Strategic Insight - London Design Festival Trends 2019
This year, the Recipe team split up to cover Design Fair, designjunction, Open Cell, the V&A and 100% Design.
Once back in the studio, we trawled through everyone’s photos to find the interesting themes and trends we see emerging.
Composed of composites.
Terrazzo was an inescapable material in this year’s furniture and homeware offerings. An efficient way to utilize stone offcuts, the aesthetic effects ranged from neutral to striking depending on the combination of elements.
We saw an intriguingly similar composite style at in Coal Drop’s Yard, but in the virtual world rather than the physical. Samsung’s ‘Collage Me’ station offered visitors the opportunity to ‘create their own selfie art with everyday London moments’.
Visitor’s images are chopped up, edited and intersected with elements of images, colours and textures from around London, providing them with abstract, personalised souvenirs.
In both examples, we see how the piecing together of different parts creates unique objects that tell the story of their making and celebrate the beauty of deliberate curation and randomised production methods.
The piecing together of different parts creates unique objects that tell the story of their making and celebrate the beauty of deliberate curation.
Warmth and glow.
Pastel shades in pink and green hues were seen regularly across multiple products, providing touches of colour to complement the abundance of softer materials and forms.
Generally, neutral tones tended to be warmer, with creamier pinks and chalky mineral finishes.
There was plenty of innovative use of ceramic and stone. Tactility provided through complex surface textures and glow-through translucence created by considered manipulation of wall thickness.
Outside of ceramics, frequent translucent and frosted materials in lighting provided a softened glow, sometimes softened further by playing with reflected light
There were some really interesting examples of geometric and lattice-based structures designed to be more conducive to building, growing and form-changing.
At its simplest, a 3D origami kit enables users to construct and assemble their own wall art through interlocking polyhedron shapes. The shadows created with changing light patterns are particularly beautiful and give the 3D structure a sense of life and movement.
The uses motors to fluidly manipulate the lampshade between 5 different positions, each offering a different aesthetic and light intensity. Controlled by an app, the light allows you to control mood through colour as well as form.
‘Manufactured by nature’ is a biodesign project by Mohammad Jawad exploring potential production methods for a post-industrial world, with biomimicry-inspired processes.
A geometric scaffold is 3D printed, then submerged in a solution which enables crystals to grow on the surface, creating a new way of forming shape with a natural material. Whilst following the guidance of the 3D print, the crystal material forms at its own rate, forming irregularly around its precise, regular base.
The London Design Fair named ‘Biomaterials’ as their material of the year with the show featuring several examples of materials made from waste or .
Pomace, hemp, tobacco, corn husk, potato… all transformed into materials that can mimic leather, plastic and MDF. The visible ‘roughage’ and natural hues help to convey the messages of ‘sustainable’ and ‘of the earth’, whilst the familiar forms and material properties ensure these products remain interchangeable with those made of more conventional materials.
The visible ‘roughage’ and natural hues help to convey the messages of ‘sustainable’ and ‘of the earth’.
Open Cell was a particularly interesting celebration of biodesign during the festival. Showcasing examples that further question our current ways of manufacturing and pushing ever forward on what’s possible and truly sustainable for the future of design.
Looking to reduce the environmental impacts of the fashion industry, the exhibited fabrics dyed with pigment produced by soil-dwelling bacteria as well as items of clothing coated in photosynthetic microorganisms which convert carbon dioxide to oxygen as they are worn.