Category Archives: London

Design Exquis: Roca Edition…

Posted on September 13, 2013 by Megan

Retelling a story of design and creation that began over 2,000 years ago, the third edition of Design Exquis is now open at the Roca London Gallery, offering an intriguing twist on the original idea.

Design Exquis is a series of exhibitions inspired by the collective method of creation, developed by the Surrealists. Roca London gallery have announced the last designer of this creative chain as music composer Nick Phillips brings the story to an end.

Taking the debate about design to a whole new level for 2013, and exploring sound as design, the exhibition’s curators, Florian Dussopt and Géraldine Vessière, asked Nick to be the final designer in the process, which involves five designers responding in turn to an object created by their predecessor.

Through his creation, Metamorphosis, Nick transforms marble into sound. For this, he used a technical method to convert the grain and colour of the material into sound patterns, which became a sonic template to build his sound from. He then continued to draw visual inspiration from the marble to take the composition further. Played through headphones and also out loud in the gallery, the music accompanies visitors on their Design Exquis journey.

Object 6 – Sound Image

The first time that sound has been presented as one of the objects in the process, Metamorphosis is Nick’s response to object number five, Reflections by Lex Pott. Inspired by the book matching technique used in the wood and stone industry by which a solid block of stone is cut in two to open like a book to create a mirrored pattern, Lex created a marble room divider and a series of six shelves. The various organic patterns of the marble combined with very strong geometric shapes provide a contrast between the natural organic material and the geometrical industrial forms. For the shelves, Lex replaced the second part of the stone with a mirror to create an artificially accurate reflection. Thanks to the imaginary space created by the mirror, the object becomes complete.

Object 5 – Reflections

Lex’s book matching technique was inspired by the angular shape of Mountain Light, the fourth object in the chain, which reminded him of an open book. Mountain Light, by Studio Swine, is a desk light embedded in rock and elevated on brass legs to give an architectural feel. Warm LED lights are used to bring a summer ambience to the interior all year round.  Exploring the integration of modernist architecture with nature through luxury interiors and glass facades, the designers used a new faux marble technique, with concrete as the principal material.

Object 4 – Mountain Light

This idea of utopia and the synthesis of the natural and the constructed was inspired by object three in the Design Exquis process, Summer Bowls. For Studio Swine this raised questions about the construction of paradise, the feeling of holidays and playful modernist architecture in the land of the endless summer – particularly Palm Springs and Los Angeles.

Object 3 – Summer Bowls

Summer Bowls is a group of containers inspired by the colours and tastes of ice cream. Created by design studio 45 Kilo, the bowls are handmade using a traditional metal spinner, which leaves traces of the wooden mould on the metal. Colour-anodized aluminium surfaces, more commonly associated with digital devices, and Corian tops give the bowls a contemporary feel.

What better use for the Summer Bowls but for the serving of ice cream? How useful then that the preceding object in the process, design number two, is an ice cream maker. Italian food designer Jacopo Sarzi was inspired by the ancient technique of ice cream making, after spotting similarities between this and the traditional method of soap making.

Object 2 – Ice Cream Maker

Making soap requires a combination of greasy and alkaline ingredients at a temperature of 45°C and involves intense blending, known as saponification. Producing ice cream also entails a blending process, a greasy ingredient and requires constant stirring but in this case, the temperature must be -21°C. Jacopo’s ice cream maker is made out of cork, a natural and food safe material. The connection? A bar of soap, the object which begins Design Exquis: the Roca edition.

Object 1 – Soap

See Design Exquis at Roca London Gallery, Station Court, SW6 2PY until 16 November.

Photo credits: © Emma TS Robinson

Assemblyroom launch The Hatton Range at designjunction

Posted on September 10, 2013 by Megan

Assemblyroom have designed The Hatton Range launching at designjunction 2013. The range comprises of a fully upholstered arm chair and a 2-seater sofa in either solid colour or a bold two tone colour variation.

With its clean lines and its comfortable seat, the Hatton chair has a welcoming form and plenty of personality. Constructed using an FSC timber frame and covered with graded CMHR foam the Hatton Range is suited to reception areas, informal meeting spaces, hotels and bars.

Hatton Sofa

Hatton Sofa & Hyde Stool

The Hyde Bench

Following on from the successful Hyde series of Stacking Stools, The Hyde bench is a fully upholstered stacking bench seat suitable for breakout spaces, reception areas, educational environments and informal meeting areas.

Hyde Bench & Hyde Stools

Using modern technology and manufacturing techniques the Hyde Bench is a frameless piece that has been moulded using PU CMHR foam, making it comfortable, lightweight and easy to handle. With its ability to stack away, the Hyde Bench is an innovative and practical design that responds to the flexible nature of today’s environments. Use it for work, use it for play, use it to meet, in fact use it just about anywhere!

Hyde Bench Stack

Available in two lengths and a wide range of colours, the Hyde Bench can be upholstered in either a solid or a two tone colour combination providing a playful looking bench for any environment.

