Today I went up to London to See Design Junction which is at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Sq as well as over the road in St Martins School of Art and Tent at the Truman's Brewery In Brick lane.
Design Junction is a design exhibition with a range businesses producing of innovative and funky home wears, lighting, ceramics, textiles, printing, and many more. It bridges the gap between High end Craft and products. Everything was well made and had a strong aesthetic and many had had an ethical basis for their production, for example recycled materials, fair trade or handmade. There is a large mix of companies, exhibitors range from students who had recently left college with some brilliant thing they had worked on during their studies to more established design businesses to larger international companies from say Italy.
There are two sections wholesale and Retail although after asking Traders they told me that they did both wholesale and Retail business in the retail section. The Retail section is in the basement of Victoria house a very large building along the whole of one side of Bloomsbury Sq near Holbourn Tube and the British Museum
The entrance to Design junction and inside Victoria House. This is a good example of how busy it was on sat morning!
The show had a high standard of work and was well displayed. Exhibitors from a number of countries. It was in the majority interior items but a long side that 4 + stands that sold contemporary. There was an intimate atmosphere which I felt would be good for sales. I talked to as many people as possible and they all seemed happy with the business they had done at the show many had done it for a second or third year and were planning to come back again. I can't cover everything that was fab at the show but here are few of of items that I would personally like to buy....
Exquisite thin porcelain cups by Qusavi. They do not photograph well but in the flesh they were so thin and delicate I loved them.
beautiful woven textiles by Wallace Sewell fab scarves Throws and cushions www.wallacesewell.com
There was also a bowl I coveted on Lara Scobie's stand which was a new departure for her and not as yet on her website. www.larascobie-ceramics.com.
The jewellery all seemed to have a similar style, plain coloured laser cut or photo etched, plastic/metal/wood simple geometric shapes on 22" fine beltcher chains or rubber or cord.
Along side the things I loved. There was a lot of 'well designed' and made but not very memorable work there too.
Design Junction entrance to the College site
So after mentally spending around £2500 I went over the road to the other part of the show in the St Martins School of Art building. St Martins looked like most Art Schools a bit covered in paint, well used and scruffy. I did not feel this enhanced the look of the high end work that was on display there. For me it brought an armature feel which the work itself did not deserve.
There were some spectacular lighting pieces including a number of large installations. Molo made displayed large doghnut/cloud like lights lights which were made in a similar way to Christmas decorations . A long side these modular partitions screens made of corrugated paper . They call it soft wall +softbloack modular system. It made a fantastic screen very dramatic and looked great when lit. http://www.molostore.com/product-softwall-softblock. Folded paper, pleats and corrugated items were a trend in both shows.
lighting by arturoalvarez_
Modular partitions by Molo lights by Molo Reminded me of Christmas decorations were 1-3 meters across
On the top floor there was a large white room with several stands including the chairs below. At the far end there was a stand trying to drum up business for artisans from remote parts of India. The English representatives of the Charity were sitting on stools and the crafts people from India were squatting on the floor. This made me feel uncomfortable as you had to look down on the crafts people and that distanced you from them.
There were lectures and talks being held in the Theater . I did not have time to go to any which was sad.
This colour leather is very in. I saw it 3 times in the two shows
Pile of cards I collected!
I will write up Part two - Tent this evening.