LDF 2014 | West | Blog 1 of 3


9 days over 300 events across the city, it was time to set my out of office, charge my camera and put my walking shoes on!The London Design Festival is one of the key events in design calendar and this year firmly established the capital as the premier destination to its international visitors. Time and geography got the better of me over LDF so I only managed to see a fraction of the amazing events, instillations and product launches. Across the next 3 blogs I’ve included my 20 highlights ; which was no mean feet to narrow down!

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (19)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (19)


The Victoria and Albert Museum is always a key destination during LDF and this year was no exception, with many temporary exhibits creating a truly sensory experience and inspiring environments. After a pot of tea and large scone I was ready to explore.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (14)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (14)

1 - Double Space, for BMW. I have never experienced and instillation on this scale before. There are two huge wing-like structures suspended from above; with a highly polished surface, reflecting and distorting the amazing architecture and Raphael cartoons. The forms then gracefully independently move; revolving; constantly changing the space. This mammoth project is residing in the Raphael Gallery until the end of October and definitely worth a look.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (16)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (16)

2 – Candella. As you step into the Tapestries room, your eye slowly adjust to the muted lighting and you discover a futuristic green disc seemingly floating in the entre of the room.  Totally hypnotic and immersive in this atmospheric space. The Candela (named after the standard unit of luminous intensity) is the brainchild of a multi-disciplinary team, Felix de Pass, Michael Montgomery and Ian McIntyre. Using the same technology as the glow in the dark parts on the arms of a watch; the disc rotates while a hidden strip of light ‘charges’ the surface, creating and endless flow of patterns that slowly fades.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (17)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (17)

3 – Wish List. Walking through from the Architecture rooms of the V&A you are greeted by the beautifully crafted pieces of the Wish List. As collaboration instigated by Sir Terence Conran, Benchmark Furniture and American Hardwood Council.  10 highly esteemed and established creatives/designers were teamed up with up and coming designers/makers to create what they’ve always desired.

Above is the beautifully crafted Cocoon desk for Terence Conran made by Sebastian Cox. This is exactly what I need; a place to escape while designing with no distractions! also you can see a huge turned table by Barnaby and Day for Alex de Rijke; the video is truly worth a watch.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (15)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (15)

Ves-el; commissioned by Zaha Hadid, designed with Gareth Neal. One of the hardest briefs of all”…Wooden tableware, but not as you know it”.  The signature flowing lines of Hadid’s work has been captured in these vessels; designed using advanced 3D modeling software and  manufactured using 5 axis CNC machine. I like the contrast of the modern with the timeless material and visible grains.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (18)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (18)

4 - Human Nature. Created by Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert. Reminiscent of large glass cannelloni, these huge tubes have been created using the same process which was traditionally used for making flat sheet of window glass. The composition of piles and lines of glass become almost architectural or sculptural, making a fragile material appear strong.

100% Design

Celebrating its 20th year 100% Design resided for its last time in Earls Court. Attracting over 30,000 visitors across trade, press and the public, it was a must on the to do list. Not only for the design stands but also for the talks and guest speakers frequenting the Auditorium.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (7)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (7)

5 – Talks. I wish I had time to catch more but I managed to attend the pecha kucha; Speakers included Jaime Anley, Tomoka Azumi, Nick Crosbie, Ella Doran, Luke Pearson, Russell Pinch, Dick Powell, Nina Tolstrup and Gareth Williams.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (2)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (2)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (1)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (1)

One of my highlights was DM25 - What Next for Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, hosted by Design museum Director Deyan Sudjic. It was fascinating to hear first hand about their recent Design Museum exhibition “in the Making” and also have a brief incite into the challenges on their largest project yet; the trains for Cross Rail. Their enthusiasm is unbounded, and makes me want to set up a design studio now!