The Hyde Stool Upholstered in Bailey Hills Fabric

Assemblyroom are also delighted to launch the Special Edition Hyde Stacking Stool, upholstered in a fabulous new digitally printed wool fabric from Bailey Hills. The playful looking stool adds interest and vibrancy to any interior, both when in use and when stacked away as a totem.

Hyde Stool in Bailey Hills fabric

The Hyde stool is ideal for informal meeting spaces, break out areas, hotels, bars, museums and schools… in fact anywhere where an informal and fun looking seat is required! The Hyde Stool has been moulded using a PU CMHR foam making it a comfortable, light weight stool that is easy to handle. This coupled with its ability to stack 4 high, makes The Hyde Stool a versatile seat for flexible spaces.

Hyde Hatton & Burgess

Both the Hatton & Hyde ranges will be available to view at this year’s designjunction at The Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street from 18th – 22nd September.  Assemblyroom will be located next to the Camden Town Brewery bar on the second floor.

Assemblyroom Furniture was established in 2010 by Peter and Cathy Wall to complement their award winning Commercial Interior Design practice that launched in 2003. Informed and inspired by their commercial interior design experience, the studio create quality pieces which are comfortable, refined and built to last. All of Assemblyroom’s furniture is manufactured employing the best of British craftsmanship and using the highest quality materials that have been carefully selected for their function, aesthetics and durability.

A little more detail on the pieces…

The Hatton Range dimensions: Arm Chair: 880mm (w) x 770mm (d) x 660 mm (h); 2-seater Sofa: 1590mm (w) x 770mm (d) x 660mm (h)

The Hyde Bench dimensions: Midi Bench 1220mm (w)x 525mm (d) 420mm (h); Maxi Bench: 1920mm (w)x 525mm (d) 420mm (h)

SieMatic opens flagship showroom in Mayfair, London with Nicholas Anthony

Posted on September 9, 2013 by Megan

Last week World Interiors News attended the opening of the new luxury Mayfair showroom by German kitchen manufacturer SieMatic. The Nicholas Anthony showroom has been chosen to become the flagship showroom for the SieMatic network based on Wigmore Street, and will celebrate its dedicated new SieMatic displays and role.

SieMatic S2 – lotus white

As the originator of the handle-less kitchen, SieMatic has been at the forefront of kitchen innovation since 1960, creating timeless, original interiors. Its luxury kitchens are available through a network of specialist showrooms throughout the UK which are handpicked to offer outstanding customer service and unique kitchen living spaces which are a joy to use and experience.

Bernard Otulakowski, SieMatic’s UK Managing Director, commented:

“We are very pleased to welcome such an established retailer as Nicholas Anthony into the SieMatic team. It has a wealth of experience delivering exceptional kitchens and interiors for over 50 years in the South East. SieMatic has been established for over 80 years and so now is the perfect opportunity for the two companies to work together and further strengthen the position of each as we move forwards. The Mayfair showroom is part of SieMatic’s expansion into the key design cities around the world and this location will attract both those in the UK and internationally.”

SieMAtic BeauxArts.02

This new showroom will give customers the opportunity to experience SieMatic’s product offering within the ‘kitchen alley’ of London and benefit from the invaluable experience and expertise of the renowned Nicholas Anthony team. The showroom showcases a number of SieMatic’s most popular solutions for kitchens including the S2, BeauxArts.02, FloatingSpaces and IndividualDesign. Tony Nicholas the Managing Director of Nicholas Anthony commented, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with SieMatic, creating a dedicated flagship showroom in the heart of London. We believe that SieMatic’s exceptional range of luxury kitchens, rich heritage and outstanding service will provide the necessary ingredients for us to evolve and build upon our successes to date.”


The BeauxArts.02 range, conceived and designed by internationally renowned designer, Mick De Giulio, has been designed for those who would like a more ‘transitional’ style than traditional; something that mixes the best of the modern world while following a classic theme. Following on from the successful BeauxArts kitchen furniture range by SieMatic, BeauxArts.02 the concept utilises Sterling Grey SE2002 doors with polished nickel handles and S2 doors in a rich Ebony Walnut finish with the recessed grip slot in polished nickel. SieMatic explain, “It reveals how it’s possible to create a living and dining space even in the compact spaces common in city homes.”

SieMatic BeauxArts.02 – sterling grey

The design of BeauxArts.02 is purposefully segmented; the cooking area is separated from the cleaning or preparation areas and depending on the segment, different materials, handles and dimensions are used for fronts and surfaces. This gives the kitchen the diversity of styles reflective of the BeauxArts architectural style, upon which the design concept is based.


This innovative design feature concentrates on the kitchen as the hub of the home and welcomes the notion of this room as an open-plan living space. FloatingSpaces is made up of a panel system and highly functional open shelves with customisable finishes such as natural woods, which include matt or gloss lacquer and high-quality laminate. The shelves can be chosen in different lengths and sizes to add a personal touch to your kitchen design.

