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Carnival of design

Carnival of design

This year the London Design Festival is huge, with scores of designers showcasing their works all over the capital. We preview three of the best

Siete a Londra dal 17 al 25 settembre?: Non perdetevi il Design London Festival. Molti i creativi attesi in tutta la capitale. Parole d’ordine: colore, innovazione, diversità. Articolo redatto by The Guardian. Per tutti gli amici lettori che intendono andarci, perdetevi nella Capitale che continua a stupirci e sorprenderci.


Now in its 14th year, the London Design Festival is going to be bigger than ever before. More than 400 events, exhibitions and large-scale installations will stretch out to all corners of the capital from the V&A hub, taking in Queen’s Park and Brixton, which is the newest of the eight official districts, with a David Bowie-inspired “Rebel Rebel” theme.

Hundreds of home-grown and international designers will be displaying their new products, and there will be workshops such as a pop-up sign-painting school at Borough Market and experimental glass-making at a mobile furnace in Brompton. Look out for one-off collaborations and new takes on craft – plus, as always, plenty of new talent, including the three rising stars on these pages.

Marcin Rusak
Light designer

“Flowers are cast directly into resin, with elements of ageing woven into the design,” says Marcin Rusak of the “Flora Temporaria” technique he uses in his new product, Flora Lamp II. “It’s a way of creating materials that have a life of their own. The flowers have access to a little air so they slowly shrink inside the resin and leave a void which is then filled by a silvery light.” In contrast, his other technique, “Flora Perma”, appears to freeze flowers in time, so they look like fossils.

It’s a busy time for the Polish designer, who comes from a family of flower growers. As well as showcasing the light at the Crafts Council’s Nature Lab pavilion at the London Design Fair, he will be taking part in a “Future of Luxury” seminar at Ravensbourne University, and in “Breathless”, a workshop at a pop-up glass furnace in the Brompton Design District.

Yinka Ilori
Furniture designer

Nigerian-born, London-based Yinka Ilori upcycles furniture based on parables from his childhood.

“I love the idea of taking an old chair and giving it a new narrative,” he says. “I try to tell a story through the colours and bright Dutch wax-print fabrics that I choose.”

He started upcycling seven years ago for a project set around Martino Gamper’s “100 Chairs” (the Italian designer transformed 100 old and broken chairs) during his furniture and product design degree at London Metropolitan University.

To date, he has given a new identity to around 60 chairs. “People know me as the chairman,” he jokes.

For the London Design Festival he is taking over the menswear floor of concept store Clerkenwell London to create “A Pool of Dreams”: a flat, fabric swimming pool surrounded by palm trees and around 15 chairs.

“I’m looking at different social issues and the kind of problems that are prayed about,” he explains. “I want people to sit around the pool and enjoy the experience.”

Juli Bolanos Durman
Glass designer

For “The Made-Up Museum of Artefacts”, Costa Rican glass designer Juli Bolanos Durman has created 20 ornamental headdresses from hand-blown and found pieces of glass. “It’s a bit bonkers,” she admits. “Inspired by historical artefacts from around the world, such as the ceremonial Hawaiian feather helmet worn by chiefs, I’ve made up narratives and imaginary civilisations for where certain objects might have come from.”

The former graphic designer, who studied fine art glass at Edinburgh College of Art, has gained a reputation for giving a precious quality to discarded glass. “I like using glass that people are about to discard because I can see its potential to become something beautiful.”

This, her most recent body of work, will be on show as part of the Scotland: Craft & Design Pavilion at the London Design Fair in the Old Truman Brewery.

The London Design Festival 2016 runs from 17 to 25 September (


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