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Sam Dunne

The Core77 Design Blog

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  18 Sep 2014  |  Comments (3)

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When it comes to week long festivals of design, it is often off the beaten track and around the fringes—at a safe distance from the frantic hype and clamouring furniture brands—that you find the most interesting things going on.

North from the thriving creative district of Shoreditch, photographer Dan Tobin Smith—famous for his work with everyday objects, perhaps most recognizably as the cover artwork of Jay-Z's Blueprint 3—has opened up his studio in Haggerston (a recently established haunt for the creative classes, with a few notable IDers amongst them) exhibiting a spectacular installation that is perhaps the most critical contemplation of consumer culture we're likely to see all week.

"No one can win against kipple, he said, except temporarily and maybe in one spot."

Entitled 'The First Law of Kipple' in reference to Phillip K Dick's 1968 novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'—that later went on to inspire Blade Runner—the installation features thousands upon thousands of objects swamping the studio on every flat surface, arranged (with great appeal to the OCD-inclined) in a stunning spectrum of colours. Much like the fictional post-apocalyptic world that is haunted by plastic 'kipple,' the objects swarm all throughout the exhibition space—following viewers up stairs and into the toilet cubicle.

Apparently the accumulation of months upon months of collecting in thrift shops and carboot sales, the objects collected were first used for a series of photographps of spectral seas of objects. Tobin Smith and his team report then spending around a month to lay out the objects perfectly for this week's incredible installation.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  18 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Lee Broom opened doors at his Shoreditch studio last night to launch an opulent new collection of lighting and objects under the tongue in cheek title, 'Nouveau Rebel.' Recognized on the design scene for his contemporary twists on classics and high-end finishes (see his Crystal Bulbs from 2012) Broom's collection this year shows some creative and incredibly crafted use of marble—thin tubes of the stuff, for example, making even strip lighting look swanky.

Moving away from generic studio opening format or indeed the mock shop of previous LDF's, last night's dramatic exhibition ushered visitors down monochromatic corridors of curtains with only the collection to dramatically lighting the corners and crevices.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  17 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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With festivities now in full swing, first stop for many (us included) on the London Design Festival trail is a whiz 'round the various goings-on at the illustrious Victoria & Albert Museum in the city's Brompton district. As the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design (housing an estimated 4.5 million objects in the permanent collection), the grand Victorian edifice has become a fitting hub for the design festival in recent years. As in previous years, the V&A hosts a number of LDF exhibits dotted around the maze-like galleries and corridors of the museum, as well as an impressive program of talks and debates.

Amongst the highlights, new trio Felix de Pass (product and interior designer), Michael Montgomery (graphic designer) and Ian McIntyre (ceramist) have taken over the dimly lit climate controlled tapestry galleries with a spellbinding installation entitled "Candela.' A large rotating disc floating above the gallery floor rotates to display evolving glowing partterns—a light fixture at the bottom of the piece effectively 'printing' light onto the discs phosphorescent surface (similar, apparently, to that used by the sponsoring watch brand). As the disc turns and the printed pattern evolves, a pleasing depth is created as previous rotations slowly fade.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  12 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Strolling through any of London's more creative districts today, you're almost certain to see preparations in full swing as the eyes of the design world turn to the city over the next eight days. Now in its 12th year, the London Design Festival is set to kick off this weekend.

The branding for this year's event prompts revellers to 'Lose Yourself in Design'—perhaps a little less ridiculous than it sounds considering that this year sees some 300+ events (not including the parties), spread wider than ever before across the metropolis. Six areas across the city center have been given official 'design district' status this year, with the usual suspects Brompton Design District (with the V&A and its environs), Clerkenwell Design Quarter (design furniture showrooms abound), Chelsea Design Quarter (the crazy posh stuff) and Shoreditch Design Triangle (the edgier destination in the East) joined by two new comers—Islington Design District (North Central-ish) and Queen's Park Design District (West-ish)—set to join the fray.

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As in past years, a number of 'Landmark Projects' headline proceedings with installations and interventions on a grand scale. Whilst true to form, this year's centrepieces sees the involvement of some big brands. In an expected move, AirBnb appear to be a major sponsor of this year's festival and will be taking over the famous Trafalgar Square in the heart of the city with an installation entitled 'A Place Called Home,' an arrangement of miniature homes each with interiors design by acclaimed designers. BMW will also get in on the act, taking over the enormous Raphael Gallery space at the V&A museum with a collaboration with industrial design darlings Barber Osgerby, involving a kinetic sculpture of giant mirrored surfaces.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  11 Sep 2014  |  Comments (2)

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This past weekend, Reddit users have been delighting in pictures of prepackaged grape juice (alas, not wine) and bread (or is that gum?) communion reportedly handed out to one church-going user's 7,000-strong congregation. The Reddit faithful were quick to dub the curiosities 'Christables' after a certain packaged lunchtray product and offered up a number of other amusing puns and slogan suggestions—from mildly disrespectful to brazen copyright infringement—including gems such as "I Can't Believe It's Not Salvation" to "# Bad dap bap bap baaa...I'm loving Him #."

As comments on the thread point towards, the incongruity that we (even non-believers) feel at the sight of this object has to do with the design language: disposable plastic + aluminum-foiled symbols of the fast and packaged food industries that is unavoidably synonymous with cheapness, convenience and transience—a culmination that no amount of script typography, biblical quotes and cross symbols can outweigh.

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