FloatingSpaces: SieMatic SE 5005 L lotus – white gloss

The shelves provide space for decorative objects and accessories to be displayed, allowing the seamless integration of kitchen and living spaces. The look is completed with matt aluminium shelf elements, which can be clicked into place at regular distances apart between the panelling so you can move your shelving around to suit you. FloatingSpaces provides a multitude of storage solutions for a practical, yet stylish, kitchen.


The IndividualDesign concept brings together a combination of the brand’s most successful kitchen programmes with a stylish new lacquer colour; agate grey. Designed to suit modern living, the IndividualDesign concept makes it possible for designers to integrate cabinets from different kitchen programmes to construct completely new and exciting spaces that blend the definition between living and kitchen areas. Pictured below, the IndividualDesign concept has been created that incorporates elements from FloatingSpaces, SE 8008 and the S2 ranges to produce a highly desirable open plan living area.

IndividualDesign, SE 8008

The launch event brought together the wider SieMatic family with guest appearances from SieMatic’s CEO Ulrich Siekmann, Export Director Roy Oldfield, Architect Marc Sporer and world renowned designer and co-creator of the BeauxArts.02 kitchen, Mick De Giulio. Guests enjoyed fine wine, canapés, music from a jazz duo and cookery demonstrations from appliance specialist Gaggenau.

The new showroom is located at 44-48 Wigmore St, London, W1U 2RY.

World class brands join designjunction’s stellar line-up

Posted on September 5, 2013 by Megan

designjunction has established a reputation for showcasing the world’s most renowned brands at London’s centrally-located Sorting Office during the London Design Festival. From 18-22 September designjunction presents the third edition of its flagship London show.

This year, designjunction is delighted to present some of the industries long-time favourites including Arper, Zero, Moroso, String, Carl Hansen and Bla Station featured below.


Zero is a family run company that has been manufacturing lighting since 1978. They collaborate with an impressive roster of Swedish designers including Mattias Stahlbom, Monica Forster, Thomas Bernstrand, Fredrik Mattson and Front. They use different types of material along with the latest lighting technology to produce new, unexpected and exciting designs.

Look out for: Last by Mattias Stahlbom. Last is a functional aluminium floor lamp with a pivot head for directional light



Arper is an Italian manufacturer who produces and distributes furniture for the home, office and commercial sector worldwide. Founded in 1989 by Luigi Feltrin, Arper is renowned for using new materials and technologies to create a range of chairs, tables, sofas, stools and armchairs with a host of international names including Jean-Marie Massaud, Simon Pengelly and James Irvine.

Look out for: Juno chair by James Irvine at the Italian cafe (first floor). Cast in a single form, Juno is a light and humble stackable chair. Available in six colours and can also be used outdoors.

Arper – Juno


Moroso was established in 1952 by husband and wife team Agostino and Diana Moroso. Taking an artisan approach to product manufacturing, Moroso have gained a worldwide reputation for producing high-end furniture focusing on quality, innovation and creativity.

Look out for: Klara, a wooden armchair designed by Patricia Urquiola (VIP lounge). The design works on a simple, linear aesthetic that is harmonious in its curved yet essential shape. The use of wood emphasises its lightness and elegance

Moroso – Klara


String Furniture produces affordable and beautiful storage solutions. With its distinct Scandinavian style, String furniture is loved by designers and architects alike for its simplicity and the ability to create a storage system to suit your own specific requirements.

Look out for: String Shelving, the original Swedish shelving system designed by Nils Strinning in 1949. The original system has now been added to, developed and enhanced to include a number of variations including Pocket String and String Cell.

String Furniture – String Shelving


Every item of furniture produced by Carl Hansen & Søn reflects over 100 years of furniture history with respect and passion for craftsmanship. Carl Hansen & Søn is the world’s largest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner. Their portfolio of products also includes designs by Mogens Koch, Kaare Klint, Ole Wanscher and others.

Look out for: Frits Henningsen’s Heritage Chair. This timeless classic comes with an upholstered seat and back made from a variety of fabrics or leathers, and oak or walnut legs. Matching footrests are also available

Carl Hansen – Heritage Chair


Bla Station was founded in 1986 by furniture designer Borge Lindau. The family business is now run by his children and based in the seaside town of Åhus on the south east coast of Sweden. Blå Station’s philosophy is to produce furniture based on innovation and sustainability.

Look out for: Dundra, a collection of upholstered, stackable furniture including stools, chairs and sofas. 

Bla Station – Dundra

designjunction – London’s leading design destination:

18-22 September 2013, 21-31 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1BA

Register now at

Reiko Kaneko’s first foray into colour launching at Maison & Objet

Posted on September 4, 2013 by Megan

Reiko Kaneko will return to Maison & Objet this September to showcase her range of refreshingly original ceramics. Work is well underway on a stunning Japanese-inspired stand design which will be her biggest to date at the renowned trade fair. Visitors can also look forward to an exclusive first look at some exceptional new designs including a very exciting collaboration with SCP, the first ceramic light produced by Reiko Kaneko.

