Monday, September 17, 2012

Spotlight on Design

By Teresa Simon
Photography: Courtesy the London Design Festival

Amanda Levete Bench

While London continues to endorse its status as the world’s most creative capital, can we foresee similar design destinations in the making in other parts of the world? Can one look forward to an iconic change in design thinking, given its prevailing pluralistic approach?

When the world is sitting up and taking note of the various challenges that design seems to resolve, the way forward is being ably addressed by diverse design forums, exhibitions, awareness initiatives and the like, across borders, encouragingly collating and disseminating ideas, ideals and insights on a global thinking platform.

While culture-centric roots of design cannot and should not be denied, the overall environment of design transcends boundaries of language, society and mindset. The pace of the globe trotter today deifies design as perhaps it never has before. Taking a cue from these prevailing atmospheres, world over, design is being celebrated with various fests, the crown of them all going, perhaps, to the London Design Festival, now in its 10th year.

London-based designer, digital artist and film-maker Keiichi Matsuda's Prism
presents an ingenious window on the complexity of the city of London

To begin where Mayor of London, Mr. Boris Johnson concludes, “… the London Design Festival is an unrivalled showcase of some of the best creative ideas from UK and around the world",  this festival is indeed a beautiful coming together of various venues that gear up to celebrate design, enveloping the city of London in a creative fervour. Better still, extending the passion to an international standing.

Japanese design studio Nendo with a unique installation
based on the motif of a simple but elegant chair at V&A

Apart from the diverse products that will be showcased, it is the ‘Landmark Projects’ that particularly impact design thinking, extending design's vocabulary and drawing a huge public to the work of some of the world's most innovative design thinkers. To elucidate a few upcoming projects in this year’s fest: a demonstration of groundbreaking audio-technology, the BE OPEN Sound Portal is a thrilling demonstration of design you can't see. A black rubberized structure will become an immersive space for a variety of sound-scapes created by musicians and sound artists at the Trafalgar Square.

BE OPEN Sound Portal at Trafalgar Square

Further, collaboration with the British furniture and lighting producer Established & Sons has resulted in creating a series of one-off benches to mark ten years of the Festival. Each one is made from a different material and designed by a different designer.

A series of one-off benches that team up great designers with different materials

And continuing its relationship with the Festival, the legendary V&A Museum will house a broad ranging programme of activity including specially commissioned installations by the likes of Nendo, Keiichi Matsuda, Philips and Cinimod Studio, Rolf Sachs and SodaStream.

Speaking of change and design in the same breadth, as we look forward to progressive change in the world design domain, India Art n Design pays special tribute to Vidal Sassoon (1928-May 2012), the ‘man who revolutionized the art of hairstyling’. Cannot resist quoting Vidal when he started off on his great career, “If I was going to be in hairdressing, I wanted to change things. I wanted to eliminate the superfluous and get down to the basic angles of cut and shape.” We eagerly await.

London Design Festival 2012 will run from 14 – 23 September. 

1 comment :

  1. Well there's Beijing Design Week that takes place in conjunction with this week's London Design Festival. Both countries have been working in partnership to promote young emerging artists from the respective countries since 2009 when the first Beijing Design Week (which was a govt initiative) was launched. It's happening at the same time this week as the London Design Festival.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: While London continues to endorse its status as the world’s most creative capital, can we foresee similar design destinations in the making in other parts of the world?


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