Special Guests

Special Guest Week: London Design Festival Favourites

The last of our lovely guest blogger posts, better late than never!

A HUGE thanks to Hannah for this extensive and inspiring post!


Phew! What a week it has been. I’m sure everyone else involved is as exhausted as I am (but to remind us that it was all worth while)  I’m going to share with you a few of my favourite picks from London Design Festival.

First up is Bare Conductive Ltd– a London based collective who began experimenting with conductive materials back in 2008 as a Masters project at the Royal College of Art / Imperial College’s Innovation Design Engineering program. I’ve followed their progress for a while, so I was excited to discover, that now, 3 years later, they have just launched their first commercial product- Bare Paint!

Bare Paint

{Bare Conductive Ltd}

Matt Johnson and the rest of the team were demonstrating Bare Paint at 100% Materials, painting circuits and making paintable electronic musical instruments to play with.

{Bare Conductive Ltd}

Bare Paint is designed for use by hackers, makers, DIYers, engineers, geeks and anyone else who wants to explore electronics in a new and exciting way, and it can be painted onto almost any surface, including textiles. There’s sure to be some good projects to follow on from this!

And for those of you who know me, I have a bit of a thing for wallpaper. Here are my 3 favourites from the shows;

{Kirath Ghundoo}

First up, Kirath Ghundoo, a Leeds based surface designer who introduced her Mix ‘n’ Match 11 collection at this years 100% Design.

{Kirath Ghundoo}

She takes her inspiration from her daily encounters- from fashion to architecture, colour and geometrics. Mixing pattern, bold graphics and striking colour combinations, these papers could make a really strong statement in interior spaces.

{Kirath Ghundoo}

London based designer-maker Daniel Heath presented his collection at Origin, the Contemporary Craft Fair based in Old Spitalfields Market.

{Taxidermied Birds in Cobalt- Daniel Heath}

Alongside the whimsical themed wallpapers, Heath showed a new selection of vintage mirrors etched with the romantic imagery of the circus. My favourite print was Taxidermied Birds in Cobalt.

Tactile Wonderland is a bespoke and sustainable interior surface design company, who specialize in hand silk screen printed fabric and wallpaper.

{Tactile Wonderland}

Using traditional techniques and laser cut out details; Tactile Wonderland encourages interaction and creativity with the play of the 2D and 3D elements on the surface.

{Tactile Wonderland}

Then a popular design approach this year, printing directly onto wooden surfaces makes for some interesting effects. A few examples of these were seen, actually opposite each other at TENT London…

{Design Bark}

Sarah Newman set up Design Bark as the result of her MA research while studying at Chelsea College of Art. Taking an eco friendly approach to her work, Sarah only uses environmentally approved pigments where possible when screen printing onto real wood veneer. Whilst usually producing lampshades, at this years TENT London she was also showcasing her new printed furniture range, with colourful and geometric shapes printed across the wooden frames.

{Design Bark}

Zoe Murphy prints onto recycled and restored interior products, giving them a new lease of life.

{Zoe Murphy}

She designs beautiful imagery inspired by her seaside hometown of Margate, mixing together punchy colour combinations with 50’s style pieces. They’d certainly be a fun and uplifting addition to any space.

{Zoe Murphy}

And then finally, of course I have to do some trend tracking on my rounds of all the shows. At Global Color Research we publish Mix Trends, a seasonal trend forecast book for the design industry, along with Mix, the colour, trend and design magazine for the professional market.

One of the key stories for Spring Summer 2013, ‘Reflect’ looks at our love of mirrored surfaces, not only for the illusion of the space they create, but the simple aesthetic pleasure we get from a pane of silvered glass. Giving a sense of calm in the world, it is symbolized with soft and natural imagery, but then also combines modern reflective elements, creating this contrast of the industrial and the organic.

Zhoujie Zhang got this bang on with his new collection of tables, developed to follow the successful chairs he made for the show the previous year.

{Mix Trends REFLECT Spring Summer 2013 © Global Color Research™ Ltd 2011. All rights reserved.}

{Zhoujie Zhang}

The Triangulation project explores the relationships and interactions of faceted triangular surfaces, with really beautiful effects. Reflecting and refracting the environment it sits in, this would look so different where ever it is placed.


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