Reiko trained at Central Saint Martins before establishing her own London-based business in 2007. Her ceramic designs are a reflection of her combined British and Japanese heritage; the traditionally British manufacturing process perfectly in balance with the modern Japanese forms that define her style.

Over the past few years, the company has designed bespoke pieces for some of the best restaurants in the fine dining industry. Maison & Objet will be an opportunity to see Reiko’s much-desired tabletop products including plates, serving vessels, bowls and decorative pieces; favoured for their simplicity and attention to detail.

Maison & Objet Bone China Tableware

Inside Reiko’s Factory

Arctic Mini Jug is available in three colourways: Blue, Green and Orange made in unglazed fine bone china

Reiko Kaneko has used this production method to create vibrant coloured versions of the popular Arctic Mini Jug as well as brand new Christmas baubles. Each piece is available in Blue, Green or Orange with an unglazed finish, leaving a beautifully soft surface texture. A variety of colour tests are created at the production stage in order to discover the perfect hues. This experimental way of working seems perfectly suited to the playful charm and character so often remarked upon in Reiko’s work. The baubles, entitled ‘Christmas Bubbles’ are also individually boxed, making them perfect stocking fillers for the festive season.

Christmas Bubbles are available in three colourways: Blue, Green and Orange, unglazed fine bone china and individually boxed.

The elegant Petal Jug is a welcome addition to the Petal range. It follows Reiko’s recent tendency to expand on some of her most popular collections, allowing people to gradually add and build up a collection of exquisite tableware pieces. The jug can be seen as a natural progression from the earlier plate and bowl designs, the tip of the petal forms a spout and the angular handle facilitates easy pouring. The jug would make a fitting wedding gift; a large version is ideal for gravy or sauces and a smaller version, perfect for serving cream to accompany sweet treats.

Petal Jug
Fine bone china, available in small and large sizes.

Reiko moved her business to the central hub of ceramic production in the UK, Stoke-on-Trent, last year after feeling frustrated in London due to lack of space and slow response times from producers outside of London. Now the business enjoys space with kilns for experiments in glazes, colour bodies and decorations. A face to face relationship with factories means shorter lead times, reliability and creates a collaborative feeling to production.

Reiko’s Factory in Stoke-on-Trent

Reiko recognises how her move to Stoke-on-Trent has shaped her business. Follow her via Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at the production process. She is even happy to arrange press visits to her factory, offering a first-hand look at how this fascinating industry steeped in British heritage, operates today.

Reiko Kaneko

Visit Reiko Kaneko at Maison & Objet, 6-10 September 2013 at Stand E23, Hall 8, Paris Nord Villepinte.


LimeWharf hosts Adhocracy: exhibition explores how new methods of production are stimulating a “cultural revolution”

Posted on August 30, 2013 by Megan

Opening to the public on 4 September, Adhocracy@LimeWharf brings some of the freshest thinking on the future of design and fabrication to the heart of London’s creative quarter in Hackney. LimeWharf is a cultural innovation gallery and artistic laboratory situated on Vyner Street, Regent’s Canal, at the heart of East London. This innovative and experimental centre welcomes artists and scientists to collaborate in residencies, think-tank gatherings and stimulating exhibitions.

Adhocracy@LimeWharf is curated by Joseph Grima, and adapted for London by urban designer and curator/architect of the  gallery, Thomas Ermacora. The exhibition is a tour de force in speculative thinking about our future, positioning open design and distributed manufacturing as new engines for unprecedented networks of creation and problem-solving around the world. The exhibition brings together an international group of pioneers representing the avant-garde of digital fabrication ecologies that respond to changes around us, questioning the very definition of design.

Limewharf Exterior

Originally conceived by Grima for the first Istanbul Design Biennial in October 2012, the exhibition then travelled to the New Museum in New York City in May 2013. The London iteration is adapted specifically for LimeWharf, and promises an exhibition that challenges the individual to participate in a global conversation on the role of new designer-maker paradigms, providing a fascinating experience for newcomers and experts alike.

Grima explains the exhibition:
“Adhocracy argues that rather than the closed object, the maximum expression of design today is the process—the activation of open systems, tools that shape society by enabling self-organisation, platforms of collaboration that subvert capitalist competition, and empowering networks of production. The exhibition is heterogeneous, embracing everything from medical innovation to cultural and political criticism, from furniture design to weapons manufacturing.”

Stratigraphic Manufactury 4 – Unfold

A wide range of projects are presented in the exhibition, exploring new directions in contemporary design through artefacts, objects and films. The participants delve into the new territories and opportunities given by open source networked technologies and personal manufacturing tools such as 3D printers. Adhocracy will include several on-site laboratories to catalyse a new London-based centre of micro-manufacturing at LimeWharf.

Adhocracy@LimeWharf has over 50 participants including new projects from: Technology Will Save UsHexayurtFabSkateLuis Fraguada (Robots in Gastronomy) and The Gloves Project.

Adhocracy@LimeWharf will run from Wednesday 4 September – Saturday 12 October 2013. Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 8pm. 

