The 2010 London Design Festival kicked off this week - in the first part of our coverage, Design.nl visited Simon Heijdens, Moooi, the Dutch Cultural Pop-up Space, and the exhibition Objects with a Void.
In the grandiose lobby of the Andaz Hotel near Liverpool St Station in East London, look up onto the high vaulted ceilings to see the undulating leaf patterns created by Simon Heijdens' installation Branches. Open to view from 2pm until 10pm, the silhouetted foliage is in constant movement, regulated by the outside weather and the human traffic of guests around the hotel. Organised by Gallery Libby Sellers, Branches – which was also presented at this year’s Design Miami/ Basel – runs until 26 September 2010.
Over at Portobello Dock, the festival saw the launch of the new Moooi showroom in London. A beautifully restored stucco Grade 11 listed property, the White House is a magnificent showpiece for the company's products, arranged as room-sets, but keeping together the work of each separate designer. Portobello Dock is also the setting for The Dock, a pop-up shop organised by Tom Dixon. Thursday morning saw a discussion on the issue of Global Industry between Marcel Wanders, Piet Hein Eek and Tom Dixon – stay tune for our report on this next week. The Dock was also selling work by the three designers, alongside others.
Objects with a Void is a temporary exhibition of young six designers' work. The exhibition notes that, ''void is a term commonly considered useless, but in design, this often overlooked aspect plays a vital role. A bowl made by creating a void in wood, an arched bridge constructed on top of false work which becomes void upon completion...” One of the six is Study O Portable, who are design duo Bernadette Deddens from the Netherlands and Tetsuo Mukai from Japan. Their work is based around the portability of objects and for the exhibition have developed a series of colourful layered vessels entitled Fuzz. The studio explains how the project utilises a void as the main tool of production. “A geometric shape is made in wax and the ceramic resin is brushed on in layers, blurring the rigid shape into organic roughness. When cut open, the resulting object becomes a container. A container as an object has a specific function determined by the size and shape of the empty space(void). Fuzz become obsolete in function as it loses the ability to accommodate the original shape.”
The Dutch Cultural Pop-Up Space, located in the centre of the city, presented a live installation, based around a photo shoot for fashion designer Rui Leonardes. The menswear designer's conceptual pieces work alongside his more commercial pieces and the photographer Ophelia Wynne used the typical London street outside the pop-up space to shoot informal but styled shots of the designer's work. The black and white images will be displayed in the space until 12 October, alongside more conceptual pieces, such as the wooden sandal with knife heels and long leather straps – which Leonardes says may be used in conjunction with a directional ballet troupe. Speaking to Leonardes, he feels that his background as a graduate of the Rietveld Academy, followed by studying in London at the RCA, has given him a good overview of the two educational systems. He attributes his ability to work across different mediums – fashion, accessories, film, sculpture etc, to his grounding in the Dutch, more open, approach to design.
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