Tent London played host to a number of weird and wonderful, as well as ingenious and indescribable innovations. Whilst function and beauty have long been the keystones of great design; sustainability has become a new prerequisite for anything we bring into our homes, and this is a new challenge that many of the designers exhibiting at the Truman Brewery overcome admirably.
Daniel O’Riordan of Orchard Studio demonstrated a number of eco-friendly and resourceful furniture pieces, ranging from elastic band-reinforced chairs, to delicately detailed web-like lamps and bowls. The cloth pendants are 3D printed and made from a combination of plaster, flock and potato starch. Surprisingly strong, the cloth pendants are simulations of fabric falling down in the wind.
Continuing the digital theme was the oak table with water ripples, simulated with CNC. With experience as a designer and teacher, O’Riordan says that he now aims to specialise in bespoke and limited edition artefacts using a combination of high tech and low tech approaches to create poetic and functional objects.
Embroidery duo Ashby & Boyle, Alexandra Ashby and Danielle Boyle, met on the Textile Design course at Chelsea College of Art & Design, and after graduating in 2006, combined their skills- Ashby’s eye for colour, and Boyle’s forms – to create stunning artwork and furniture that manages to be both traditional and contemporary at the same time.
Perspex tables have patterns laser cut into them, and are then embroidered with hand-dyed velvet ribbon. Each design is unique and – with a handy slot for magazines tucked underneath – extremely purposeful. Previously stocked at Liberty and now sold directly to consumers, it is easy to see these tables will achieve the pair’s goal of them being treasured as “modern day heirlooms”.
Xin Yao Yao’s dreamy Xuan lamps are entirely hand-crafted, using traditional Chinese methods. The drape and plaster designs can be produced without any machinery, meaning that there is no excess electricity or water used in their production and the process is more enjoyable for the craftsmen. Not unlike the paper globe lampshades present in many a student’s bedroom, the textures created allow the light quality a certain added atmosphere.
There were also bamboo candlesticks on display, which complemented the modern, simplistic and clean designs of the lamps, whilst similarly using natural elements.
Image Credits: Photographs by Laura Sutherland