ASB GlassFloor brings cutting edge technology to TV sport

Posted on August 21, 2013 by Megan

Interactive sports presentation on the ASB GlassFloor at the BT sport television production facilities in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London

The German producer ASB GlassFloor, located close to Traunstein in Bavaria, is capturing the English market with its interactive sports floor of the future. The illuminated LED marking lines and changing sports fields add a fresh new look to the sports broadcasting of BT Sport in England.

The new TV Channel BT Sport owns the exclusive rights for Rugby, 38 Premier League matches, the German Bundesliga, the WTA Tennis tour, the Moto GP and cover many other international events and sports, paving new paths for interactive presentation.

The studio designers chose the ASB GlassFloor in order to offer a modern and revolutionary presentation for their most important sports. On the 400 sq m sports floor 10 different sports scenarios can be shown at the push of a button: rugby (3 different options), football (3 different options), tennis, volleyball, handball/netball and a square to display a league table. The presenter or director then simply selects the required lines on a touch screen, to show the lines for the interview.

A penalty shoot can be done within true dimensions and situations on the field can be replayed live on the glass floor 1:1; this way the presenter and the guests can judge and explain actions and situations much better to the watching audience. LED marking lines are installed under the elastic ASB GlassFloor and are designed to shine precisely whenever the presenter wants them.

Jamie Hindhaugh, Chief Operating Officer BT Sport states: “What ASB has designed and installed for us is a cutting edge floor which is the cornerstone of our new state-of-the-art production facilities. The floor not only looks fantastic on television but also enables BT Sport to build programmes around observation and analysis bringing its audiences closer to the personalities and skills of the many sports that we will be covering. The floor was designed and installed in record time and there was a great spirit of collaboration and can do from ASB.”

More than 700 metres of marking lines show the required sports under the floor. Horst and Christof Babinsky, the Managing Directors of ASB GlassFloor, say: “The ASB GlassFloor will change the field of sports and events worldwide.”

ASB GlassFloor and its multi-functionality is now taking hold of other markets including spas, hotels, patios and other interior design projects. The colour changing aspects and the ability to install a LED logo under a lit floor hold appeal to a number of projects. The product is low maintenance and takes the wear and tear of footfall very well due to the high quality finish and installation. 


Body Language at the Saatchi Gallery

Posted on August 14, 2013 by Megan

The Saatchi Gallery has revealed their November exhibition, Body Language will be gracing the galleries during the World Interiors News Annual Awards ceremony on 28 November 2013. Interior design professionals will gather amongst the refined splendour of the gallery, to celebrate the winning and shortlisted projects of the awards, and view the work of innovative artists.

Body Language will explore the physicalities of being human through painting, sculpture, photography and other vibrant visceral works. The artists exhibiting through the galleries 7, 8 and 9 include Dana Shutz, Jansson Stegner, Justin Matherly, Amy Bessone, Raffi Kalenderian, Tanyth Berkeley, Michael Cline, Francis Upritchard, Nicole Eisenman and Kasper Kovitz.

Dana Schutz, Singed Picnic (2008)

Throughout Body Language the body can appear in fragmentary segments such as the work of Justin Matherly, squashed flat, or not at all; it can turn up slumping to the floor or gnawed from a hunk of meat, for example Kasper Kovitz.

And when it does appear, it refuses to obey its usual roles as carrier of narrative (in Dana Schutz and Jansson Stegner’s ambiguous scenarios) or epitome of beauty (see Nicole Eisenman and Michael Cline’s grotesques, or Tanyth Berkeley’s restaging of the feminine image). These are figures, then, but not as traditionally understood.

As a uniquely shared property, the human body remains visual art’s best metaphor for an investigation into how it feels to be alive. Physical empathy pulls viewer and object closer together to articulate life’s condition, and to draw closer to others in the hope of mutual understanding of the human body.

Dana Shutz

Dana Shutz’s Reformers shows worried-looking figures clumsily constructing a figure on a table. Shutz presents narratives in her paintings that fail to fully cohere, like a storyteller suddenly realising he’s forgotten the ending in the midst of the telling. The paintings’ styles similarly leap towards and away from closure, flirting with the tics of the past – the skidding brushstrokes of post-war abstract painting, the dappled dabs of impressionism – while revisiting the narrative approach those movements sought to make redundant. Schutz’s stories overreach themselves: there are too many characters, too many props, too much immediate activity for the viewer to find comfortable purchase in the tale.

Dana Schutz , Reformers (2004)

Jansson Stegner

The female police officers in Jansson Stegner’s paintings pose in attitudes of languid melancholy. They lean or lie or crouch on rocks or against tree stumps, their eyes elsewhere, their uniforms the only urban element in otherwise windswept, emptied-out landscape settings. The uniforms strike a special note of strangeness in Stegner’s works: without them, we’d be in the realms of the Romantic portrait, these long-limbed girls embodiments of lost love, or the trials of youth, or innocence abandoned. The paintings’ clash of symbols – discipline and sensuality, law and abandon – gives them a hypnotic force that is both beguiling and disturbing.

