London Design Festival 2016 – designjunction Review

This year, designjunction was held for the first time at its new long-term home Kings Cross, having made a partnership with the University of the Arts London. The destination is set to become a new creative district as well as an international business hub for design in central London. Coal Drops Yard, an exciting retail space that brings together industrial heritage and contemporary design is set to open in 2018.

designjunction in it’s 5th edition featured 180 different brands as well as more than 50 carefully selected design led pop-up shops as well as numerous installations and collaborations.

Here are a few of our favourites…

Foldability: We were drawn to the 3D geometric pieces (see post on New Designers) and the work by Foldability, located in Cubitt House, was no exception. The London based studio creates bespoke installations and products inspired by geometry and origami, all of which are created by hand. The technique itself is quite simple – essentially meticulously folding by hand before securing the folds with heat. A truly versatile material, it has applications in wall covering and lighting for various sectors of the interiors market as well as set design and textiles. This links strongly to the A/W16-17 trend: Native with its main themes of craft and technology. This is further emphasized by the materials used, a cardboard base onto which natural and synthetic fabrics are heat set.


Another Studio: Another Studio is a craft-design practice that creates products for the home and workplace covering lighting, stationary and accessories. They are also inspired by origami as well as the craft of tailoring, not only within the construction of each piece but also in the aesthetics. The company works with flat sheet materials like wood, metal and paper to create intriguing and playful 3D forms. Created are equally functional and aesthetically stunning designs that we love and will add interest to any room or desk space.

Another StudioOlivia Aspinal Studio: Olivia Aspinall creates bespoke handcrafted surfaces for use within the interiors industry. Her work links strongly to the terrazzo trend. Terrazzo isn’t a new idea, originating in 15th century Italy, however recently the material has now been reworked into flooring, wall and home accessories.She predominantly works with the material of Jesmonite, a material that allows her to translate her ‘textile aesthetics into solid materials.’ A successful Kickstarter campaign enabled her to exhibit at her first solo show. It definitely goes to show if you are an independent designer you can successfully exhibit at high profile showcases through the help of support from around the world.

Olivia AspinallKirkby Design: Kirkby Design, a brand situated under the ROMO group presented their latest collection of fabrics suitable for the home and contact furnishing market. In a blend of contemporary design, minimal and monochrome graphic grid patterns are combined with quilted velvet and a rich jewel palette. The company also created new versions of its Piccadilly textile design exclusively for MADE.COM. It was designed in collaboration with Transport for London to help them celebrate over 150 years of transport design history.

Kirkby DesignGRID: The GRID design is also reflected in the external cladding of Cubit House which we love. Designed by Peter J Lassen, the flexible structure blends together exterior and interior as light passes through the simple structure that is filled with mirrors and vegetation. Bringing the outdoors in has become increasingly popular across all sectors; retail, hospitality and leisure. This was further represented by exhibiting stand bloomon. The company has recently collaboration with & Other Stories with the aim to bring fresh flowers direct to the consumer.


Lastly, one of my personal favourite pieces…The knot cushion by Icelandic-based designer Ragnheidur Osp Sigurdardottir which has gone into production with Swedish brand Design House Stockholm. The soft statement design, which is available in multiple contemporary tones, is made from knitted strips where the start and end seamlessly merge into one.


We thoroughly enjoyed visiting many events over the fortnight and are very much looking forward to next years event when many more exciting events will be showcased across the capital. We certainly will be keeping an eye on the website from May when events are uploaded!

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Artisans, Craftsmanship & Contemporary Design – 2017 Trends

“Products made by loving hands in small volumes….” this is the beginning of the end of buying ‘stuff’ just because we can …..  perhaps…..

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The Best of Decor + Design Exhibition, Melbourne 2016

The team are back in the UK after a fabulous visit to Melbourne, Australia. For those of you who didn’t manage to visit Decor + Design, we have put together a snap shot of what you missed; including the inspiring Scarlet Opus Trend Hub, Victoria’s seminar content and our ‘Best Bits’ at the show.


This was the first year at Decor + Design that we created a Trend Hub for visitors to explore innovative materials and be inspired by trend information. We had lots of interesting samples from all over the world including moss, fish skin leathers, gemstone tiles and banana leaf veneer (Click here for the full list of samples).

We highlighted 3 macro Trend Stories for 2017 showcasing colour palettes, trend boards and materials for Analogue Workshop, Desert Wanderer and Organic Matter.


Victoria gave her annual Trend Seminar sharing information for 2017 including up and coming design trends for colour, pattern, texture, shape and materials. You can still download the SO Colour Book which includes 3 trend boards with referenced colour palettes CLICK HERE.


(Images curtesy of Decor + Design)

Visitors of the show also joined us for daily Trend Tours at the exhibition, we chose 10 exhibitors who showcased exceptional products relating to our trends.

Here are 3 of our favourites…


Felix Furniture is an emerging, Melbourne based business that specialises in creating bespoke plywood furniture of fine quality. We love the simplicity and craftsmanship of their product, the ethos of this brand and their unique design style relate specifically to our Analogue Workshop Trend.



Uniqwa are suppliers of unique, contemporary designer furniture and accessories to interior designers and retailers. Charl, who founded the company, is originally from Cape Town and he is deeply inspired by the culture he grew up in, but he studied furniture design in Melbourne. Uniqwa are passionate about protecting the environment, they use recycled and plantation woods. Being eco friendly and sustainably responsible are part of their core attributes, which to some extent shapes their ‘over-all style’.

