We’ve had a great week as part of Shoreditch Design Triangle during this year’s London Design Festival. Thank you to everyone who came by! Here’s a video on a few of our neighbours that also features moments in our shop.
Our Enchanted Forest collection will be on show here until 15 October.
Tord designed the iconic Garland light that first appeared in Habitat in 2003. The design was an instant hit selling out within days, with Habitat Tottenham Court Road reporting a waiting list of 400 customers.
My aim for Bouquet was to create a successor to the Garland - a delicate, floral light arrangement that was affordable and had a contemporary romantic look. Whilst I was considering this I was visiting my mother’s home in Sweden admiring the flowers in the garden and flower arrangements in vases inside.
Then I thought it could be great to create a light that works in a similar way – a light which allowed you to arrange a variety of individual floral elements around a bulb instead of a vase.
I collected a variety of leaves and flowers from this garden that I took back to London pressed in a book which were then scanned and became the basis for the new design. The starting shapes were modified, scaled and added to in the drawing process, always keeping in mind the way in which the leaves needed to shade the light bulb and the transparency of the perforations.
The material we chose for this design is a matt white flexible sheet plastic. It was chosen because of its durability, beautiful translucency and heat resistant qualities. This also allowed us to use a computer controlled plotter cutter – a device with a small knife blade that cuts exactly the digital drawing out of the plastic sheet material. The freedom that this new form of digital production allows makes it possible to have so much fine detail and variation. You’ll find 20 separate leaves and flower elements in Bouquet - each has a small hook on the top, which you simply fix around the light cable so it’s also very easy to install, just like arranging flowers in a vase.
Visit the Design Reunion exhibition at Habitat’s Platform gallery in their King’s Road store.
Aptly enough, it was a chance meeting in a garden that began Porta Romana’s collaboration with Tord Boontje.
His exquisite interpretations of natural motifs; creeping ivy, fluid branches and textured bark provided the perfect centrepieces for the Enchanted Forest collection.
Tord remarks that the forest concept is a ‘familiar landscape’ to us all, somewhere we can connect with and a place to let our imaginations run wild. So fallen trees and sunlight now become a pair of side tables – a meeting place for woodland creatures perhaps. Sprawling ivy is tamed and twisted around a framework, projecting enchanting shadows of leaves and tendrils on to the nearest surface. And chairs that appear to be growing straight from tree roots delicately appear on the forest floor – whimsically beautiful.
There is a sense of romanticism and pure magic to Tord’s designs. Combine this with Porta Romana’s family of skilled artisan craftspeople and the result is something really quite special.
Welcome to the Enchanted Forest.
Porta Romana is a British furniture and lighting company that collaborate with highly skilled sculptors and artists to produce timeless and unique pieces destined for the world's most beautiful interiors.
Our pieces are being presented during the London Design Festival both at our studio and at Porta Romana’s showroom for FOCUS/14 at the Design Centre, Chelsea.
The London Design Festival runs from 13-21 September with events taking place throughout the city.
London Design Festival takes place next month. Here are some dates for your diary.
Global Design Forum
Collecting Design: The Evolution of Collector and Maker
In recent years, design has grown the ranks of collectability alongside art, antiques, jewellery and fine wines. This upsurge has spawned a new generation of designers who are creating unique, limited-edition pieces for discerning collectors. How do institutions and commercial galleries assess and define the collectibles of the future? And what are today’s most effective outlets for such niche, high-end offerings to reach the buyer?
Chaired by Gareth Williams, curator, writer and lecturer, with speakers Jana Scholze, Curator of Contemporary Furniture at the V&A, Eleonore Halluitte-Andrews, Mallett, and designer Tord Boontje.
When: Tuesday 16 September 12.00pm to 1.30pm
Where: Mallett, Ely House, 37 Dover Street, W1S 4NJ
Global Design Forum is produced and delivered by the London Design Festival.
Tickets £20. Details here
Curated by Polly Dickens, Creative Director of Habitat, Design Reunion showcases work from six of London’s most respected names in design including Tord Boontje, Clare Norcross, Simon Pengelly, Sarah Campbell, Aaron Probyn and Shin Azumi in a multi-sensory exhibit to celebrate 50 years of Habitat.
Habitat will also host a public Design Reunion panel discussion chaired by David Nicholls, Design Editor of The Telegraph Magazine, and featuring Tord Boontje, Claire Norcross, Sarah Campbell, Aaron Probyn and Polly Dickens, which will explore the theme of ‘inspirations’.
When: Friday 19 September from 3pm
Where: Platform Gallery, Habitat, 208 King’s Road, SW3 5XP
Free event. Details here
More on what we’re doing during LDF in the next couple of weeks…
Curated by Li Edelkoort 'GATHERING: From Domestic Craft to Contemporary Process' brings together contemporary design themes that reflect traditional domestic crafts in an attempt to remain connected to authenticity: pleating, draping, layering, ribboning, smocking, wrapping, folding, needleworking, felting, knitting, quilting and baking.
Disdain for a boring global market coupled with a fear of the virtualisation of society has inspired designers to create work that is linked to the humanisation of the making process and the contextualisation of a more responsible lifestyle. Craft has therefore become one of the major movements of our time and can be understood as the repetition of skills that belong to our common past, exuding a sense of belonging and continuity.
Works will be presented by more than 70 contemporary designers from around the world including Anton Alvarez, Dror Benshetrit, Tord Boontje, Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec, Kiki van Eijk, Frederik Färg, Richard Hutton, Arik Levy, Bertjan Pot, Inga Sempé, Fredrikson Stallard, Patricia Urquiola and Tokujin Yoshioka.
The exhibition is on now at Design Museum Holon until 25 October 2014.
If you’re in East London in the next few months, be sure to head to the Geffrye Museum to see ‘useful + beautiful: contemporary design for the home’, an exhibition celebrating innovative domestic design.
Including our 100 Years textile, Magnetic Fields table and O-Nest chairs – not to be missed in the beautiful gardens - this special exhibition showcases a selection of cutting edge design for the home by both well-established industry figures and emerging talent. A broad range of domestic products, from furniture to wallpaper and textiles, lighting to technology, is on show, spilling out into the museum’s gardens with a display of innovative garden furniture design. As well as highlighting local design from Hackney and London, the show looks further afield and includes work by leading national and international designers.
The Geffrye focuses on the urban living rooms and gardens of the English middle classes. Their collections show how homes have been used and furnished over the past 400 years, reflecting changes in society and behaviour as well as style, fashion and taste.
The museum is a much-loved gem in the lively and creative Hoxton area - historically a centre for furniture-making and market gardening. Set in 18th-century almshouses and surrounded by gardens, it is often described as an oasis in the heart of the city.
‘useful + beautiful: contemporary design for the home’ is on until 25th August 2014.