Go West in London for New Design Talent

100% Design (above), the Brompton Design District, and the Queen’s Park Design District, all drew me to the West of London for one day of my London Design Festival explorations.


The star of the newly established Queen’s Park Design District was a collaboration between interior stylist Zoe Brewer and social enterprise Out of the Dark which creates beautifully crafted furniture as a means to train, educate, and employ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Zoe worked with them to create her first furniture collection.


Back in the Brompton Design District, Mint is always a design destination. The Pixel Table in lacquered MDF and burnt copper by Italian-Russian designer Ilia Potemine was just one of the stunning pieces on show.


At 100% Design, I always head straight for the Emerging Talent section, and the first thing I spotted this year was the Rainy Pot by Daily Life Lab, a simple and visual way to water your plants.


Following a successful launch at Clerkenwell Design Week, PR man Nick Wiltshire curated another selection of handcrafted design, under the banner of The Makings. First up, East London icon, Barn the Spoon aka Barnaby Carder who carves spoons out of wood cut from cherry, sycamore, alder, and birch trees using just an axe and a knife. One spoon can take between 20 minutes and two hours to make.


I loved the simple forms and clever designs used in Joseph Hartley’s vessels. He designs and makes in a central Manchester workshop, using wood, clay, and cloth and low tech tools such as a lathe, a potter’s wheel, and a sewing machine.


Beatrice Larkin is a textile designer specializing in weave – these blankets are a delicate take on Brutalism, the mohair reflecting the water damage often seen on concrete buildings of the era.


The Thomas Smith team makes Royal Sussex Traditional Trugs in a specialist workshop in East Sussex, using sweet chestnut and ‘cricket bat’ willow wood.


Gravity & Flight by Royal College of Art graduate Jo Woffinden is made entirely from concrete, Jo’s material of choice.


I love the bold choice of color and form in Korridor Design’s Pyramid boxes. The Danish furniture and home accessories brand was founded by two architects Lærke Rune and Henrik Ilfeldt. Lærke told me that Henrik would do everything in neon pink if she didn’t rein him in! 100% Design was their 1st UK show.


I love the way the light escapes through the cracks in Capside by new designer Loic Bard.


The Berg tables by Faerid Design use colors found in Icelandic fauna to soften the hardness of the aluminium and cement used to represent different types of local lava and rock formations.

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.