Official charity partner for designjunction, Maggie’s provides emotional, practical and social support for people with cancer and their families and friends, from striking buildings designed by top architects in the grounds of specialist cancer hospitals. They believe in the power of design and architecture to positively affect people’s well-being.
London Design Festival Deputy Director Max Fraser is a big fan and last year he initiated a project he called the Joy of Living; named after something Maggie’s founder Maggie Keswick Jencks once said: “Above all what matters is not to lose the joy of living in the fear of dying.”
This year’s iteration – The Joy of Living Part Two – involved asking a stellar line up of designers to customize a piece of their own domestic design inspired by the idea of “the joy of living,” thus creating a one-off piece. The results were spectacular – uplifting, moving and thought provoking – and, most of all, colorful!
Over 50 designers responded to the brief, including Knoll, Barber Osgerby, Conran, Carl Hansen, Tokyo Bikes, Bocci, Ercol and Baccarat.
I was particularly touched by Ella Doran’s cushion, the reverse of which she had hand-embroidered with a personal message – in creating her design she said she simply thought about what would have given her beloved aunt comfort when she was dying of cancer.
A selection of the designs were sold at an auction on the opening night, the remainder were on sale for a fixed price throughout the show, and any left on the last day were put into a raffle. £15,000 was raised for Maggie’s.
Images from top: Joy of Living stand designed by Anthony Dickens (photo by Ed Reeves), 28d lamp by Bocci in Maggie’s blue, Lee Broom Crystal Bulb in yellow, MARK Net Chair customized in rainbow colors by Sam Johnson, Ella Doran cushion, “Warm” heater by Stuart Haygarth, Bethan Gray Brogue Table in green, People Will Always Need Plates plate, Max Fraser giving an introductory speech, Christie’s auctioneer.
Declaration of Interest: I am very privileged to work part time as a writer for Maggie’s. These are my opinions; not those of Maggie’s.