The eclectic design show shone bright at this year’s London Design Festival, with a strong focus on lighting and some exciting new launches. Ola Bednarczuk reports from London.
September 24th, 2013
Waiting for the doors to open on designjunction’s mid-week preview afternoon, a fellow punter likened it to standing in line for an exclusive club. By half past four a sizeable crowd had gathered on the footpath and the security team was on alert.
What began in 2010 as a group exhibition for British brands at Milan’s Zona Tortona has now become one of London Design Festival’s top destinations, thanks to its eclectic selection of brands and the warehouse party-vibe it brings to the tired old trade show concept.
This year saw designjunction really inhabit its cavernous 3-storey space in central London’s 1960s industrial Old Sorting Office, with more of everything thrown into the mix. On the ground floor, the market-style retail area hosted more than 30 shops – including a glorious pick of mid-century designs from regular London vintage fair, Modern Shows.
There was a strong focus on high-end decorative lighting this year with the launch of lightjunction, a new feature of the show. David Trubridge’s spherical Manuka light, shown here for the first time in Europe, was a stunning focal point of his display, as were his palm tree-inspired Nikau pendants.
Muffins by Brokis
North London-based studio International introduced its Apollo modular lighting system with a canopy of copper, blue and grey. Czech brand Brokis was another highlight, with its oak and glass ‘Muffins’ lights and transparent bubble ‘Balloon’ lights, both designed by Lucie Koldova and Dan Yeffet.
Manuka by Trubridge
Made in Ratio
Tasmanian-born, London-based designer Brodie Neill and his brand Made in Ratio exhibited at designjunction for the first time, presenting the Cowrie chair and rocker launched in Milan earlier this year as well as the lovely flower-like Cumulus light. Danish brand &tradition also made its designjunction debut, with the Sam Wilkinson-designed ‘Blown’ pendant lamp and ‘Fly’ lounge designed by Space Copenhagen.
Made in Ratio
Series Three by Another Country
It’s always inspiring to see great examples of contemporary British craft on show, so Another Country’s Series Three collection, inspired by Edwardian workshop furniture, was a welcome sight; as was a new collection of furniture and accessories by Simon Pengelly – his first own-range collection after 20 years of collaborating with such big-name brands as Modus and Foscarini.
Fly Lounge by &tradition
The beauty of designjunction lies in its ability to appear a bit haphazard, a jumble of products and brands, whilst in fact being cleverly curated. With plenty of room to grow further, next year’s edition should see even more thrown into the mix. An edited version of the show travelled to Milan earlier in the year, and there are plans to expand the concept further in New York in 2014.
Blown Sw3 by &tradition
Hero Image: Apollo modular lighting
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