office

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I was recently back in the UK for 3 weeks, getting dose of Union Flags, and mashed potatoes. But it wasn’t all fun in the cloud covered sun, I was also working. There are worse places to catch up on emails though, as I was based in the new Snazzy office. With the team growing they had to find a new home. Here are a few insider photos from where the magic happens. kirsty whyte-blog-made-limpet  (3)

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Spot the product! Champion Pro football table, Jonah armchair, Canape sofa, Master Jack armchair, Bow Light…..

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There were even mini rapid prototype versions, i love the mini Bouiji!

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To my delight I also discovered the Limpet Wall Hooks were on display and more importantly used throughout the office.

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In the Hallway for coats and bags…

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In the kitchen, for stray tea towels.

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More coat hooks in the Customer Service team.

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Hopefully there will be some space left for the new Limpet Hook Colours due to be released next month, here's a sneaky peek.

Limpet Hooks now available at MADE.COM


KW_MADE.COM LIMPET HOOK LAUNCH Sept 2011 The original Limpet design launched in 2009, were manufactured from timer off-cuts by a UK timber manufacturer. They were retailed in the Kirsty Whyte website for £12.99 each.

After being submitted by Kirsty to the VOTE section of the MADE.COM website and receiving one of the most number of customer votes.

The Limpet Hooks have now been launched by due to popular demand.

They come in a multi-coloured plastic set of 6 at only £29. Kirsty Whyte has creatively combined a contemporary design with a classic satin finish. These timely, organic, mollusc shaped hooks are a striking addition to any room.

The hooks are warm, tactile and practical; the vibrant red and blue colours combined with the muted grey and eye-catching design make interesting wall art.



Shanghai Bound!

I'm off to Shanghai! I've been given a very exciting opportunity to work over in Shanghai for 6-8 weeks, so due to China's strict internet laws I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog, so it might be a bit quiet from me for a while!
So here's some info about where I'm going; thanks Wikipedia!
Shanghai is the largest city by population in thePeople's Republic of China. It is also thelargest city proper[8]and theseventh largest urban agglomeration[9]in the world. The city is located in eastern China, at the middle portion of the Chinese coast, and sits at themouthof theYangtze River. Due to its rapid growth over the last two decades it has again become aglobal city, exerting influence over finance, commerce, fashion, technology and culture.


??/?? - Goodbye


MADE LOGO Two of my products have been selected to be included in the VOTE page of the new home brand MADE.COM.

Made offer handpicked pieces from designers all around the world. The designs are then added to the Vote page of their website and customers get to choose what will go into production – Power to the people!

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The products are made to order then shipped back to the UK, which in total takes about 10 weeks. It might seem like a long time but that’s how they keep the prices so super cheap without skimping on quality. Lets be honest we’ve all been into a furniture shop and tried to order something only to be told it’s out of stock and you have to wait until 2020 for it to arrive! This way when you buy it it’s yours, clever!

I’m not just biased either, honest. I’ve got my eye on their Tripod Pedestal by Sean Dix.

Voting is easy, you click HERE and the products are below:

12. Limpet_detail

The Limpet Wall Hook.

2.HOUND_4 tessilatedand Hound Occasional Table.

Thanks so much I’d really appreciate your support, all I want is for more people to be able to buy and enjoy my designs…VOTE!