Friday, 30 September 2016

The High Five | September | The LDF Edit

This month The High Five takes on a London Design Festival with my favourite product picks from the shows. I've swayed towards interior products that I'd really rather like in my own home featuring metallic tones and lots of craftsmanship. What do you think?

1 // Lynko System by Natalia Geci /
This copper creation stole my heart at London Design Fair. Now you know you need somewhere to hang the next days outfit. Natalia just needs to get them into production!

2 // Poured Bowl by Troels Flensted /
Another London Design Fair spot, Troels Flenstead hand pours these marbled creations making each one completely bespoke. Never enough marble in my life.

3 // Sony Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector /
The Conran Shop x Sony stand at designjunction was a right showstopper. I despise TV's so this makes a welcome change and it's transportable too.

4 // Handwoven Mexican Basket /
I can't get enough of these Mexican baskets. SCP collated this range on a visit to the Southwestern region and boy oh boy are they beautiful.

5 // Plumen 003 Pendant Set /
Forever a lover of those sleek Plumen bulb, the 003 features facetted gold elements - the golden dream!


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Graphic Takeover | London Design Festival Top Five

Graphic design feels like it has become an increasing influence in the world of interiors and London Design Festival is just the proof required to show how colour and patten has seemingly began its journey to takeover the furniture scene. I don't know whether it's the revival of designers in furniture companies such as Alexander Gerard at Vitra or Etoile Sottsass at Hay, but graphic patterns seem to be all over the place right now, paving the way for future stars such as Camille Walala, Kate Moross, Patternity, Eley Kishimoto and plenty more young doodle lovin' bohemians.

At both designjunction and London Design Fair it was even apparent in the stands themselves with brands such as deadgood, Alexander Mueller, Kirby design and Bethan Gray all taking on a very graphic backdrop, enticing those social media shots that I must admit, I'm a fool for. It's a pleasure to see the likes of Walala and Patternity collaborating all over the place and quite frankly I can't wait to see where this trend is going - goodbye muted palettes? In the spirit of all things graphic I've picked out my top five installations / products that really got my creative juices flowing.

1 // Lee Broom 'Opticality'

Inspired by Broom's early 90s bedroom, Opticality was a showcase of Op Art lighting in which space had no boundaries due to the very clever use of mirrors and stripes. Large spherical lights from the Optical light collection filled the room at Broom's Shoreditch base and clearly you can see the popularity of the installation from just one glance at the #LDF16 hashtag. The Op Art aesthetic is of course a very strong one but as always Broom took things to another level with his use of the monochrome linear pattern to make it look like an endless corridor of 1960s graphics. My only regret of London Design Festival? Not wearing black and white on my visit!

2 // Blend by Raw Colour at The Aram Gallery 

Blend by Raw Color takes on a less obvious approach to graphic design and instead combines research and experimentation to work with materials and colour in a multi-disciplinary environment. The completed works all differ in outcome and while projects such as the Index Collection offer a blocky graphic representation, others such as The Fans experiment with motion and interaction instead. While I did love the immersive nature of Chromatology (as pictured) where paper shredders produced colourful paper rain upon the presence of a visitor, I have to say on reflection that my absolute favourite project was Graphic Time where a series of kinetic abstract clocks dominated the walls. Each clock takes on a different approach to telling the time, with beautiful visual compositions and an absolutely honest yet slightly tricky approach to time-telling, pattern and design. Luckily for you (and me), this exhibition is around for a little longer and I 100% recommend checking it out.

3 // Yinka Ilori at Clerkenwell London

I originally went to Clerkenwell London in search of the Camille Walala Vinyl room and as wonderful as it was (who doesn't want Walala and vinyl?), it was actually Yinka Ilori's installation A Swimming Pool of Dreams that took me completely by surprise. Three patterned 'swimming pools' filled the downstairs area, celebrating Yinka's childhood visits to Margate seaside and telling the story of family friends from his family church being granted their desires and dreams. The combination of vibrant up-cycled chairs with the patterned gird flooring really spoke to me and I left with the desire to paint some floor tiles and enrol on one of Yinka's chair revival workshops. /

4 // Re-thinking Revive by Natuzzi. Starring Camille Walala, Patternity and Eley Kishimoto