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (3)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (3)

6 – Naomi Paul – Constructed textile design, crossing over into home lighting. Originally with a background in couture fashion, each light is hand crocheted, and the large loops allow light to emanate and diffuse though the cotton.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (4)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (4)

7 - 20 20 VisionBarbara Chandler. Anyone in the design industry who has exhibited their work during LDF would have surely spotted the familiar form of Barbara Chandler with her SLR camera draped around her neck and poised for the next designer or product to capture. Here in her 20 20 exhibition 20 designers have been selected who have exhibited across the show’s history and photographed with their products or in their studio/workshop spaces. Inspiring to see so many establish names in the design community and truly shows what a platform 100% design can be. I was fortunate to be captured by Barbra in one of her Design Portraits while exhibiting at Maison et Object back in 2010.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (5)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (5)

8 - Silo Studio. known for their innovative use of material and process, their most recent project is Newtons Bucket. Where these beautiful bowls are created using centrifugal force.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (6)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (6)

9 - Sandro Lopez – Parallax table. The balletic base reminds me of a ray gliding underwater. Simple in its conception and beautifully executed. Design London also agreed, selecting it as one of their stand out items.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (8)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (8)

10 - Mathias Hahn – Runcible. I’ve been a fan of Mathias’ work for quite some time; being drawn to it without even realising it is his; Runcible is no exception. Made from hard maple, these kitchen utensils, these simple forms have been created sop the user can potentially have several uses for each piece.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (20)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (20)

11- The Makings UK. is a not-for-profit initiative to connect makers with the design world around them. I spotted these beautifully crafted objects by Joseph Hartley; the sprung lid clip has a traditional feel with modern lines.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (21)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (21)

12 - Orolog by Jamie Hayon. Lots of square a watches popping up at the moment; being slightly watch obsessed, I’m always looking for something new.  The embossed quilted face, was interesting…overall to big for my little wrists though!

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (22)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (22)

13 - Faeridfaerid.com.  I really liked the aesthetic of these Berg nesting tables; it encapsulates to big trends at the moment; concrete and graphic geometric pattern.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (23)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (23)

14 – Get Clug. This is a clever tidy solution for the cycling addicted; with limited space. Get Clug is funded with kick starter; hopefully not long until mass production.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west

15 – Heal’s Discovers. Of course I had to include the Heal’s Discovers 2014 stand. At 100% the products were able to stand alone as their own collection; giving trade and press the opportunity to see the products first hand and actually speak to the designers face to face about their designs.

Habitat Design Reunion

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (9)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (9)

Habitat was celebrating 50 years, so 6 designers they have previously worked with were invited back to create something new, and exhibited at their Platform Gallery on Kings Road.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (10)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (10)

16 – In a dimly lit cluster of corridors I came across Aaron ProbynsSmithfield armchair, with a deep seat and soft blue leather it was hard to get up again from a day of walking!

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (11)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (11)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (24)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (24)

17 – Lighting – I know its slightly cheating having 2 lights, first is the Crystalline light by Claire Norcross, and the other is Tord Boontjes Bouquet in characteristic floral cutouts.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (13)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (13)

18 – Conran. My first spot in the window was the Neat dining chair by Magnus Long, made of stained oak and powder coated metal tube; a modern classic.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (25)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (25)

19 – SKandium. Studio Skandium was celebrating is 15th anniversary, and up and coming designer Daniel Schofield designed several new pieces; including the above sofa.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (26)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_west (26)

20 – Mint. Last but not least; Mint shop. Which is an interiors and design store, that has an eclectic mix of international high end design that almost crosses over to art.

Next to venture into the city to see what LDF treats can be uncovered!

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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF blog 3_Designers block_100% Design_ETA (20)

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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF blog 3_Designers block_100% Design_ETA (1)

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

Kirsty Whyte_LDF blog 3_Designers block_100% Design_ETA (30)

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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF blog 3_Designers block_100% Design_ETA (33)

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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF blog 3_Designers block_100% Design_ETA (36)

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

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (57)

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!

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Made.com 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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (35)

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!

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (38)

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (39)

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 Made.com was featured alongside, 3D printers, modular housing and personalised lemon squeezers.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (42)

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (44)

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!

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (31)

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (32)

Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (40)

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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (4)

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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (12)

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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (20)

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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Kirsty Whyte_LDF13_Heals_DesignJunction_Design Museum (23)

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.

London Design Festival 2013 – 1/4


The London Design Festival was my first stop after returning from China a year ago.12 months have flown by; but it's great to see how companies and designers have developed fresh new designs to exhibit this September.

Now autumn is firmly here I dosed up on cold and flu tablets eager not to miss all the design action on its opening weekend.

