Art news

7 highlights of the London Design Festival

Here are some of the loveliest pieces of artwork and installations on view across the city.

By Bonnie Alter - Source: http://www.treehugger.com
Photo  © Bonnie Alter

Photo © Bonnie Alter

The London Design Festival’s theme this year was “Design is Everywhere” but it is also everything. Here are some of the loveliest pieces of artwork and installations on view across the city.

The Wind Portal by Lebanese designer Najla El Sein is installed in the Victoria & Albert Museum. It consists of two huge screens, 8 metres high that look like doors, made from 5,000 paper windmills. Each one is hand-made and rotates so that they seem like they are breathing in and out. There is an integrated wind system that makes them spin. Different flows of wind are programmed resulting into different speeds, sounds and feelings.

Photo  © Bonnie Alter

Photo © Bonnie Alter

TreeHugger loves cork and here is a beautiful usage for it; as flooring at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Amorim, the world’s largest cork producers, from Portugal of course, designed this floor with FAT architecture. The pattern is mean to to resemble cork under a microscope; it’s a repeating trompe l’oeil geometric pattern. The colours are rich browns and blues.

Photo  © Bonnie Alter

Photo © Bonnie Alter

Canadian content at the Design Festival. In the huge lobby of the Victoria and Albert Museum hangs 28.280 by Omer Arbel. It’s a 30 metre long chandelier made with glass bulbs on copper wires. The 280 lights are hand-blown. The chandelier is hung from a height of 30 metres, the tallest part of the old building, and looks like a striking collection of planets in many colours.

Photo  © Bonnie Alter

Photo © Bonnie Alter

It’s a bit strange to have this wonderful light on the list because it is the antithesis of everything at London Design Week. It’s made out of wild clematis found in the hedges of Oxford, it is completely ephemeral and it is just a simple celebration of the melding of nature and a good eye for beauty.

Photo  © Bonnie Alter

Photo © Bonnie Alter

This stunning private home was open to the public just for the festival, acting as a showcase for the launch of a new brand of furniture designed by Sebastian Wrong. The house is a Georgian terrace dating from 1775. Recently it had been used for offices and has now been reconverted back into a period house, with rooms to die for, filled with Queen Anne furniture, porcelain and old rugs. Amidst this splendour were chairs and end tables by the designer.

Photo  © Bonnie Alter

Photo © Bonnie Alter

On the floral theme: this installation by Sharon Marston. She is a lighting designer with a huge list of clients. But this piece is made of natural willow cane with hundreds of little woven brass mesh petal shapes, interlaced with fibre optic filaments.

Photo  © Bonnie Alter

Photo © Bonnie Alter

The front window of the store Anthropologie was filled to the brim with hand-painted coffee cups. Calling it 365–A Year in Cups, 365 of them were individually painted by New York artist Gwyneth Leech. She paints only on used cups; either her own or those kept for her by friends. She then signs the bottom of each and writes the date and event that inspired it.

Taking her inspiration from the passing streetscape, she spent five days painting them in the front window of the store. So there are London buses, building cranes and passing curious visitors, as well as flowers, patterns and designs depicted on each. You can even buy one…

Add your comment