It's amazing to see traditional brands thinking outside of the box and that's exactly what Italian furniture brand Natuzzi were doing when collaborating with designers Camille Walala, Eley Kishimoto and Patternity. The three pattern masters were asked to reimagine the Re-vive chair by bringing their own values and essence to it, but while also maintaining the ethos of harmonious living that Natuzzi wish to bring to their own designs. I always like to see alternate responses to a set brief so this project really made me think about the process each designer went through to reinterpret the original piece, as well as also opening my eyes to the beautiful designs Natuzzi offer themselves. / / /

5 // Hannah Waldron at SCP

SCP was full of colourful delights thanks to its exhibition of contemporary Mexican craft and totem form Donna Wilson, but for me it was Hannah Waldron's collection of one-off tapestries, titled Triennale that really caught my attention. The trio of hand-woven pieces were inspired by a trip to Japan, where Waldron documented abstract details noted from the window of a Japanese bullet train. The resulting forms offer a visual diary of the journey while also providing a satisfactory geometric finish for all of those shape lovers amongst us.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The EJP Design Festival Edit | Part Two

Hurrah, we're already three days into London Design Festival and what a cracker it has been so far with Brixton Design Trail and London Design Biennale proving to be amazing escapes for me. Check Part One of my guide if you want to get up to date but in the meantime, here's Part Two with my own itinerary from Wednesday and beyond!

Wednesday 21st September

Patternity Revive chair for Natuzzi
With the ‘The World's Biggest Design Party’ taking place in the evening, you’re probably going to want to keep Wednesday pretty calm and chilled. I’d suggest perhaps taking it slowly and seeing a few different things in central, just before letting your hair loose on the cobbles of Granary Square!


Three of my favourite designers, Camille Walala, Patternity and Eley Kishimoto have reinvented the Natuzzi classic Revive chair and interpreted the brief in their own way. I love the idea of a traditional Italian brand collaborating with such vivacious designers and the resulting chairs do not disappoint with shapes, patterns and colour. Just pass me the footstool and give me a shout when all this design malarkey is over. If you're a real Walala fan you might also want to check out her mural at Clerkenwell LDN and her pedestrian crossing on Southwark Street - busy lady!

Natuzzi, 80-81 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 4TE

HAM x west elm

I'm a lover of HAM's graphic bunny prints so of course a visit to see them larger than life is well and truly on my to-do list. The bunnies have taken over the windows as well as the store and west elm will be running a series of crafty events every lunchtime and evening, coinciding with their LDF showcase and allowing you to learn something completely new. 

west elm, 209 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7PN

Other notable events and stop off points for Central are the London Design Festival showcase at Selfridges as well the Light & Colour presentation at Skandium where the Panthella Mini light has been arranged in a creative installation and the RIBA site-specific installation by Giles round, Living in the Office. If you're a trooper and these events do take take you early into the evening,  make sure you also pop into Heals for their annual design party complete with workshops, live music and drinks!

Thursday 22nd September

It's Nice That x The Conran Shop : A Load of Jargon
Be a real Made in Chelsea member on Thursday for their late night openings. Although I’m of course more about the brands with a graphic nature, I’m also quite partial to a little bit of luxury design and Chelsea is totally the area for a little bit of champagne with some more extravagant products. The Chelsea Design Quarter boasts Lema who will be presenting their collection for 2016, Boffi who will showcase a special exhibition by Michael Anastassiades and a rather spectacular lighting showcase from John Cullen lighting. For getting back to the graphic roots, I'd also highly recommend the It's Nice That x The Conran Shop: A Load of Jargon party where you'll find music from Sugarhouse Records, live screenprinting and drinks, all while celebrating industry buzzwords and lookin' pretty cool. 

Friday 23rd September

For me Friday will likely be all about London Design Fair (previously Tent London) where slightly smaller brands tend showcase and essentially this is probably where I'll end up discovering a whole lotta blog content. I've already got my eye on independent designer makers Dana Haim, Sunny Tood Prints, Troels Flensted and Melina Xenaki as well as group stands from Form & Seek, Etsy and The Makers Place. I'm also looking forward to catching up with James & Malissa of Pressed and Folded, Alexander Mueller and Natalia Geci having previously met them and gone crazy over their work - make sure you check out them all and be sure to say hello as they're all lovely!