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PearsonLloyd 1:1 Inside Design at Great Western Studios |  A selection of new products of key recent work selected to illustrate the PearsonLloyd design language.

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At the preview evening we were treated to an intimate Q&A with Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd, everyone was gathered on the 20, 3 metre long plywood boxes; which were modular and could me moved to suit the spaces purpose.

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First stop on Sunday 15th the Victoria and Albert museum. Quite a few small installations at the V&A this year but no show stoppers like the Bouroullec Brothers; Field of 2011.

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God is in the details | One of the best parts of visiting the V&A during LDF is exploring the space and discovering contemporary design exhibits mixed within the permanent collection; in vast Victorian spaces.

14 Designers were asked to pick their particular favorites, following the theme of Designer is here there and everywhere.

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The Swarovski lens allows the viewer to focus in on the minute details, that a passer by might usually miss in the overwhelming assortment of what the V&A has on offer.

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ALESSI Made in Crusinallo|A display of prototypes and behind the scenes of the processes used to manufacture and design the Alessi collection.

Is was great to see some hand made models a contrast to the ever increasing 3D printing.

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Above | ‘Resonance’ Centrepiece and ‘harmonic’ baskets designed by Abi Alice.

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Above | Ally Capellinos “Bums on Seats” . Using the standard Bauhaus tubular steel stacking chair; Ally looked at the way the sitter positions themselves on the chair (to get comfy) the leather slings are then customised to suit the particular seating position.

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Design of time | People discovering what makes a Panerai watch tick.

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One of the highlight of this years displays were; the vertical lighting instillation that covered 2 floors by Omer Arbel for Bocci.

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Obligatory stop in the Ceramics and glass and furniture floor.

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Above | Finalists of the Bodleian Chair competition. The competition was to design a new chair for the historic Bodleian Libraries in Oxford.

The six shortlisted finalists were;  AL_A & Herman, Barber Osgerby & Isokon Plus, Hugo Eccles & Race Furniture, Matthew Hilton & SCP Ltd, Michael Sodeau Partnership & Modus Furniture, TNA Design Studio & Benchmark.

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Above | Julia Lohmann Worshop with prototypes of the Oki Naganode  installation. Which can be seen in the Leighton Room of the V&A a structure in Japanese Seaweed, cane and aluminium.

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This is the full scale piece.

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Wind Portal by Najla El Zein | 5,000 handmade paper windmills, that have been installed and move ever so slightly from the drafty breeze of the huge V&A corridors, each upright tube is actually synced with a computer program so the movement flows though the piece. I great combination of low-tech and high-tech marrying together.

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Final stop the Moleskin sketchbook relay| I was privileged enough to be one of the 70 London based designers invited to take part in the collaboration with Moleskin. A brand I am an avid fan of as my shelf of filled classic pocket sketchbooks will illustrate!

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The theme of this years campaign  was "design is here, there and everywhere".

LDF13_blog_VandA_Kirsty Whyte (6) Using 5 pages of the Japanese concertinaed A5 Moleskin we we're asked to respond to the following 3 questions: Illustrate what objects, items, systems and details you cannot live without in a private space or public domain. Examine what needs improving within your professional or personal life. Draw something you would like to design but haven't had the opportunity to design before.

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It was so interesting to see how different creative minds responded to the same brief; some analytically, some literally and others conceptually. It was great to be associated alongside establish design names like Russel Pinch, Bethan Gray, Simon Pengelly, Michael Sodeau, Tomoko Azumi and Luke Pearson to name but a few.

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I decided to got for a literal answer for each question; adding in answers, colour and pattern true to me...even if that meant I admitted my orange squash addiction! I only had 3 hours to complete the sketches before I was off traveling again; I found the blank pages quite ominous to start with; knowing I would my pages could be sandwiched between anyone! Here are a few photos from the sketching stages…

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…to my chuffed face at the V&A.

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As a bonus surprise; each designer received a goody bag as a thankyou – a good addition to my Moleskin collection.

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Squint | After the V&A there was just enough time to squeeze in a quick visit to Squint. A patchwork sensory overload from fluorescent velvets to shiny lamay fabric; plastered all over chandeliers to dining chairs.

