Monthly Archives: September 2014

designjunction presents ‘A Child’s Dream’

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Liz

designjunction has launched an exciting exhibition for 2014 in order to raise funds for Teddy’s Wish, a charity that aids research into the causes behind SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), neonatal death and stillbirth and supports grieving families. This is in collaboration with distinguished family-run British brands Anglepoise® and ercol, who have kindly donated the products used in the project.

Tom Dixon, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

‘A Child’s Dream’ invited 19 of the UK’s leading designers from the field of architecture, design, fashion and graphics to customise the iconic Anglepoise® Type75™ Mini desk lamp and Stacking chair, from ercol’s Originals collection. These are to be displayed this week at designjunction2014 in an exhibition curated by British designer Anthony Dickens.

Emma Mawston, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

The line-up of designers behind the uniquely interpreted products is an all-star cast, including; Tom Dixon, Wilkinson Eyre, Benjamin Hubert, PearsonLloyd, Paul Cocksedge, Ab Rogers, Sir Terence Conran, Topshop, Tony Chambers, Samuel Wilkinson, Faye Toogood, Kristjana S. Williams, Michael Sodeau, Donna Wilson, Afroditi Krassa, Bethan Gray, Rachel Galbraith, Philippe Moulin and Emma Mawston. Some of the designers comment on their superb end-creations below.

Sir Terence Conran, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Michael Sodeau, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Afroditi Krassa, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Afroditi Krassa on ‘Drip Chair’: “We may dream and plan as much as we want but life is unpredictable and we wanted to capture this and translate it onto a chair. Using clinical apparatus and colored dyes we have left it to gravity, time and chance to embellish the chair.”

Kristjana S Williams, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Benjamin Hubert, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Samuel Wilkinson, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Samuel Wilkinson: “We wanted to create an intervention that highlighted the beauty of the ercol Stacking Chair, something fantastical and unexpected as if from a Child’s dream. The result is the representation of a magic fabled animal, a chair that gives you happy and playful thoughts when you see it.”

Rachel Galbraith, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Faye Toogood, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Paul Cocksedge, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Paul Cocksedge: “The lights only come on when the two heads touch each other, and whichever way you position them for that touch, it will stir a visual memory of a child nuzzling up to its mother. It can be seen not only with humans, but across the natural world… This reconfiguration of the classic Anglepoise taps into the imagination whereby everyday objects take on human attributes, in this case to embody a gesture of caring and affection that is universal.”

Bethan Gray, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

PearsonLloyd, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Wilkinson Eyre, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Wilkinson Eyre Architects: “When thinking about the title ‘a child’s dream’ the first thing that springs to mind is colour. How bright and vibrant a child’s dream might be, full of bold colours and shapes and a great innocence. We have focused on those bold colours and shapes in an irregular, sporadic fashion, bringing playfulness and purity to the lamp.”

Tony Chambers, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Donna Wilson, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Topshop, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Topshop: ‘There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen.’ (Where the Wild Things Are) “When we are young, the jungle is a mysterious place, a realm of adventure and the imagination.  For our chair, we wanted to reference the magical worlds that you can disappear to in dreams.”

Ab Rogers, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

All funds raised will go directly to Teddy’s Wish, including ticket entry for the show. The lamps and chairs will be available to buy online through silent auction at thedesignjunction.co.uk/charity from 12 September until midday on Sunday 28 September 2014.

 

Consumerism & Natural Urges: Lego vs Ikea

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Liz

The Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney, Australia recently presented its first exhibition with collaborative artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro. Venereal Architecture investigates the spaces humans inhabit and the methods we use to attempt to control our environments and consequently control the natural world.

Venereal Architecture, Photos courtesy of the artists and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Healy and Cordeiro lead a nomadic lifestyle which has become the foundation of their work. They draw upon elements of travel to inform their practice as artists; packing, unpacking, accumulation, storage, freight. Their latest series particularly emphasises these themes, with Lego and Ikea furniture utilised to create the artists’ sculptures. Both brands are recognised as being functional and buildable, assembled by children and adults alike to create their ideal end-product.

‘Downstairs Dining Room – Octopus’, Photos courtesy of the artists and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

The artists explain: “Lego and Ikea furniture are very similar in a sense: they are both objects of aspiration that require assembly. Lego, which we grew up with, represents the dreams and fantasies of a child; Ikea furniture, which has become so ubiquitous, represents the dreams and fantasies of an adult. By meshing these two objects together we can think about the gap between our fantastic dreams and our banal longings. Both products represent destruction and re-construction, which are concerns we revisit continually within our practice.”

