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The New Modernity: The new face of British design

Following the lead of Phoebe Philo, who promotes a return to simplicity at Celine, the design world has also decided to play the neutrality card: with atonal, almost humble, materials and colours, a recurring theme of wood and the return of Scandinavian principles, it all seems almost too good to be true! Design critic and curator Alice Rawsthrorn refers to this genre as ‘Quietly Excellent Design’. « Good, quiet design reveals exactly what its name might imply: it is not necessarily innovative or iconoclastic but it fulfils its function in a manner that is subtle and unpretentious, bringing us a genuine source of pleasure”, she explains in an article in International Herald Tribune dated May 8, 2011. Here we reflect on the highlights and new talent of the latest London Design Festival.

Thumb : Topp Lamp by Hallgeir Homstvedt
© Peter Guenzel for Established&Sons

Text : Marie Le Fort


Population : 7,825,200
Area : 607 sq miles
Capital : London
Official Language : English


Established & Sons: My London
In order to celebrate London, pioneering design team Established & Sons called upon the great Japanese designer Nendo to create a set design which « depicts the foggy and atmospheric qualities of the London sky. » Composed of thousands of opalescent layers, which include the plans of different districts, the installation includes a cloud mural that lends incredible presence to the showroom. Presented it conjunction with it are: their new armchair Quilt, The Thing, the neither red, nor really white Bouroullec, the mustard yellow Cape sofa by Konstantin Grcic, and the Dame de Luca Nichetto textile suspension, placing Established & Sons at the forefront of design creation.p>

Michael Anastassiades
A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Michael Anastassiades made ​​his debut as a civil engineer prior to travelling the world looking for artisans with whom he could create limited edition objects and light suspensions. And it has finally been done. In his pop-up store, which was open during the London Design Festival, one could discover a selection of minimal yet graphic pieces, most notable his Lit Lines, which were originally created for the Nilufar Gallery.

Designed by Chinese artistic director Samuel Chan, the Channels collections revisits the codes of modern furniture with flying colours: cedar drum stools, Motley I tables in Corian and wood, commodes with rounded oak edges and cocoon armchairs lined with felt gray, Channels revisits the savoir-faire of yesteryear with a resolutely contemporary touch.




Minimalux at Andaz Liverpool Street
Minimalux. In one word, everything has been said. The brainchild of talented designer, Mark Holmes (former co-founder of Established & Sons), the Minimalux collection is always paying for the luxury of reducing design to a strict minimum: having launched last year, a steel candle fit for the finest Georg Jensen pieces, a Conical vase made from copper, a cork and sterling silver pill box, he returned with a lamp made from hand-blown glass and a brass ring. Christened Bulb, this luminous globe is supposed to refer to our own incandescent obsolete bulbs. Perfectly exhibited during the Design Festival in the Andaz Hotel, the Bulbs multiply into infinity like an abstract garland.
There is nothing more to say, other than that the ethos is simple, elegant and effective. This lamp is a must.






Libby Sellers Gallery
Curator Libby Sellers has finally taken the plunge and opened a gallery in her own name at the latest London Design Festival. Known by the greatest collectors of design and familiar enough with the streets of Design Miami to exhibit there regularly, Libby Sellers launched her new space by presenting ceramics and politically inspired wall hangings by Formafantasma, before continuing this winter, with a Grand Materia II exhibition that will explore the role of material in contemporary design. This independent commissioner is one to watch closely…
41-42 Berners Street, W1T 3NB Londres.









Designed and manufactured in England by couple-about-town, Russell Pinch and Oona Bannon, the Pinch collections embody this trend for promoting local production in English design. Nominated at the 2011 British Design Awards for Best Collection, Pinch embodies a timeless style that is respectful of equal forms and beautiful materials.






Carpenter’s Workshop
Recognised as one of the emerging design galleries, Carpenter’s Workshop exhibits many designers who treat materials in the same way as artists: whether it be upholstered sofas by Robert Stadler, minimalist shelves by Nendo, the kinetic light installations from Random International or the furniture crafted in bronze and metal by Vincent Dubourg, the gallery surfs between design and art to the delight of collectors of contemporary design.


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