The new branding of the show is hopefully going to be interesting so I can't wait to see the graphics, how it's different from previous years and of course hearing some of the talks which include This Is India, reflecting on inclusivity within design and The Open Debate, hosted by the Design Museum, with an aim to explore the predominant trends influencing Open design. Don't forget how near this also is to the rest of Shoreditch Design Triangle - a coffee at Modern Society might well and truly be in order along with a browse at Ace Hotel's Ready Made Go 2. 

London Design Fair, Old Truman Brewery, 26 Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR

Saturday 24th September

Behind the scenes for Verena Hennig's designjunction installation
The penultimate day of LDF belongs to designjunction and it’s selection of wonderful brands. Hopefully you won't have regrets from the Wednesday night! I think both myself, and everyone else attending LDF, will probably be a little exhausted right about this time so my advice is to head straight to Verena Hennig's stand for a relaxing bum and back massage from her debut ROLL collection. If you happen to be press or a VIP,  you can also check out her lounge (which I happened to help install) where a huge mural by Michael Vestner shows off the design process and minimal and typographic furniture from ByAlex support relaxing and very pretty plants from geo-fleur.

Other brands on my designjunction tour will be H Furniture for their collaboration with Studio Makgill, Bethan Grey for the launch of her Shamsian Collection, One We Made Earlier for a chance to make my own necklace and Not Another Bill  because they just seem to stock every damn pretty thang in the world. 

designjunction, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA

Sunday 25th September

Error by Present & Correct
I think the last part of LDF is all about catching what you might have missed and visiting all those little exhibitions a little far out. I'll certainly be paying a visit to Error at Present & Correct for a celebration of the eraser, taking 'from where I stand' shots at Bert & May who have collaborated with Darkroom and ultimately exploring the striking paper flower installation at Quill London (not buying any stationery, promise). All of these look like brilliant events, but all are slightly further out on the trail and in need of a little hunting. 

There's so much to see over the course of the week and I'm not sure it could ever ALL be done but I hope this selection of my own highlights has helped bring a couple of places to visit. What are your own plans for the rest of LDF? Hit me up if you're around for a coffee!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The EJP Design Festival Edit | Part One

Working in both the PR and blogging worlds brings a busy few weeks for me with both the London Design Biennale and London Design Festival spanning over the latter part of September. My inbox is full to the brim with press releases, invites and I've got my own We Blog Design itinerary to plan and host over the next few weeks - Wake me up when September ends springs to mind. 

There's plenty of clashes along the way and quite frankly the number of events is overwhelming so I've sieved through emails, Twitter and the LDF programme to bring you the two-part EJP edit where Graphic Design meets interior meets culinary experiences. Be sure to share your own top picks and hey, if you'll be around, let's grab a coffee and connect.

Friday 16th September 2016

Eatopia by Taiwan
Beat the weekend crowds and check out this brand new event at Somerset House. With over 30 countries exhibiting there’s plenty to see and each one has interpreted their own installation based on the theme of ‘Utopia by Design’. Book onto the immersive culinary experience of Taiwan’s Eatopia, send your wish away in Turkey’s Wish Machine and admire the beautiful typographic display complete with mirrored flooring in India. It’s only on every two years so don’t miss out on it for 2016.

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA, until September 25th. 

Saturday 17th September

Brixton Youth Design Trail
Spend the first official day of LDF down South in the newest design district full of Brixton creatives. Excitingly, Brixton-based Eley Kishimoto will once again be decking out the streets with their Flash pattern as well as the Brixton Windmill and Crafty Fox Market will be hosting a special edition showcase at The Dogstar where you can also drop-in for some screen printing. With music such a massive part of Brixton and of course the legendary David Bowie starting off life here, sound is a vital element to the trail this year and you’ll find a number of music based events going on around the town. I’ll particularly be on the lookout for participants in the Youth Design Trail who have been issued with a number of briefs to respond to based on how design can be used to imagine and shape our rapidly changing city – In fact, if you’re also going to be around on Saturday 24th the Studio Moross x Philip Normal T-shirt workshop looks an absolute treat!

