During London Design Festival, the area around Kings Cross has always been worth a visit, not only for Central St Martins, where many of the promising talents of the country study design. For a little while it was also the location for Tent London, a show dedicated to handcrafted design, which unfortunately was cancelled this year (or for good?).
Meanwhile Kings Cross turned into a green, traffic-free space with shops, and restaurants. One of the central pieces is the Coal Office home of Tom Dixon’s design ‘imperium’ and restaurant.
Being one of the brightest shining names in the design universe, Tom Dixon’s work has been influential far beyond the UK. This year his creative mind circled around sustainable alternatives to common materials. Mushroom Sculptures is actually a ‘side product’ – initially the company was looking for alternatives to polystyrene packaging, but then felt that this material is worth to be looked at for longer lasting possibilities. The structures are made of a hybrid material of mycelium and hemp.
Also part of the exhibition during London Design Festival, the Swirl collection plays with basic geometric forms, that are stacked upon one another to create multidimensional sculptural tables. They are bold in colour, substantial in weight, and smooth in texture. The swirly or flecked patterns are created by using powdered residue from the marble industry.
The Tom Dixon Tube Dining tables feature a round stone top made of marble mined from the Shandong and Fujian provinces of China. “The pattern of the natural marble is due to the crustal movement changes in the process of lava extrusion, developed over millions of years.” It is an unusual and beautiful material, reminiscent of a bed of pebble. Nice!
HATO.STORE and MICHAEL MARRIOTT
This London Design Festival project was a surprise find in the Kings Cross area: a limited edition of 30 of the famous ‘Ulmer Hocker’ (Ulm stool) by Max Bill, re-imagined in recycled birch plywood and aluminium, with BILLS on 😉
HATO.STORE developed the idea in collaboration with Michael Marriott. The stools were conceived as an exercise for students to learn through making. The graphics applied come in bold and happy colours using 5 different processes of printing.