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I really liked this little hallway storage piece.

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The Graffiti interior really helped add to the visual spectacle.

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With Sunday over the task of day job and trying to see as much of LDF began!

London Design Festival 2012, Part 2 of 3.

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Part 2 of 3: 100% Design and Designjunction.

100% design has always been one of the largest exhibitions that is part of LDF, but in past years the curation has waned and so has the visitor enthusiasm. This year Media 10 have taken over the reigns and injected some much needed Brand and creative influence.
With large established brands, commercial brands and emerging brands exhibiting along side each other. It is still a trade fair at Earls Court; but has begun to move in the right direction.
This year there were zones split into Office, Kitchen and bathroom, Eco, design and build, International pavilions, Interiors. I always gravitate towards the latter two, as that is where you see more inspiration and new trends.

Button, Bright colours and fun.

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The mini London world of Clerkenwell Design Week.

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Dare Studio have been very bust over the last year, with new products: Bronte upholstered chair, Maya desk, and spine chair. I really like the round low proportions of the Bronte.

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I wish I’d had the time but there were some great seminars at 100% throughout the day. The auditorium was designed by Paul Cocksedge.

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James Harrison Design stand increases in size and stature year after year, new products including the Norton Chair and Holton tables.

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As well as a press area, Knoll had the foresight to add in a Bloggers lounge; there should be even more, with free biscuits.

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Mark Furniture always have a strong presence, this year launching the Milly Stool . Contrasting buttons are still a really big trend this year, but I liked how Mark had used painted wood, so you could still see the grain, and clustered the buttons together.

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Plant and Moss are going from strength to strength after their recently newly launched  Bisley sofas for Heals Discovers 2012.

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There Akita Desk Range uses all the 2012/13 trends, concrete, brass, copper and wood.

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Mercedes-Benz exhibited one of their concept car; I was more interested in the stand than the car.

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For Fair weary passers by Ola Mireka and friend, were supplying free glasses of home made lemonade...Lava Lemonade; in resin cups. 

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Designjunction looked amazing this year, and for me blew all other competing shows out of the water. It may not have been the biggest (yet), but from what I saw I certainly had a lot of the brightest companies and design brands. A real step up from the first show in Milan 2011 where Modus launched my Drew range.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to visit the fair during the day, just for the evening events, so spent most of the time catching up with friends and creative acquaintances I haven't seen since before my adventures to China.

This year it was located in the Old Royal Mail Sorting office on New Oxford street, and for a derelict building, they did a great job at transforming it into an exclusive design venue.

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… and exclusive it certainly felt; the queue for the launch night was as far as they eye could see, thankfully I had a man on the inside to let me in!

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Innermost had a gravity defying stand exhibiting new products, like Portland by James Bartlett.

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Desktop Empires, by Colin Wilson

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Designers in Residence exhibited tools of everyday life, the use of materials and craftsmanship was really tangible. Modeling tools for Swann Morton, by David Irwin was my absolute favorite piece, a teeny wood plane; small but perfectly formed.

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Fashion Art Object a brand new online shop launched for LDF12. Which sells carefully curated selection of high-end fashion accessories, art and objects, from international design brands and individual creative talents. Its my ideal shop as is sells from brands/designers I already know as well as introducing me to new ones.

Highly recommended for finding the perfect gift for design/style savvie loved ones and friends…or yourself!

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So tempted to buy one of Elin Green’s pieces, I’ve loved them since I spotted them at New Designers 2011.

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I’m also hoping if I’m a very good girl Father Christmas might leave me one of these divine bags by Bracher Emden.

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Simon Hasan , this time mixing leather and glass, in amore tailored way that with previous projects.

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Very Good and Proper had a big stand with some eyecatching lighting. (more brass and copper).

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Then the evening was over, such a shame I didn’t get to walk around the other floors. Daily Tonic were much more organised than me I click here to view their photos.

Shoddy Shanghai


Safety First! Health and safety what's that? Would be the reply here in China. I know in the West, we've gone a bit crazy on the health and safety front, but some precautionary steps are always a good idea! I have frequently walked the streets agog of the accidents waiting to happen in plane site, while locals calmly walk by without a second look.

Here are just a fraction of the goose bump moments I've seen..


