Founded in 2012, London’s 19 Greek Street is “an alternative space for design expression and experimentation: a space for advancement, integrity and good taste.” With a brief like that, I was determined to fit it into my schedule this year – and I’m glad I did. Hamajima Takuya’s U-stool seeks to “connect the individual with the world in harmonic relationship,” as well as being functional, and uses sand-rock from his family’s back yard in its production.
Father & Son by Rasmus Baekkel Fex is a full sized chair attached to a smaller replica at its mid-point, resulting in the smaller chair being lifted off the ground.
Iina Vuorivirta’s Vino mirror splits the reflection into two – one showing the viewer’s face and one showing their environment. It was great fun watching people walk past and disappear when they got to the middle, or seem to appear out of nowhere.
Noam Dover’s Concrete Vase is an exploration of the material. The designer said, “Our choice of material breaks with the conventional expectation of a material to be used in the crafts. The series explores what happens when concrete clashes with the scale of an object of craft. The vase is designed so that it thins out towards its edge. The broken edge stands in contrast to the fundamentals of object making, where the edge is required to be clear and perfect in order to define a shape.”
Soft Pink by Christina Schou is another investigation into materiality. The designer “shows reluctance to let her objects be defined as crafts in the conventional sense – they are manifestly not limited by restrictions, guidelines and ordinary, traditional regulations.”
On of my favorite projects there was Junk Press by Andrew Simpson. He recycles junk mail, using a sand-cast aluminium press with a range of interchangeable moulds, into useful forms. Part of design collection Supercyclers, Andrew uses waste materials to design a sustainable future.
The Superblown collection is another Supercyclers project, this time by Liane Rossler. The pieces are made from discarded glass bottles, which are re-blown by hand to create delicate vessels, whose colour is the only hint of their previous life.
Nir Meiri makes the Babilus Vase collection by stacking and glueing together rings of bamboo, Corian, and chipboard and then inserting a glass vessel. The designer was inspired by the architecture of ancient cities, which is reflected in their textures and varying heights.
Tile Dust by Dutch designer Merel Karhof is made from the dust created by the De Kat windmill, which has been repurposed to recycle roof tiles into powder to be used as pigment. The screen-printed patterns were inspired by the changing sky during a visit to China, also caused by dust particles in the air. The collection comprises a mirror, a fruit bowl and a magazine rack.
Part of a collection displayed under the quote: “In nature, nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes” attributed to Antonine Lavoisier, the Pl(a)ywood Pyramid Stool was designed by Ushki Studio.
And last but not least, I loved Markus Friedrich Staab’s collection. “The chair has been with us almost since the beginning of time. A piece of furniture not just for practical purposes, but as an expression of royalty, of religion, of hierarchy, of art,” said Markus. “Through my work I transform each chair into a unique and individual object. Chairs that once were mass-produced and homogenous, become singular and unique: re-cycled, re-furbished, re-mixed and redecorated.”