• Memory Palace Exhibition

    Posted on 25th June 2013 by Andy.


    Exhibition: Memory Palace Where: Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL When: Now until 20 October 2013 The V&A has brought together author Hari Kunzru and 20 new pieces of art from a selection of leading illustrators, graphic designers and typographers to create what has been described as a ‘walk-in book’. It tells the story of a distant future London where writing and art have been outlawed and what is left of the past are people’s memories. The work on show here each illustrates a passage from the story, which plays on the idea of memory. The contributing artists have been drawn from a number of different disciplines including editorial and advertising, producing pieces that range from sculptures to intricate designs. The exhibition presents a distinctive and original approach to exhibiting graphic artwork and is a brilliant showcase for up and coming British talent. Find out more:  

    This Post was posted in Designers and was tagged with exhibition, london, memory palace, V&A

  • From warehouse to your house

    Posted on 23rd June 2013 by Andy.


    When it comes to living in a city you’re faced with lots of options when considering where to live. Do you go for a house or a flat. Is the amount living space important or the location? For many, urban living means a flat in or close to a city centre within a stone’s throw of great shopping, nightlife and work. Many of the UK’s major cities have great industrial heritage having grown in an explosion of Victorian industrialisation. So cities such as London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Nottingham, have a rich stock of factory and warehouse conversions. The development boom of the last 30 years saw many apartment developments springing up for young professionals with some developers opting to renovate and develop old factories and warehouses. These red-brick behemoths had been empty for much of the Eighties but their size and space were ideal for a new appetite for studio and loft living. Because they had previously housed vast machines and production lines factory conversions were often very solidly built. This sometimes made it difficult to plumb in all the amenities but did mean you wouldn’t be troubled by noisy neighbours or subsidence, and enabled some developments to add extra floors. While a new development may try to make the most of as given plot, dividing it into many similarly sized and shaped units a factory conversion is dictated by the existing structure, which can result in some unique living spaces. Many of the original floors would have been open plan except for supporting columns, making it possible to create expansive studio spaces with kitchen/diners/living rooms. It also allowed for greater flexibility as you could build dividing walls pretty much wherever you wanted. Many factories also had tall ceilings, sometimes going to double height, which allow you to have large spacious living spaces or split level spaces and mezzanine levels. Such as having a bedroom overlooking the living room. Taller ceilings also mean tall windows, allowing for lots of light and ventilation. In these cases automated blinds can be essential since you can’t reach the tops of the windows and the building’s structure may make hard wiring technology into the walls difficult, if not impossible. Great examples of conversions include The Jam Factory in London SE1. An Edwardian era building that is still dominated by a chimney emblazoned with the name of the jam manufacturers, Hartley. The development includes communal gardens, underground parking, balconies and penthouses. But the real blueprint of how developing an old industrial area can transform an entire area for the better has to be Sir Terence Conran’s Butler’s Wharf development. In 1983 he formed a partnership that bought and Southbank and Tower Bridge. The result was not only lots of apartments and homes, but a vibrant hub of shopping, restaurants and culture as well, including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Design Museum.

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with conversions, development, loft, london, warehouse

  • Heatherwick’s oasis of peace in the city

    Posted on 17th June 2013 by Andy.


    The Thomas Heatherwick Studio, famous for the stunning Olympic flame that was the centrepiece of London’s Olympic opening ceremony, has designed a £60m ‘Garden Bridge’ to cross the River Thames. It has come as a response to a tender from Transport for London (TfL) aimed at creating a pedestrian crossing to the river. What makes it unique is that the bridge will be covered in trees, grasses and wild flowers to create an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the heart of the city. You’ll be able to take a direct route across, although meandering paths and places to stop will encourage you to take things at a leisurely pace. So then London Bridge in the rush hour won’t be the slowest way to cross the Thames. The project is still pending key funding and planning applications, but it’s hoped that work will commence in 2014 for completion in 2016.

    This Post was posted in Architects and was tagged with bridge, garden, heatherwick, london, thames

  • The Design Museum says hello to Paul Smith

    Posted on 14th June 2013 by Andy.


    London’s Design Museum announced this week that it will stage an exhibition dedicated to British fashion designer Paul Smith. It will explore his inspirations, and collaborations, giving a rare insight into the wit and wisdom that he brings to his clothing and accessory ranges. His eccentric and playful designs have established the Paul Smith name as a one of the biggest fashion brands in the world. The exhibition will look at Sir Paul’s past, present and future, starting with a recreation of his first shop in Nottingham, a windowless 3m by 3m room located in a narrow  alley in Nottingham's city centre. Hello, My Name is Paul Smith, opens on 15 November, and you can find out more here:

    This Post was posted in Design Icons and was tagged with design, london, museum, Paul Smith

  • If you think you know London, think again

    Posted on 9th June 2013 by Andy.


    If you’re planning your holidays this summer and want a helpful guide with a difference chances are Herb Lester has just the thing. In an ever-expanding library of maps Herb takes a quirky look at some of the world’s biggest and best cities and renders them in a beautiful retro style.

    Much of his work would look just as nice in a frame as it is useful in navigating destinations like Paris, Madrid, London and New York. Plus they promise to make you look at even the most familiar places in a different light with each map taking a different subject to focus on.

    Writing Manhattan takes you on a tour of New York’s literary landmarks associated with certain authors or that actually appear in their books. The Look of London will guide you to some of the most influential fashion hotspots in the capital while At Your Service: London’s Specialist Suppliers may well prove invaluable in tracking down the unique and obscure for your wardrobe or home.