Now I looked closely and not a safety rope in sight.

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Putting a sign up on the 8th floor, just chilling.

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Man on a ledge.

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a rope an plank of wood…yeah that will be fine.

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let your children run freeeeee!

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I don’t think they were supposed to be doing, what they were doing!

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and this one is straight out of a cartoon.. what could go wrong!

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Most ladders are hand made from scrap wood, there obviously aren’t any long pieces of wood around.

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Just fixing the air-con (you can’t see the dripping water in the photo).

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Tripping hazzard…no one would ever notice!



This one could go one forever, my top 3:

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Oil dripping from extractor fan straight onto light.

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Smoking plug at work, better call an electrician and he’ll stick a screwdriver into it!

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I've decided to combine this blog with another one of my cultural observations: workmanship. This and safety first seem to fit nicely together (or not in China).Now I’m a fan of 'make do and mend' in this consumerist and throw away society, but I do think you should do I good job in the 1st place!

But no, not in china; build it fast quick and big and preferably from concrete. As long as it looks ok from afar it will be fine! Never look too close, as the cracks and wonky fittings can be easily seen.

Here are some of the best:

Bamboo scaffolding, can still be spotted around.

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This ones the best, I just have an image of the workman going to paint the bollards, only to discover he had no brush…never mind, just pour it on!

Tape is the savior of most Shanghai Motorbikes.


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Did they run out of money?

Just electrical cables dangling from the ceiling of the shopping Centre.

Laborer, just in his leather jacket. I think he just came from the street and wanted to help out!



Despoke is 100% Design London's new blog, bringing together a bespoke collection of the best designers, materials science and emerging talent.

Despoke is materials, technology, form and function - a host of ideas and a network of connections from the UK’s largest design show and beyond.

During the launch week of Despoke I was asked their 10 set questions click hereto view my interview and browse other designers responses; from Anthony Dickens, Sebastian Bergne and Lime Studio.

Despoke also asks "What are your 3 favourite design objects?" mine are here.

What are yours?

Design week final instalment - 2009 -100% Design Design

Sept 24th-27th
100% Design London was the final show of in September, so I thought I'd add a little insight as to what goes on behind the scenes in the mad panic before the masses of trade and public visitors descend, and the even greater panic to pack away again!
Thankfully I had two 6'4" assistants as I had forgot to pack my Go Go Gadget arms!
After the lights are up everything else is just in bubble wrap.
ta da! And here they come...
This is Ana a journalist from Glamour Magazine Italy showing me the article I'm in. 100% was a great opportunity to put faces to names of so many people I had emailed.
Some new snazzy business cards from moo.com the dark blues were the favourites!
100% Futures
And the rest. Unfortunately I didn't get to see much of the show as I constantly manned my stand; you never know who you might miss!
My two most important visitors; my Mum and Auntie :)
Chatting the Chat.
This is my friend Nick half of Sonodesign- the week is slowly taking it's toll as we all start to sit.
Here are the boys from Scott, Rich and Victoria starting to get that middle distance stare that kicks in around 5 ish! The good thing is they get to model their No.3 stool at the same time...very cleaver. I'm designing a bed next time!
Sunday- the last visitor leaves and the mad packing panic begins.
Don't try this at home kids.
And then like that is was over - a blank shell again.
For more information and follow up from 100% design visit Despoke where regular updates and interviews are added.

100% Designersblock Party!

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Party away those aching feet!
At the Designersblock party on Sat 26th Sept - whether they ached from manning your stand all day or walking around the marathon of shows; once the music pumped and the punch flowed all was forgotten and the night began!
The Designersblock office is amazing, an old converted pub that is a mash-up of Hackney squat mixed with uber cool design nuggets in each room. It oozes charm and eccentricity-much like it residents!
Sophie Hedderwick and I had a little nozey around before the party really got going.
Beer o'clock.
This is the Designersblock bathroom with artwork by Chrisine Guitan-a brilliant surprise; with one seat where you get the best view of it! To see Christine painting this work follow this YouTube video.
Erik Griffioen with his boogie shoes on.
followed by some Puff&Flock moves...
Enjoy these short videos:
Footloose more like footless. All I needed was new feet for the next day of standing all over again.