London Design Week descended on Brick Lane in East London last weekend to showcase the best interior design products at Tent 2012.
With a focus on innovative furniture and home accessories, many of Britain’s promising young designers exhibited their work, alongside international pavilions that celebrated products from countries such as Korea, Tawain and Hungary.
Sussex based product and surface designer Alison Milner displayed her collection of hand-thrown porcelain tableware that uses photographs of common British weeds for decoration. The collection includes ragwort, elder and thistle leaves printed under the clear glazed mugs.
Keeping on the ceramics theme we found a collection of fabulous oddities by Japanese potter IKUKO Iwamoto Ceramics. Her spiky or nodule covered bowls, mugs and wall framed sculptures are hand crafted from porcelain and glazed in azures and aquamarines, to evoke a sense of seascape.
Natural yarns and materials played a big role in many of the products at Tent this year and we came across furniture pieces that were both practical and infused with luxurious comfort.
Studio 180’s Treasure Collection crafts living room furniture, such as sofa and day beds, tables and soft furnishings out of natural and organic materials. The furniture is woven from a myriad of fibres including strips of unwaxed leather, hemp cord and wool to form practical pieces in earthy tones. Adorned with cushions and blankets made from chunky un-dyed wool and natural horn buttons, Studio 180 succeeds in bringing the best of British natural products indoors.
Claire Anne O’Brien uses wool and a giant pair of knitting needles to produce her brightly coloured deconstructed seating. Her Olann collection, meaning wool in Irish, takes inspiration from traditional Ireland, where fishing and knitting were at the heart of village life. O’Brien studied a BA in Textiles at Central Saint Martins before continuing on to complete an MA in Knitted Textiles at the Royal College of Art.
The Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA) presented Look – love – Keep in Mind: Here Comes Hungarian Design that introduced the best in Hungarian design to a London audience. Laszlo Tompa showcased his magical wooden sculptures that opened to reveal cubbyholes and secret trinket drawers.
As lovers of Japanese tableware it was a rare treat for us to see such an extensive collection of patterns and styles at the Mashiko Pottery stand. With ceramic pieces ranging from the practical to the ornamental, Mashiko remains an exquisite example of this traditional craft. Prices started from £19 for a humble mug up to £3,000 for more ornate pieces of pottery.
Tent certainly showcased many exciting new products and ideas and proved that British creativity remains at the forefront of design.