Their beautiful stand was filled with products that represent a laid back, slow and steady lifestyle; which fits in perfectly with our Desert Wanderer Trend.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.38.57 Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.38.41


Yolanda designs, hand prints and hand dyes beautiful unique textiles in her studio in Southern Tasmania. Yolanda studied textile design in Melbourne and graduated in 2013, her work plays homage to the natural & ancient landscapes found in Tasmania and the idea of a ‘wild land’ making it’s way indoors to become part of the interior environment.

The lush foliage prints relate to our ‘Organic Matter’ Trend… A trend that addresses the increasing desire to re-evaluate our relationship with Nature, we begin to appreciate and explore natural design processes and embrace unstructured design qualities.



Let us know your thoughts of the Trend Hub by commenting below…

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The Decor + Design show, Melbourne – Trend Hub materials list

A special Hello to everyone who has visited our Trend Hub at Decor + Design 2016. As promised here is a list of the materials on display on the sample table:


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New Designers 2016 – Part 1 – a most important Creative Showcase

This week New Designers took place at London’s Business Design Centre now in its 31st edition. The UK’s most important exhibition for emerging design is split into two parts. Part 1 focuses on textiles, jewellery, ceramics and glass and contemporary crafts. Part 2 is slanted towards product and industrial design, graphics, illustration and animation.

Designers who have completed their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees exhibit their work representing their university. A breadth of specialisms and talents are on display exhibiting high levels of originality, innovation and craftsmanship. Here is a round up of our favourite pieces as well as some of the trends which caught my eye.

First is Bath Spa graduate and Texprint 2016 finalist Lydia Knight. Inspired by botanicals, plants and flora she creates beautiful prints developed from exquisite hand drawn illustrations and paintings. I was attracted to her artworks which have then been developed in repeat using digital print techniques. Her designs could easily be adapted in the commercial interior and home furnishings sector; specifically wallpaper or the bedlinen market.

Lydia Knight Lydia Knight









Fellow Bath Spa graduate is Rhian Beynon whose stunning paintings have been developed digitally. What I liked most about her collection, was her preference to display both the digital fabrics and a large scale painting (right) which would look beautiful as a bespoke artwork. The details and colours have been translated wonderfully into her repeated designs, again highly suitable for the commercial interiors sector.

Rhian Beynon Rhin Beynon









One of the themes I noticed at the exhibition was ‘pleating’. This covered various disciplines including weave, knit and print. Catherine Kinsbury-Smith of Herriot Watt University uses iridescent yarns within the knitted fabrics.

Catherine Kingsbury-Smith

As the light shines depending on the time of day, the 3D illusion is emphasised. Likewise Glasgow School of Art graduate Rochelle McGuiness; the sharp lines and iridescent surfaces of her collection entitled ‘Distorting Perception of Depth’ allows the pieces to take on the colour of their surroundings and vary depending on the viewers standpoint. I particularly like the projection of her designs when used for lighting.

Rochelle McGuiness

‘Folded Nature’ by Loughborough Textile Innovation & Design graduate Lauren Saunders explores a three-dimensional, structured aesthetic for fashion. Taking inspiration from natural forms she combines a variety of fabric manipulation methods including ‘heat forming’. Enabling the fabrics to not only demonstrate functionality as they become flexible in response to the body, but also remain visually appealing. Although intended for the high end/haute couture fashion market, her designs could also be considered in other contexts such as an architectural installation.

Lauren SaundersL. Saunders








Continuing with the theme of optical illusion, a number of new designers exhibiting represented this trend in the form of printed textiles. I’ve selected the work of graduate Stefan Volder for simple yet very effect designs. His menswear collection entitled ‘Concrete Nostalgia’ took inspiration from post-war modernist architecture in Scotland.

Stefan Vold copy stefan volder








Anna Helgesson‘s work, from first time exhibitors Swedish School of Textiles the University of Boras (winners of the award for Best Stand); particularly stood out to me for its simple and striking primary coloured designs providing a clever optical illusion. It reminded me of the work by Japanese design studio A.P.Works. I really enjoyed all the Swedish School of Textiles’ graduates use of scale including the collection (UN)PERFECT – ‘Breaking the rules in textile printing’ by Lisa Fredin (left). These particular pieces I think would work well as drapes for windows or room divides as light can still be passed through whilst offering privacy.

Anna Helgesson









Talking of large scale work, to be admired is the work of Katherine Plumb. The printer from Central St Martins takes inspiration from purpose built landscapes which are then developed into cut-paper collages and large scale prints destined for interiors. The quirky pegs used to display the fabrics are also playful and really suit the fun and bold colour palette.

katherine plumb csm

One Year On is a feature of the show that presents selected designers in their first year of business. Chosen by an independent panel they are selected based on their flair and quality of product. All work exhibited can be bought or commissioned directly from the designers at the show. Favourites of included Aimee Bollu, a member of the Crafts Council’s Hot House programme, Aimee seeks out objects that have fallen out of use and aims to bring them back to life. Combining found objects which may be viewed as conventional and mundane she adds newly created simple vessel forms offering the viewer something familiar yet fresh. With a subtle and contemporary palette, splashes of bright, the vessels can be viewed as a collection or as individual objects.

aimee aimee bolu









Well that’s it for the Part One report, I had a great time and highly recommend the exhibition as a great day out, a wonderful way in which to discover new talent and of course, a great place to buy some exquisite and unique pieces.

Let us know what your opinion is about what you’ve just seen and if we’ve persuaded you to go next year………





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