London Design Festival Features Far-Out Furniture

new british design .photo

The London Design Festival always has an exciting show of furniture. Over in London's edgy east end, Tent London is a huge venue covering 2 floors of a former brewery. It specialises in forward-thinking and often more innovative design.

A collaborative enterprise, New British Design, was having its debut there. It will be promoting new furniture design and products. They will be choosing designers and working with them to develop their work. This gives young and up and coming designers an entry into the field.

Their first launch piece, designed by Ben Huggins, is a series of chairs and flat-pack tables made out of birch and laminate. They come in bright primary colours and would be perfect for a child's room. Little Star, the table, is an easy to assemble small table using no glue or nails.


Zoe Murphy is committed to recycling at all levels. She finds these old chests of drawers and coffee tables on line, at auctions and in charity shops. Then she decorates them by screen printing, hand painting and re-veneering them. The colours and patterns are a little bit '50's and reflect her love of the seashore.

She also works with textiles, collecting old wedding dresses and silk shirts from second-hand clothing stores. She picks apart the silk and makes the fabric into pillows. Some are screen printed and others embroidered. Murphy has a playful sense of colour which is reflected in all of her work.


There is something for everyone at the Festival... This chair by Hannes Grebin is called "Cosy Hard Edge" and is an ironic take on typical old German bourgeois living room furniture. The Berlin designer says that he is "bending the boundaries of product design" and that certainly is true.


This chair with Vincent Van Gogh's bedroom chair on its seat is another jaw- dropper. It's called a "transformable picture frame" and can be used as a folding chair and then be hung back on the wall for decoration or storage. Another one, by Korean designer Kwang Hoo Lee, featured the Mona Lisa, in a black frame.

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