Jansson Stegner, Great Plains (2007)

Justin Matherly 

Justin Matherly’s works operate in the gap between the actual and the imagined. Their component parts – glass reinforced concrete forms are set into equipment sourced from hospitals – evoke a contingent kind of truth, something not quite articulated, not quite complete. His works refer to the celebrated excavation of the classical sculptural group Laocoon and his Sons in Rome in 1506, unearthed largely intact but with the central figure’s right arm missing. A competition to create a replacement for the missing arm generated a number of speculative substitutes; Matherly’s sculptures evoke these acts of guesswork by employing materials redolent of instability. The concrete’s surface – pocked and lunar, apparently crumbling – implies uncertainty, the subject’s majestic association and bulging musculature rendered pathetic, even comic, by its reliance on the walkers.

Justin Matherly, As Long As Its Truth And Purity Remain (2011)

Amy Bessone

Bessone’s use of source material – Messien figurines, painted from images in auction catalogues or on web pages – epitomises her satirical investigation of the limits of aesthetic taste, as well as her interest in the uncanny animation of ordinary objects. Eunuch, presents a grotesquely pouting head, its title the epitome of a sexual threshold, seems pitched between tasteful style and lowbrow subject, dancing with merry abandon between the two.

Amy Bessone, Eunuch (2008)

Raffi Kalenderian 

Raffi Kalendarian’s paintings of his close friends and fellow artists employ a dense and graphic patterning that makes them oscillate between flatness and depth, as between an image and an object. Their attention to surface – the artist occasionally uses wax mixed into the paint – emphasises their hand-made qualities, connecting them to a tradition of artisanal craft or folk art. That focus on the physical act of making seems to draw their subjects ever closer, evoking an intimacy that is appropriate for images of flatmates (Highlanders) or former girlfriends (Rachel). Kalendarian’s interest in collapsing the distance between the figure and its ground locates each sitter as component in a particular memory from the artist’s own life: place and person are bound together, as they are in the mind.

Raffi Kalenderian, Highlanders (2008)

Tanyth Berkeley

Tanyth Berkeley’s work revisits the heightened artifice of the Renaissance portrait – hands and feet delicately displayed; flowers clasped to the breast; eyes locked on a distant spot beyond – to lend her images both a traditional gravitas and a playful bait-and-switch between the real and the fictive. The formats of her photographs (slender verticals for full-length figures, cropped rectangles for head-and-shoulder shots) emphasise the focus on individual autonomy: they possess the space absolutely. The frame is framed for them. Her subjects, people Berkeley met by chance on the street or subway and asked to pose as they wished, embody appeals to a transgressive form of beauty. Women, biological or transgendered, occupy pictorial spaces designed for their display as passive recipients of ogling eyes. 

Tanyth Berkeley, Grace in Window (2006)

Michael Cline

Cline uses the grotesque as a weapon of satirical intent. Throughout his work, scenes of contemporary societal breakdown are filtered through a memory of didactic imagery from Christian art. In Free Turn, a dramatically-foreshortened figure recalling Mantegna’s 1501 Dead Christ lies on a pavement, his head resting on a pillow in a cardboard box. Dressed as an old-time grocer in bow tie and apron, his apparent personal breakdown becomes an archetypal one, the writing scrawled on various surfaces harbingers of civic disarray. But Cline’s work swerves away from the monochrome morality of the satirical cartoon, insisting on staging an ambivalent curiosity that is the viewer’s own: notice the woman stooping down to look, in an attitude pitched between concern and indifference. 

Michael Cline, Free Turn (2008)

Francis Upritchard 

Francis Upritchard’s The Misanthrope gathers his tie-dyed robes and jangling necklaces and shuffles away from the world in performance of his name. His smallness is a kind of escape. Ornamental, he glides across an ornate side table, the garish pattern of his cloak at odds with his shrivelled physicality. Sculpture’s long engagement with the figure articulates a human need to immortalise its past, to make something solid of the transience of life. Upritchard’s figures, collaged out of modelling clay, wire, tinfoil and scraps of fabric, gather their uncanny power through a deliberate fragility of form, a brittleness.  

Francis Upritchard, The Misanthrope (2011)

Nicole Eisenman

In Nicole Eisenman’s paintings, art history returns like a hungover memory of the night before, bits of it coming back in unexpected snatches. In Beer Garden at Night, a contemporary parallel to Renoir’s images in turn-of-the-century Paris, the deep space of the painting is populated by figures out of the past, thrown together in a kind of boozy purgatory. Inebriation (many of the glasses are empty, or mostly so) becomes a pictorial premise: our eye performs a drunkard’s sway, ducking and swerving between the balls of hanging light, trying to find a vacant seat. The characters’ urge to touch each other – playing footsie under the table, or embracing in woozy joy – both generates the painting’s darting energy and articulates a theme in Eisenman’s work: the human body making sense of itself through touch.

