London Design Festival 2012: designjunction


designjunction was one of the most exciting shows of London Design Festival. The venue alone was enough to look forward to. Built in the 1960s by the Ministry of Works as a Royal Mail Sorting Office, it became largest in the UK in the 90s before closing down. Since then it has been used for everything from an illegal rave in October 2010, to an Alexander McQueen fashion show earlier this year. The design had a lot to live up to. Luckily it didn’t disappoint.

The first thing I spotted were these fabulous lights by Vitamin. The Knot Pendant Lamps were launched at designjunction and feature a blown glass shade held in place only by a “monkey fist” knot. They come in two shapes and a variety of colors. A great start to the show.

Bocci, designjunction

More gorgeous lighting, this time from Bocci – the 28d Pendants are blown in a complex process that involves introducing and removing both air pressure and heat to create distortions of the basic shape, so that every one is different. They’re designed to be hung in groups, but I think they look great strewn across the floor like this!

VG&P DesignJunction

Transport for London and the Heatherwick Studio have collaborated on a range of domestic and office furniture inspired by the TfL archive and Thomas Heatherwick’s new bus for London. These were displayed in a pop-up restaurant, also by TfL; this time in collaboration with British food chain, Canteen.

Form Us With Love DesignJunction

Hexagon by Swedish Design studio Form Us With Love is a sound absorbent wall covering. Recently listed by Fast Co as one of the “world’s 50 most influential designers shaping the future,” they were exhibiting on a stand with other young Swedish designers. They were also showing Button, made from fabric offcuts.

Form Us With Love DesignJunction

Dare Studio, designjunction

Designed by Sean Dare of Dare Studio, the powder coated aluminum Cage Lamp also caught my eye and looks especially good pictured against the gloomy London sky as it is below. It comes in a variety of colors and is another one that’s designed to be hung up, but looks rather good laid down.

Bethan Gray, designjunction

Bethan Gray was the talk of Clerkenwell Design Week back in May, so it was good to see her work on a larger platform. This table is part of the G&T collection, the result of a collaboration between Bethan and respected furniture developer Thomas Turner.

Her latest product is the Brogue Leather Table with this wonderful detailing along the edge of the table top:

Bethan Gray, designjunction

Aditi Studio, designjunction

And finally, more lighting from Aditi Studios. These lights are hand crafted – the one pictured bottom left was hand thrown on a potters wheel – and intentionally left in a slightly unfinished state. They have a solidity and integrity to them that really appealed to me.

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.