LDF16: designjunction Finds a New Home

designjunction has moved from the former home of Central Saint Martins to its new campus in Kings Cross. Architects Stanton Williams completed the new building for the art and design college in 2011 in and around a Victorian granary and two former transit sheds, prompting the regeneration of the area. Now, five years on, designjunction has taken over the building’s entrance hall and courtyards with a combination of purpose-built and make-shift structures, in what is now a vibrant creative district.


One of the highlights was Dyslexic Design, an exhibition curated by Jim Rokos to highlight the links between dyslexia and creativity. As well as products by dyslexic designers, including the lamps by Tom Raffield above, he sourced quotes from leading designers with the condition. “Dyslexia is more. Dyslexia equals ability not disability,” said Terence Woodgate, while Sebastian Bergne said, “I now feel privileged to be dyslexic.”


Geo-Fleur sells beautiful plants and plant-related products, runs workshops, and even offers a subscription service, Plant Post Club, where recipients get a surprise package of plants or plant-related accessories every month.


Scottish design studio Tom Pigeon’s Play prints are influenced by childhood building blocks, bold colors and playful patterns, with a nod to the “joyful work of mid-century pioneers Charles and Ray Eames and Alexander Girard.”


Product and interior design studio Frontal Factory is the brain child of Mehmet Birtane, and was established just this year. The self-taught designer comes from a materials and engineering background that is evident in the Form Follows Material lighting collection launched at designjunction.


It was lovely to see William Branton’s work in the flesh, having interviewed him in the run-up to the London Design Festival. The London-based designer graduated from London College of Communication with a BA (Hons) in Graphic and Media Design, before setting up his eponymous label specializing in all things print, pattern and color.


Floor Story cuts out all the middle men and overhead (their showroom and studio is in founder Simon Goff’s East London home) to create contemporary rugs at affordable prices. Their collaborations with designers like Flock (pictured), Kangan Arora and Camille Walala mean that their design is spot-on and if you can’t find quite what you’re looking for, you can design it yourself, or have them design something for you.


Laura Spring’s bold and colorful prints always impress. Originally from Staffordshire, Laura is a textile designer-maker living and working in Glasgow, where she has been ever since she graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2002.


Paper-folding and pleated fabric are the starting points for everything Foldability designs and makes, from large-scale installations to lighting for the home. The design studio was founded in 2013 by Scottish designer Kyla McCallum, “London’s new queen of origami.”


COMP was founded in 2016 by Cemal Okten and Martin Price, graduates of Central Saint Martins, so it seems fitting that they should launch their first collection here. Parquet is a shelving system made of interlocking pieces of wood that can be taken apart and reassembled as required.


And finally, Welsh designer Bethan Gray collaborated with Iranian artist Mohamad Reza Shamsian to translate his ancient craft into contemporary designs. The resulting Shamsian Collection features solid brass and paua shell inlaid and overlaid into colored solid wood and maple veneer. A match made in heaven.

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.