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27.09.2017 Product Design : Food & Drink : Culture

Following the London Design Festival 2017, LS:N Global reflects on five of the most thought-provoking works.

1. Zeitguised film brings Kvadrat’s digital fabric to life

Emancipath by Zeitguised for Kvadrat My Canvas at London Design Festival Emancipath by Zeitguised for Kvadrat My Canvas at London Design Festival
Emancipath by Zeitguised for Kvadrat My Canvas at London Design Festival Emancipath by Zeitguised for Kvadrat My Canvas at London Design Festival
Emancipath by Zeitguised for Kvadrat My Canvas at London Design Festival Emancipath by Zeitguised for Kvadrat My Canvas at London Design Festival
Emancipath by Zeitguised for Kvadrat My Canvas at London Design Festival Emancipath by Zeitguised for Kvadrat My Canvas at London Design Festival

Emancipath, a film created by Berlin-based studio Zeitguised, formed part of textile manufacturer Kvadrat's My Canvas exhibition at Somerset House. The design studio employed computer-generated imagery to explore the physical qualities of Kvadrat’s Canvas 2 upholstery textile.

The digital fabric, created by colour master Giulio Ridolfo, was shown moving fluidly through a variety of seemingly 3D abstract shapes, injecting life into the normally static fabric.

As curator Njusja de Gier explains, Kvadrat wanted to challenge Zetiguised to transform a physical material into the digital realm and to reflect on how ‘digital [has become] such an integrated part of our lives’.

2. Yinka Ilori shows a brighter future for former addicts

Restoration Station and Yinka Ilori collaboration for London Design Festival Restoration Station and Yinka Ilori collaboration for London Design Festival

In a civic-minded approach to design, London-based furniture-maker Yinka Ilori worked with trainees from Restoration Station, a social enterprise that provides furniture restoration training for people recovering from addiction, to create a collection of brightly coloured chairs that were sold during the festival. All sales proceeds were donated to Restoration Station, which receives no government funding, to help it continue its work offering former addicts practical skills.

The designer, who is of Nigerian descent, is known for his bold use of colour and patterns, and encouraged the trainees to diverge from their typically more neutral palette to incorporate the positive energy that bright colour lends to a piece of furniture.

3. Fernando Laposse finds value in waste materials

Fernando Laposse for The Trade Show at London Design Festival Fernando Laposse for The Trade Show at London Design Festival
Fernando Laposse for The Trade Show at London Design Festival Fernando Laposse for The Trade Show at London Design Festival

Designer Fernando Laposse has contributed his Mexican matryoshka objects to Faye Toogood’s The Trade Show exhibition, which comprises a collection of works by 50 creatives that explore the idea of artists sustaining themselves through bartering.

Inspired by the classic Russian matryoshka doll, the cone-like sculptures, which are made from corn husks and recycled paper, highlight the value of waste as a material resource.

‘I found the act of revealing smaller versions of a woman and having a baby in the core when taking apart a matryoshka doll very intriguing,’ Laposse tells LS:N Global. The designer placed a piece of pink maize, one of the oldest varieties of the plant, at the centre of each sculpture to signify both tradition and new life.

For more on Laposse’s approach to sustainability see our Talent piece.

4. The Brompton Café focuses on food as design

The Brompton Café by Today Bread for London Design Festival The Brompton Café by Today Bread for London Design Festival
The Brompton Café by Today Bread for London Design Festival The Brompton Café by Today Bread for London Design Festival
The Brompton Café by Today Bread for London Design Festival The Brompton Café by Today Bread for London Design Festival
The Brompton Café by Today Bread for London Design Festival The Brompton Café by Today Bread for London Design Festival

Walthamstow’s sourdough bakery and café Today Bread invited a host of creatives to amalgamate food and design by creating recipes for its pop-up café and research and inspiration pieces to inhabit the space. The roster of design talent included food designers Arabeschi di Latte, jewellery designer Antoine Sandoz and studio Study O Portable, each of whom were responding to the theme of Grains, often addressing the topic through a political lens but in a light-hearted manner.

Food designer Jacopo Sarzi, for example, created a circular UK-EU-KI biscuit decorated with the European Union’s ring of stars, and made from ‘the collaborative effort of French butter, Scottish oats, British blueberries and realised, among others, by expert Italian, Swiss and English hands’.

‘I am interested in creating convivial scenarios by combining food and objects,’ says Alexandre Bettler, founder of Today Bread. ‘Grains are a staple ingredient for the bakery and for everyday life. I like the idea of asking visitors to think about the staple ingredients of design too.’

5. Six:Thirty uses water as a creative composition tool

Natural Networks by Six:Thirty and Matteo Loglio for London Design Festival Natural Networks by Six:Thirty and Matteo Loglio for London Design Festival

Digital design agency Six:Thirty collaborated with designer Matteo Loglio to create Natural Networks, a network of buoys located in London’s waterways that translate various water conditions into poetry.

The 3D-printed buoys included environmental sensors that track light, temperature and motion, feeding the information back to a character-recurrent neural network. The network was trained to predict the next character in a series based on a sequence of characters and used a dataset of existing poetry to compose its own verse.

‘The changes in the water environment directly affect the structure and the wording of the generated poems,’ James Cuddy, co-founder of Six:Thirty, explained in an interview with Zetteler.

6. Thought-starter: How will London’s multiculturalism influence future design thinking?

Art director Hannah Robinson explores the need for more cultural diversity at London Design Festival to reflect the young emerging talent in the city.

In the networked, digital age, the design world is changing. As younger generations across the globe re-evaluate and celebrate their rich cultural heritage, collaboration and cultural influence could herald a positive future for the world of design.

During London Design Festival, NOW Gallery’s Design Salon with Nigerian furniture designer Yinka Ilori asked: How does multiculturism influence London’s unique design DNA? The public discussion examined London Design Festival’s lack of cultural diversity, with opinions from practitioners across fashion, art and photography who are shaping the creative landscape of London’s design world. The need for increased visual representation of non-white designers at Design Week plus increased collaboration with cultural institutions were explored in a bid to foster greater cross-cultural collaboration and new global design thinking in the future.

For more about how brands are channelling collective change and exploring shared global identities, read about Nataal, a global media brand celebrating contemporary African culture.

Do good because of tomorrow, Design Salon with Yinka Ilori at NOW Gallery for London Design Festival. Photography by Andy Stagg Do good because of tomorrow, Design Salon with Yinka Ilori at NOW Gallery for London Design Festival. Photography by Andy Stagg