LDF 2014 | East | Blog 3 of 3

The Final leg of the LDF 14 marathon was East, with such a huge amount of independent exhibitions I had to be ruthless with my time and shoe leather.  Below are my top 20 picks from Eastside.  

Tent & Super Brands

Located at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick lane, this rabbit warren of a venue provides space for independent smaller companies to exhibit under the same roof at ‘Superbrands’ like Ligne Roset, Ginger & Jagger and Munna.

The exhibitors managed to remain smiling enduring sauna-like temperatures, thankfully there was a handy bar inside too!

1 – Kitty McCall – I was immediately drawn to Kittys stand and cushions, before realising I had already purchased two of her limited edition prints at ‘Pick Me up’ earlier this year.

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (2)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (2)

2 – Daniel Heath Studio, designs and makes Wallpaper, Textile and Surface Design. His most recent pieces have taken a more architectural and art deco style; influence by buildings he cycled by in London.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (1)

3 – Nest Design – Siren chair. at first glance it looks like a plastic chair, but is actually  solid timber reinforced with metal, covered high gloss  lacquer in a swirled pattern.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (3)

4 – Marius Myking .

The 100% Norway section of Tent always has some gems, with refined designs and considered use of materials.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (4)

5 – Hanna Kruse . These Soe limited editions vessels, are almost jewellry for the home, hand made in Germany. Each metal top in gold, silver and copper are hand polished.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (5)

6 – Hannes Lundin - Lith Lith Lundin  - as well as innovative design, the studio is strict about where its materials are sourced and produced from, going no further an 50 KM. all materials used are 100 per cent renewable, biodegradable and free of chemicals. Below you can see the Glimm Stool . Which is a modern take on a traditional hunting stool, so it can be easily folded away- and is very comfortable with its leather sling seat.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (29)

7 – Aorta  - The Heart of Art.

All of Aortas designs are not what they first appear to be, foam veneer, cork cushions, wooden plasters and mirrored paper. Each design can be hand crafted to bespoke specifications.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (30)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (31)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (31)

8 – Sebastian Cox Furniture

Just a little tasty detail here of his new Mop stick shelving, using timber coppiced from his very own managed woodland. I love the tactile quality of the wood and expertly finished joints.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (32)

9 – Pernille Sofie Karlsen

Pernille Twist table design uses the properties of the materials, here exploiting the flex and stretch of the timber. I particularly like the simple brass fittings.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (28)

10 - SCP

Despite the torrential rain outside the store and unfortunate power cut; there was still plenty to see inside SCP; be it a little more dimly lit then usual!

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (14)

Standing bowl by Fort Standard. There are so many brilliant products within the USA based Fort Standards collection – one stand out piece is the Aluminium cast Standing Bowls; a little bit of architecture for your table top.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (15)

Quilts by Donna Wilson – inspired by traditional Indian quilts made from scraps of fabric. Printed and quilted to give a similar effect.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (16)
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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (27)

Ishinomaki Laboratory a community based studio pushing the concept of DIY. Above is the AA High stool, that can be used a s trestles – its also really pleasing how they sit together.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (17)

Ceramic pestle & Mortar by Mashiko. Honest materials with a simple execution, the grooves on the inside of the bow, have a functional and decorative purpose.

11 – Minimalux.

The Minimalux house, was an amazing hidden away retreat with in bustling Shoreditch. Formerly the home of founder Mark Holmes. Over 4 floors the Minimalux collections new and old were displayed in an uncomplicated pared down manor.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (6)

Their simple but eye-catching Neon lights, in 5 colours were the highlight. Using powder coated sheet metal and LED lighting, the illusion of neon strips of light were created. One of those design when you think ‘why didn’t I think of that?’.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (7)

Dish 60 – with its highly polished scooped inside draws you in.

12 - Established & Sons

10 years of Established and sons was celebrated with exhibition; Formafantasma: From then on. Which had a series of instillations in their East London office, which considers the passing of time.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (11)
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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (10)

Above the brush pendulum slowly polishes the strip of brass, showing time passing in seconds.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (8)

above the sail dial opens and closes, showing time passing in minutes.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (9)

above the marble disc slowly rotate – very atmospheric.


For their 17th Edition Designers block found yet another amazing venue to set up shop – The Old Session House in Clerkenwell Green.  with over 100 multidisciplinary designers inside, there was no time to spare.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (26)
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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (18)
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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (22)

13 -  Tomomi Koseki – I had to make sure there were people in this shot to give an idea of scale. her most recent work is about the ‘Journey of the body’. showing how the scale of clothes change as you grow from a child to an adult. The pieces on the right hand wall are part of ‘your time machine’ working with different peoples family photos from when they were children.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (19)

14 – Camilla Barnard – room filled with Camilla’s delightful hand sculpted day to day items. Giving a magical lease of life, with a disregard for straight lines, and fun with scale, each piece is still immediately recognisable. I loved the miniature walkers crisps and then around the corner the enormous working type righter – brilliant!

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (21)

15 - Beth Lewis-Williams. Her miniature globe landscapes are fascinating, you can spend forever staring into their 3d vistas. created using both 3D printing and hand carving, their delicacy has to be seen to be believed.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (23)

16 – Giopato&Coombes Editions – Bolle Lamp – the bulbble lights were inspired from precisely that; the lightness of soap bubbles.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (24)

17 – Jake McCombe

I absolutely adored the beautifully crafted bangles and necklaces by Jake McCombe, working from his Brighton based workshop he makes each piece from metal bar. The best thing of all is that he can also make the bracelets to size – perfect for the skinny wristed amongst us!

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (25)

18 – Plumen. The star of the show was at the very top of the building – a full size tree in magnificent surrounding; I wish it could stay there forever. A dead and dried tree had been painstakingly taken apart and rebuilt in its historical home, with the Plumen 002 blub interwoven within its branches. The glow refected from the brass chandeliers and bare plaster walls really charming.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (20)

Other pices spotted along the way:

19 – Anu Samaruutel exhibiting in the Shoreditch Design Triangle on Kingsland Road. Her hand painted, collage fashion illustration was beautifully stylised and unique. I’ve also got my eye on her Cubist Jewellry collection.

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Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (12)

20 – Lee Broom.

Nouveau Rebel, exhibited in his flagship store Electra house; from accessories and lighting made from Marble. The Tube lighting, seen below single piece of Carrara marble, with brushed marble ends; luxury incarnate!

Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (13)
Kirsty Whyte_LDF14_East (13)

Of course there were so many more amazing things seen during LDF14, but hopefully this was enough of a taster for those not lucky enough to make it around this year – an exhausting week, but I cannot wait until next year already!

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.

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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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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 – 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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LDF13_blog_VandA_Kirsty Whyte (17)

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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LDF13_blog_VandA_Kirsty Whyte (20)

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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LDF13_blog_VandA_Kirsty Whyte (55)

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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LDF13_blog_VandA_Kirsty Whyte (58)

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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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LDF13_blog_VandA_Kirsty Whyte (36)

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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LDF13_blog_VandA_Kirsty Whyte (87)

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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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LDF13_blog_VandA_Kirsty Whyte (74)

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!