Brixton Design Trail, 17th-25th September 2016

It’s becoming increasingly frustrating to witness the number of advertisements for interns and volunteers in what looks like it should be a paid position. Join Confessions of a Design Geek founding editor Katie Treggiden and a panel of Ella Doran, 2 Lovely Gays and Alec Dudson for a debate on the matter and a culmination of a Manifesto for Design Internships which interns and employers can sign up to. 

Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, SE1 9PH London
Sunday 18th September

As always the V&A will host a range of immersive and darn right beautiful exhibitions. 50,000 mirror-finish stainless steel panels will form ‘FOIL’, a collaboration between designer Benjamin Hubert and Braun, while multi-disciplinary designer Mathieu Lehanneur has created ‘Liquid Marble’ where a large piece of black marble has been sculpted into a static representation of the movement created by the ocean. I’d also highly recommend taking part in Type Tasting with graphic designer and writer Sarah Hyndman where you can drop in and create your own letter based on a particular moment in time.  I think that needs to be it for Sunday – day of rest and all that and if you really do take that quite literally the V&A late night opening will take place on Friday 23rd.

V & A, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL; Until September 25th

Monday 19th September

Blend by Raw Color
As a recommendation of Present & Correct I had to add this to my to-do list. Dutch studio Raw Color will be presenting 'Blend', a dynamic mix of interactive installations, materials and visuals that describe its multi-disciplinary practice. The concept mixes graphic design and photography to create the outcome and colour and material are vital to studio's work and process..

You can also pop downstairs at ARAM where Monocle will occupy some of the showroom, selling coffee alongside the Monocle collections of accessories and publications, all displayed on USM storage systems and guaranteed to be a brilliant selection.

The Aram Gallery, 110 Drury Lane, WC2B 5SG; Until September 24th

Tuesday 20th September

Emily Forgot at KK Outlet
Tuesday brings the start of the vibrant Shoreditch Design Triangle and a whole host of events that I’m especially excited about from graphic artist & multidisciplinary designer, Emily Forgot’s Neverland exhibition at KK Outlet to Lee Broom’s Opticality – a post modern display of optical illusion in interiors, YES BLOODY PLEASE! I’ll be working away in the Vitra Furniture pop-up office and lounge (because that Konstantin Gracie designed HACK desk is to die for) and stopping for lunch at The Hoxton where Rockett St George have turned the courtyard into a tropical paradise complete with palm tree and cowhide accessories. To kick-start the late night I'll be heading to Modern Society a.k.a favourite shop ever, to look at their latest kickass collaboration with Terrapin Stationers and who knows where all the cocktails will proceed to take me?! 

Shoreditch Design Triangle, until September 25th (late night opening-September 20th)

Stay tuned for Part Two in the next couple of days and please feel free to send in your own tips! 

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Creative Mini Guide | Brighton


The beach, the sea, the sun and literally a Snooper's Paradise - it's about time that I shared my favourite haunts in the idyllic town of Brighton. One day I will move there and from then on I'll never have any money again, but my Instagram will be pretty bloody top notch and my home will be on absolute bloomin' point.

Let's remember that the people of Brighton are probably one of the most creative communities in the UK so you can't really go wrong when it comes to supporting any of the local stores or restaurants - just steer clear of the high street, which although necessary, does spoil the unique atmosphere just a tad. That being said there is also a lot to discover in the hidden streets and it's really easy to miss some of the wonderful independent shops so here are my favourite spots for the print fanatics, the coffee lovers and the street art spotters.

For the graphic design lovers:


Without a doubt Unlimited Shop is my absolute go-to place in Brighton and you've probably seen them featured on the blog before. Although a favourite for YouTube sensation Zoella, I still feel like this place is a hidden gem and I take great delight in bringing people along to meet the lovely Sara and introduce them to her beautifully curated selection of prints, homewares and accessories. Sara has a knack at discovering talent and over the years she's provided the likes of Tom Pigeon, Steven Wilson, Supermundane and Kitty McCall with a platform in Brighton, sometimes even quite literally on the Unlimited Shop outer walls - just like the painted Gary Stranger mural currently says, this one is GOOD. 

