Well-known for being awash with emerging talent from across disciplines, Designersblock has been a mainstay of the London Design Festival, now in it's 17th edition. This year saw the event move from its Southbank home on the River Thames to a more central location, in a jaw-dropping location in a soon to be converted 18th-century courthouse (sold only recently, the story goes, by London Masons). Exhibitors could not have asked for a more inspiring location for their work—enormous projections on the domed ceiling bringing the already epic space to life.
Designer low energy bulb makers Plumen took over one of the grander spaces on the buildings top floor with a stunning installation—'The Glowing Oak'—featuring their newest bulbs, the Plumen002, hanging like fruit from a pretty sizeable tree seeming to grow straight out the centre of the room.
Designer Josiah Jones exhibited his food design project 'Food for Your Thoughts' featuring a modular food tray lunch box inspired by interviews with creative people about their favorite meals.
Architect and designer team Giopato & Coombes presented their gorgeous 'Bolle' suspension lamp, with the blown glass and brass bulb fixtures and fittings apparently inspired by floating soap bubbles. The lamp comes in two sizes and can be arranged modularly to create larger forms.
Artist and illustrator Camilla Barnard had a lot of super cool three-dimensional illustrations of everyday objects on show—this enormous typewriter displayed underneath on of the venues many winding stairwells.
Artist Tomomi Koseki hung mysteriously enormous outfits from the crumbling walls—the giant garments part of her 'Body Time Machine' project, remaking clothes of her parents from old family photo in sizes proportional to her size then and now.
Ana Jimanez Palomar presented her 'Los Enmascardo' inspired by the vibrant culture and iconic masks of Mexico.
Milton Priest presented a number of intriguing pieces of furniture, our favourites those seemingly inspire by farm life—a side table with a definite resemblance to a dairy cow (above) and a striking day bed made from tractor parts.
The exhibits even extended outside—design invention studio Nord Collective having replaced the cigarette bin with their 'Passive Smoking Machine' the installation coughing, spluttering and spewing smoke (apparently from repurposed e-cigarette fluid) when an unsuspecting festival goer stubs out a cigarette on it.
Sam Dunne is a designer, strategist and writer based in London. Sam is founder of design strategy agency Cohere and Contributing Editor at Core77—reporting broadly on design, technology, food and object culture.