Nicole Eisenman, Beer Garden at Night (2007)

Kasper Kovitz 

Kasper Kovitz, Carnalitos – Arana (2010)

The Spanish word carnalitos, meaning ‘close friends’ or ‘brothers’, shares a root with carne (meat), and that play on words finds a literal expression in Kasper Kovitz’s sculptures Carnalitos (Arana) and Carnalitos (Unamuno). Both sculptures are carved from legs of Iberian ham set into slabs of concrete; each seems to wobble and totter on its bony appendage, its whittled head emerging from the hunk of meat. Each is a portrait of a significant figure in the history of the Basque struggle for independence from Spain: Sabino Arana, the forefather of Basque nationalism (1865-1903), and Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936), the more moderate poet and dramatist. Their opposing political standpoints seem reconciled in Kovitz’s use of the same material, with its distinctive purplish-red flesh and ochre shell of fat, and the implication of two legs marching forward in unison, two components of the same physical entity.

The World Interiors News Annual Awards ceremony tickets are now on sale on our website here, or contact us on for any further information on the ceremony.

The works will be on display at the Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, London from 20 November. To read more on the Body Language exhibition, please go the the Saatchi Gallery site here

Information on the artists provided by Ben Street. All images courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery.


Kitchen, Soul, Design: L’Italia che Vive

Posted on July 23, 2013 by Megan

At the top of City Hall, FederlegnoArredo hosted an evening to celebrate the excellence of Made in Italy kitchens in July, an exclusive event held to present Kitchen, Soul, Design: L’Italia che Vive – a global project to remind the world of Italy’s celebrated tradition of manufacturing excellence.

The Italian Kitchen showcase was launched during the 2013 Milan Furniture Fair, and continued at the distinguished venue, as part of a yearlong journey through the United States, Russia and China and will culminate at Eurocucina 2014 to present the excellence of the Italian Kitchen to leading experts in the industry.

Made in Italy kitchens offer tailor-made solutions that combine traditional know-how with modernity and innovation. The result is crafted, bespoke work with sustainable, yet cutting-edge materials that can accommodate any number of appliances.

World Interiors News attended alongside some Italian greats for a demonstration of the kitchen products: Gianluca Vialli, former Chelsea manager and player; Claudio Silvestrin, Italian architect and designer; and Giorgio Locatelli, the Italian-born Michelin star chef. A dynamic culinary performance was held in a specially designed kitchen to celebrate the essence of Kitchen, Soul, Design: L’Italia che Vive.

During the demonstration their conversation reflected on the excellence of the Italian kitchen; a fusion of traditional manufacturing techniques with soul, emotion and passion. The concept is strong: the kitchen is a place for socialising, as well as cooking, so the bespoke designs of Made in Italy reflect the Italian culture for food and life in the kitchen.

Giovanni Anzani, Giorgio Locatelli, Roberto Snaidero

Alongside them, Giovanni Anzani, CEO of Poliform, explained why the Italian Kitchens stands out in contemporary kitchen design: “State-of-the-art technology, combined with skilled craftsmanship that excels on both an aesthetic and a budget level”. He adds: “Quality materials, brilliant engineering, and a flexible and customized approach: this is our toolkit for designing and realizing unique products that define Made in Italy around the world”.

Poliform presented Varenna kitchen furnishings, a contemporary interpretation of the kitchen as a public space whilst remaining in keeping with technical functionality. Poliform create a range of bespoke products such as Varenna to combine traditional Italian craft and knowledge and up-to-date technology to cater towards a variety of design tastes.

Made in Italy kitchen demonstration

Other kitchen products showcased included Arclinea, Dada, Ernestomeda, Scavolini, Snaidero, Valcucine and Veneta Cucine. Gabriele Centazzo, owner of Valcucine explains, “The designer, who is willing to be eco-sustainable, has to realize products must aesthetically survive throughout time”. All the Made in Italy products stressed the importance of sustainability and efficiency in the kitchen: a synthesis of durability, reliability and safety.

Giorgio Locatelli and Gianluca Vialli demonstration

The journey of the Italian Kitchen will continue at the Eurocucina Show 2014 to convey all the qualities of “the only room in the house” that truly represents the Italian nature – its soul: a combination of the cutting edge and the traditional.

To engage with the sector even further, FederlegnoArredo is launching an international award, the Kitchen Award 2014, the third element of the programme, to give credit and visibility to creative excellence in the sector.


SHH’s ‘Park Place’ Mayfair House Gets Planning Go-ahead

Posted on May 31, 2013 by Megan

Proposals for an elegant, new-build, black-fronted house in Mayfair’s Park Place, inspired by number ten Downing Street and designed by architects SHH, has now been granted planning permission by Westminster City Council, including change of use from Commercial B1 to Residential C3. The project is due to go on site in January 2014 for completion in the second half of 2015. The seven-storey property, located in the St James’s Conservation Area (where neighbouring buildings include The Economist Buildings, the Grade I-listed Brooks’ Club, the Grade-I listed Royal Overseas League and the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea), has been designed as a 21st-century interpretation of a traditional Mayfair home.