    To find out more visit Herb’s shop at:

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with herb lester, london

  • Journey into the unknown

    Posted on 7th June 2013 by Andy.

    London architecture Where: Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames London SE1 2YD When: 4th June to 22nd July 2013 As part of the London Festival of Architecture the Design Museum is running a free exhibition that celebrates London’s under appreciated buildings. Leading architecture critics have nominated 10 buildings that are often overlooked, forgotten or rarely seen and give them a chance to be in the spotlight.


    Selected architectural gems include the ubiquitous green Cabmen’s shelters, which are found in some of the Capital’s leafy squares providing sustenance to salt-of-the-earth cabbies, and the Brownfield Estate, dominated by Erno Goldfinger’s brutal looking Balfron Tower.


    To see what other left-field architectural treasures have been unearthed click here: The London Festival of Architecture runs until the end of June, find out more here:

    This Post was posted in Architects and was tagged with architectural, architecture, buildings, design, festival, london

  • Going Underground

    Posted on 31st May 2013 by Andy.


    Love it or loathe it the London Underground has been the lifeblood of the capital for 150 years. Delays, cancellations and overcrowding aside, the Tube and its iconic logo have achieved global recognition. To celebrate this historic milestone the Poster Art 150 exhibition brings together a fraction of the 3,300 posters held in the London Transport Museum’s archive. Since 1908 the Underground has regularly commissioned original artwork for its posters. Although they may have painted a cleaner and more colourful image of London and its suburbs than would be immediately recognisable to locals, they became key to the character of the Tube. From Harry Beck’s iconic map to posters by artists such as Man Ray, Paul Nash or Laszlo Moholy-Nagy the exhibition is a fascinating journey through the history of the city and its people that is surprising, amusing and illuminating. This is a fitting tribute to the world’s first underground rail network, so catch it while you can. Exhibition: Poster Art 150: London Underground's Greatest Designs When:  Until 27th October Where: London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB www:

    This Post was posted in Colour & Design and was tagged with art, exhibitions, iconic, london, underground

  • Sir Terence Conran

    Posted on 17th May 2013 by Andy.


    If there is one person whose shadow looms large over the UK interior design industry it’s Sir Terence Conran. Not only did he single-handedly bring stylish and functional contemporary design to British homes but he also made it more affordable. Born in Kingston Upon Thames in 1931 he studied at the Central School of Art and Design in London before getting his first design job working on the Festival of Britain in 1951. By 1956 he had established his own design company creating furniture and designing a shop for Mary Quant. In 1964 he opened the first Habitat shop, which quickly grew into a large chain of stores. Conran later built upon this success with a number of other projects, which included Mothercare and Heals. Although Conran lost control of Habitat in the 1990s he hadn’t lost any enthusiasm for new projects. He had co-founded the architecture consultancy Conran Roche in 1980 and was instrumental in the regeneration of the Shad area of London beside Tower Bridge, which is also home to the Design Museum, which he also helped establish. He also branched out into high-end restaurants, including Bibendum and the Soup Kitchen. Being named the UK’s most influential restaurateur in 2005. Now in his eighties there is little sign of Sir Terence stopping. He is still a big supporter of British design industries, designing furniture for Marks & Spencer, Content by Conran, Benchmark and The Conran Shop, as well as writing over 30 books on the subject. The Conran Shop, a chain of 10 stores around the world, including two in London continue to specialise in his signature, stylish, contemporary designs, reflecting his simple ethos: ‘All I’ve ever wanted from life are plain, simple, useful products’. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Design Icons and was tagged with conran, contemporary, designer, interior design, london, Sir Terence Conran

  • Clerkenwell Design Week

    Posted on 1st June 2011 by Andy.

    Last Tuesday saw the start of the Clerkenwell Design Week, a 3-day festival celebrating all in modern design, architecture and creative practices, and best of all it was free to attend. Clerkenwell Design Week was set in the heart of London and this year's festival boasted even more architects and creative people per square metre than last year. It was a great arena for designers to work, and incredibly inspiring. During the festival, there was 60 different showrooms where people were working and creating pieces, as well as exhibiting their own work. There were over 150 events during the festival including “Office Acoustics” from Desso”, “How I built a toaster…from scratch” at Orangebox, and “Spring/Summer 2012 colour trend forecasts” at InterfaceFLOR. These are just a couple of the interesting and inspiring events that you can attend for free whether you’re a designer interested in new technology or need some ideas for the home. Clerkenwell also boasted big names on its books like Lulu Guinness and Nick Munroe, who were asked to create a piece for the festival. Lulu Guinness opted for a giant version of the very popular, pin art office toy. So what did the festival mean to those who are not designers or creative? Well if you are into modern décor or need some ideas to revitalise your home, this was the perfect place to go, you literally get up close and personal with the designers and creators, so you could ask them questions, hear their ideas and rub shoulders with worldwide creative types. There were many incredibly individual pieces that haven’t even reached the public market. It’s one of the most celebrated design festivals in the world, and right in the creative heart of London where designers live and breathe their work. The broad spectrum of events and demonstrations were fantastic as was the various musicians who added to the tremendous atmosphere.

    This Post was posted in Designers and was tagged with Clerkenwell Design Week, creative, design, designers, events, festival, london

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