‘Bedroom 3, Baby’s Room – Lion’, Photos courtesy of the artists and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

In the exhibition, Lego animals are entwined within the furniture with unexpected and startling results. A snake wriggles through coat hooks while a lion crashes through a baby changing station and a turtle crawls under a table.

‘Hallway / Rear Entrance – Snake’, Photos courtesy of the artists and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Healy and Cordeiro comment: “The works represent our sublimated animal urges expressed through shopping… We believe that the combination of Ikea and sex is palpable. Visiting an Ikea showroom is a serious group-nesting experience: like giant bower birds, we carry around our blue object bag in the vague hope of getting laid if we curate the right combination of objects into our love-nests. The consumer experience must be the result of some natural urge gone slightly wrong”.

Venereal Architecture, Photos courtesy of the artists and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Granting Wishes in the Design World

Posted on September 2, 2014 by Liz

Instigated by Sir Terence Conran and initiated by the American Hardwood Export Council and Benchmark Furniture, ‘The Wish List – What I have always wanted is…’ has assembled several illustrious architects and designers together with emerging new talents to create a compelling installation, The Wish List, which will be exhibited at the V&A Museum during the London Design Festival this month.

The Wish List: Alex de Rijke ‘Table Turned’, Petr Krejci Photography

The project invited up-and-coming designers and studios to use only American hardwood in the creation of an object commissioned by an established figure in the architecture and design industry. The brief for each was a response from Conran’s friends within the industry to the significant question: “What have you always wanted in your home, but never been able to find?”

The Wish List: Norman Foster ‘tulipifera sharpeners’, Petr Krejci Photography

The Wish List: Allen Jones ‘The Hole Chair’, Petr Krejci Photography

Led by Conran himself, the incredible line-up includes celebrated architects Richard and Ab Rogers, Norman Foster, Amanda Levete, Alison Brooks, Zaha Hadid, Alex de Rijke and John Pawson, not forgetting artist Allen Jones and fashion designer Paul Smith. All have given their answers and the resulting objects have been created with their mentorship and under the watchful eye and guidance of Benchmark’s master craftsmen.

The Wish List: Terence Conran ‘Getting away from it all’, Petr Krejci photography

Sir Terence Conran has commissioned sustainable designer Sebastian Cox to create a workspace for his office. When asked about the brief given to him, Sebastian commented: “It’s going to be a space that Terence can work in without distractions. It’ll be a cocoon-like desk with cabinet space around. A space for undistracted creative thought.”

The Wish List: Zaha Hadid ‘Ves-el’, Petr Krejci Photography

The Wish List: Paul Smith ‘Paul’s Shed’, Petr Krejci Photography

Award winning architect, Zaha Hadid has always wanted tableware made from wood. Upon receiving this brief, Gareth Neal has chosen to play with the form of a carafe or water carrier and turn it into something more sculptural. Meanwhile, designer Sir Paul Smith has requested a shed from bespoke furniture designer, Nathalie de Leval. Not just any shed, ‘My Shed’ – a request befitting of any man. When asked about his brief Paul Smith said, “Really the inspiration behind the design was to create somewhere where you can go to switch off, somewhere to relax. In today’s world where everyone is so busy, I think this is really important and very needed.”

The Wish List: Alison Brooks ‘A stool for the kitchen’, Petr Krejci Photography

The Wish List: Amanda Levete ’6×500′, Petr Krejci Photography

The architect for the new extension at the V&A, Amanda Levete, has requested a reversible shallow fruit or cheese bowl from student, Win Assakul. Levete explains, “We often have dinners at home for 18 people. Our table is 4.8m long and I have always wanted a long, shallow bowl to run almost the length of the table. But for smaller dinners of say 6 –12 people, I don’t want such a long bowl. By making it extendable we resolve this.” The piece is inspired by African wooden bowls that reveal the beauty and depth of the wood grain as well as the hand of the maker.

The Wish List: John Pawson ‘Room’, Petr Krejci Photography

The open brief has clearly resulted in an extraordinary spread of design objects, also including kitchen stools, a trio of room fittings, a pencil sharpener, chaise longue, dining table and ladder. These can be seen during LDF (13-21 September) at the V&A – WIN will definitely be swinging by to take a closer look!

The Wish List: Richard & Ab Rogers ‘the ladder that likes the wall’, Petr Krejci Photography