A truly global affair, the London Design Fair 2018 will host a wealth of exhibitors from 36 countries. The largest international fair – taking place during the London Design Festival – prizes innovation, quality and diversity in design, and visitors can once more expect a first class show. With its highly curated elements and compelling editorial, the Fair’s expressed intention is to heighten the visitor’s experience. The Fair’s Material of the Year is plastic: hotly debated and very much a pressing concern, the emphasis is on finding new and better ways of using this contentious material.
The London Design Fair provides a valuable forum for showcasing international design and is proud to have 13 country pavilions at this year’s event, surpassing previous years. Alongside the Guest Country Japan, other pavilions include Portugal, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Korea, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The British Craft Pavilion will make a welcome return, curated once again by Hole & Corner. Each country pavilion has its own strong design narrative and mission, many of which were developed in conjunction with the Fair’s team.
Each year, over 28,000 influential retail buyers, producers, architects, designers, interior designers, press and design-savvy public, will attend to see the very latest in furniture, lighting, textiles, materials and conceptual installations, from all around the world. The forthcoming Fair will again take place in the one and only Old Truman Brewery, from 20th-23rd September 2018. It promises to be a memorable show.
One To Watch – Hi Thanks Bye
From Toronto, Canada, Hi Thanks Bye is the collaborative effort of Stein Wang and Topher Kong. Using a mix of cultural and academic experiences and references, the two designers exchange ideas on the meaning of furniture and interior space in modern contemporary living. The debut collection from Hi Thanks Bye—collection 0—is a sculptural interpretation of the Canadian landscape combined with a Chinese aesthetic. The entire collection is made using powder-coated stainless steel (with the exception of upholstery pieces). Functional and versatile, designs include the U0 shelf, V0 side table and R0 dining chair.
One to Watch – Tero Kuitunen
Tero Kuitunen works as a spatial and product designer in Helsinki. He has graduated as a designer from the Applied Arts MA program at the Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. Tero works as a product, concept and interior designer in projects for clients such as Supercell, Absolut Vodka, Aalto University and Ivana Helsinki. At this year’s Fair Tero will showcase on the Finnish Pavilion a number of new designs including the terracotta Mix & Match vases and Boudoir Mirrors.
British Craft Pavilion
The critically acclaimed British Craft Pavilion returns to the London Design Fair for its third edition. With 40 makers from varied craft disciplines, the pavilion will once again be curated by Hole & Corner, the lifestyle brand celebrating and promoting creativity, craftsmanship, heritage and authenticity. New to this year’s pavilion is the modular 40 project. Initiated by Hole & Corner, a leading architect will submit designs for a modular display system to replace the traditional shell scheme provided to exhibitors—the aim is to elevate the appearance and feel of the British Craft Pavilion.
Highlights include Naomi Bikis, founder of London-based Bikis Ceramics. Creating limited edition collections, her work—an exploration of undulating sculptural forms—draws inspiration from 1970s product design and ancient functional ceramics. Christabel Balfour studied at the University of Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art. Specialising in woven sculpture, Balfour established her south London studio in 2015. From here, she weaves architecturally-inspired rugs and wall-hangings on a 1976 Harris floor loom and a 1992 Don Porrit Loom.
Material of the Year: Plastic Beyond the Chipper
During 2018, plastic has grown exponentially to become a pariah in the minds of many designers and consumers alike. As governments strive to tackle and ban ‘single-use’ plastic, and increasing amounts of microplastic are found in fish, we are left with an obvious problem: what to do with the difficulties posed by plastic?
London Design Fair chose plastic as the 2018 Material of the Year, in a bid to showcase and celebrate just some of the designers who are engaging head-on with the significant environmental issues posed by plastic.