10 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1US


Again I've mentioned The Family Store in a profile on the blog but that certainly doesn't mean they aren't worthy of a mention again and again. Looking for super cheap pins and patches? This is your place. From Life Club to Stay Home Club and smaller artists like Pippa Toole, these guys have a knack for getting the best graphic artists in stock and a pin for my collection is always a little treat on any visit to Brighton. Hato Press and Printed Pages also grace the shelves along with a range of vinyls with good looking covers for your flicking pleasure. It's a family you NEED to be part of. 

33 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL 


Having only been open for about six weeks now, Tidy Print have already opened with a bang (and a fair amount of booze) at the top of the Kensington Gardens. As a shop combined with a printing studio, visitors can actually book onto screen printing workshops every Tuesday and Saturday, learning the skills from co-owner Daniel Tomlinson and taking home their own prints. The shop itself has an amazing hand-built interior and currently there seems to be a focus on botanical and naturalistic prints from talented artists such as Marcelina Amelia which quite frankly works for me. Pop in to welcome Dan and Jade on their new venture, look at their own prints and perhaps try out a workshop while you're there! 

101 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AP

For the homeware gatherers:


Little ol' Workshop has recently stolen my heart. While I'm all about the graphic pattern on prints, it's all about simplicity for me when it comes to homeware. White, greys, Metallics and greenery and Workshop has it all - hell yes they do. It's all about the minimal approach here and while you all know I won't be consumed by the entire trend just yet (remember EJP minimalism?), it's certainly hard when Haeckels, SoH Melbourne and Fig+Yarrow are all calling out for a spot in your home. Owner Jason is completely lovely and he'll totally understand your reasoning for the 'Thank you for being my Instagram Husband' card purchase - tried and tested, believe me. 

13A Prince Albert Street, Brighton, BN1 1HE 

With rows and rows of the more functional homeware, Utility is a bit of a kitchenware paradise and as they describe it full of "no nonsense" design. I adore the gorgeous enamel pieces designed in-house as well as the old school letterpress prints that can add a little bit of a distinctive style to your home. Let's also not forget all of those super useful things you didn't think you needed but you definitely do now.

28A North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YB

For the adventure seekers:


I'm not encouraging you to get a tattoo without thinking about it (it certainly took me a whole lotta years) but if you are in the market for one I can whole heartedly recommend Mike Stout of Skinned Alive. And where better to have a tattoo than Brighton when you can make a day of it, better than your local high street studio eh? As well as being an amazing illustrator, Mike is also a pretty nice guy so you are sure of comfort, chit chat and a kickass tattoo at the end of it all. Let me know what you think of my first addition above unless you hate it, in which case, keep it to yourself. 

24 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1RB

For the caffeine addicts:


While seafood might seem like the only option and while I am an advocate for experiencing the local delicacies, Brighton is also known for it's sweet coffee shop scene. Silo is a little more than that as it's the first restaurant in the UK to have a zero waste policy. Although I can't imagine anyone leaving any grub behind, if you were to get a little full, all of the waste goes straight into an aerobic digester which generates compost used in the local community. Keep with the ethos and try the Plant Menu for delicious dishes that will genuinely surprise you. 

39 Upper Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 4AN


A sucker for gold letter foiling, I was drawn into this little coffee corner by the typography alone. Once in you'll find a simple yet colourful interior and the friendly staff to match. The coffee was strong and the avocado on toast (with a rocket and balsamic dressing) was delicious and suitably bigger than most brunch offerings. Sit outside for some serious people watching and soak up the seaside sun.

59D Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1HE

For the knowledge hunters:

You know when you walk into somewhere and know you're onto something special? Well PS Books is that. Although I'm a book collector, I'm actually not one for walking into the likes of Waterstones as I find it all a bit overwhelming and while PS Books still does feature shelves of the paper stuff, it mainly covers the music, design and photography sectors which as you well know is only a good thing in my eyes. Better yet, these books are cheap. Cheaper than your fish and chips in fact. I can guarantee that you'll probably find something for your mum, your sister as well as your boyfriend's twice removed uncle in book form.

33 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL 

So what do you think? I'm by no means a Brighton expert but these are some of the hotspots I've picked up over my fairly frequent visits. I'm super open to hearing about more great shops so please please please tell me all if you know any, especially in the outer areas!
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