Existing Front Elevation (Left) and Proposed Front Elevation (Right)

The street already boasts a highly-eclectic mix of Georgian, Victorian and late 20th century buildings”, commented SHH Chairman and Project Director David Spence, “but the Victorian properties still dominate. We wanted to pay our respects to the building’s context and distilled the main elements of the street elevation to create its proportions, but at the same time we also sought to create a unique and stand-out contemporary property. The black brick frontage was inspired by number ten Downing Street, as a premier London address and visual icon, whilst the crafted metalwork, which will be a major design feature of the building’s street presence, along with contemporary versions of gaslights on either side of the entrance door, recalls the glamour of a grand late Victorian or arts and crafts Mayfair home.

“Efficient use of the site and the maximisation of natural light ingress to the house were our priorities in the design” David Spence added. “The main habitable rooms are therefore located on the street side, where natural lighting is strongest, with mainly night-time usage rooms located to the rear, separated by a main circulation core. We were also able to be quite creative with the rear elevation of the property because it is not visible by the public and therefore subject to fewer constraints. This also allowed us to surmount the challenge of the dominant rear wall.”

The existing 1960s property, which will be demolished, is an unsympathetic, purpose-built office, designed with a ‘pack and stack’ approach with an extra floor added in, making it at odds with the classic Victorian proportions of its neighbours.

Cut-away section through building

The site is constrained by a seven-storey back wall to the southern aspect (backing onto Blue Ball Yard). SHH’s solutions to this include a new four-storey green wall to improve the rear outlook and soften the existing wall’s impact (with a recessed and lit stone panel at first floor level, directly facing a sliding wall and terrace for added light), as well as a rear profile which pulls away from the wall and steps in from the embassy building next door, with a rolling curved roof providing a glass curtain wall to help bring as much natural light as possible into the building, along with additional roof lights and recesses.

Initial street elevation 3D view

SHH’s design includes a huge, double-storey contemporary version of an oriel bay window at the first and second floor levels, partly-fronted by a delicate metalwork screen both for privacy and added decorative value. The metalwork – to be used again for the street level railings, porch grille and entrance gate – is made up of antique bronze and brass with black iron uprights, whilst contemporary versions of gaslights will sit to either side of the glass entrance door.

Street railing and ‘modern gaslamp’ concept visual

A notable commitment to craftsmanship at the face of the building was vital to obtaining planning permission (in which SHH were assisted by specialists Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners), as the area has a tradition of buildings with inherent artistic value. In fact, the Planning Committee of Westminster City Council unanimously agreed that the design is appropriate for its context, alongside the Grade I and 2* buildings in the road, and also praised the scheme for its interesting contemporary design, materials and contextual approach.

The dark materials palette for the scheme includes Fairface black bricks with charcoal pointing; polished granite for the oriel window bay; polished granite for the window portals and frames (with just the reveal in polished granite for the third floor windows) and charcoal black zinc for the standing seam roof. The whole ground floor level is made up of flamed-finish granite with bands and recesses, historically referencing Victorian rusticated entrance levels.

Metal veil concept detail

The interior layout includes a lobby, formal dining room, prep kitchen, receiving room/study, toilets, cloakroom, staircase and lift at ground floor level. On the first floor are located a formal reception room, family room, family kitchen, toilet, lift, stair and rear terraced area. On the second floor are the master suite with dressing rooms, wardrobes, bath and shower rooms, lift and stair, whilst the third floor is comprised of two further en suite bedrooms, linen and dressing rooms, with one of the bedrooms taking the form of a duplex space with sitting area and study space.  The fourth floor contains the mezzanine level of bedroom three and a fourth en suite bedroom, along with the lift fore and an air-conditioning condenser room.

Below ground, a new triple basement includes a prep kitchen, laundry utilities and plant rooms and a staff suite at lower-ground level. At minus two level there are leisure facilities, which include a pool, spa and deck; lobby and changing rooms; steam and sauna rooms and a changing area with toilets and showers. A media room (with popcorn and drinks machines) and plant/service areas are proposed at minus three level.

Circulation for the scheme includes a lift through all levels, a dramatic internal stair from ground to fourth floor levels and an external stair leading from the ground to the lower ground levels at the front of the property.

Proposed new street view (from St James’s Street)

SHH is a 50-strong architectural and interiors practice, which specialises in prime residential property design, alongside commercial and hospitality projects. The practice has over 75 creative awards and nominations to its name from three continents, including an RIBA Manser Medal shortlisting; three Commercial Architecture Awards; an International Property Award; two UK Property Awards; an Estates Gazette Award; two Leisure Property Awards; a Building Design Architect of the Year Awards nomination; two FX Awards; an ADEX Gold Award; an International Design & Architecture Award and three Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. The company’s founders regularly speak on architecture and design at conferences for, amongst others, the NLA, the London Design Festival, Construct Canada, the Prime Residential Conference, the Hospitality Show, FOCUS and The Interiors Show.