Designers to Discover
Olivia Walker – Ceramics
Exhibiting her work this year with the British Craft Pavilion, this UK designer splits her time between working in London and her Barcelona studio. Her beautiful ceramics focus on the intersection of man-made and natural formations – she starts off with smooth, precise porcelain pieces, then adds meticulously crafted accretions to the surface, creating the resemblance of a natural growth, such as coral, bacteria or a fungus. The contrast of the perfect manufactured smoothness with the organically splintered detail makes for a unique design, and equally speaks for how the force of nature overpowers man’s structural compulsion.
Rive Roshan – Colour Dial Table
This Dutch experimental design studio seeks to achieve raw beauty through the innovative experimentation of materials, colour and texture. The tinted glass coffee table they presented at the Design Fair precariously balances on three glass spheres that refract and reflect the light that hits them into different colour gradients across the floor. When the light shines through this piece at the right time of day, it creates a colour dial, almost achieving an optical illusion of colour, light and shapes – perfectly representing the design duo’s experimental flair.
UUfie – Echo Table
The Echo Table exhibited at the London Design Fair this year accurately translates UUfie’s notion to create ‘experiences of transition’; by eliminating the softwood and exposing the hardwood, the aluminium, copper and brass are forged into the individual growth rings, creating both a new compound material and a beautiful design. The Canadian designer duo practices across a number of fields, including art, architecture, landscape and more, celebrating experimentation, diversity and nature, and constantly pushing for innovation.
Tala – Voronoi III
Launching the Voronoi III at this year’s fair, the tala team from Edinburgh University bring us modern LED lighting in the traditional filament bulb form, responding to the demand of blending aesthetically-pleasing shapes and beauty with energy-saving, sustainable technology. As the largest of its kind ever made, these sculptural bulbs draw inspiration from the organic forms of nature seen in overlapping forest canopies – the eponymous Voronoi Pattern – and are created with 3D printed resin and a custom built LED filament. Bringing together the future of lighting with nature as its core concept, tala’s newest design represents its overall mission – quality products with positive impact.
Ruiqi Dai – Narcissus Series One
Inspired by the Greek myth of Narcissus – the man who was so obsessed with his reflection in the water, he fell in and drowned – this emerging designer draws on reflection to blur the lines between functional design and sculptural art. Using a unique airbrush technique, she creates a light, ethereal paint gradient, seeking to portray light and colour as ever-changing in a timeless space. Originally from China, this young designer attended UAL and the Royal College of Art, where she developed a passion for her craft and explored her ideas about connecting functionality with art, the virtual with reality and imagination with the solid form – all represented in Narcissus Series One.
Kullaro – The Code to Rest / Reclining Chair
Presenting this unique piece and blending concept with practicality is the Swedish design duo Jenni and Andreas Kullaro. At the core of their designs is the volcanic rock, diabase, favoured for its deep, dark pigmentation and dense durability, and found in the north-east of Sweden. It forms the base of their reclining chair that resembles a spinal cord – the concept behind this beautiful piece: figuratively, many things can represent someone’s backbone – job, family, a place, a city – something that gives you stability. The Code to Rest is the physical translation of this, presenting a literal backbone for your spine to rest and recover on – made of pigmented ash, teak and oiled wood, with a leather headrest and diabase stone base.
October 12th 2017