Melbourne Design Week 2019 – 6 Must-Sees

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This year’s Melbourne Design Week offers a thought-provoking mix of exhibitions, talks and tours. Take a peek…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

2019’s Melbourne Design Week features more than 200 exhibitions, talks, tours, films and workshops, with events across town and in neighbouring city Geelong. Running from 14 to 24 March, Melbourne’s largest festival programme to date celebrates both local and international talent, with the core theme of ‘Design Experiments’ – asking how design can shape the future. A mix of ticketed and free activities embrace diverse challenges from the environment to social issues and materials. This year’s festival wraps up on Sunday, but many of the inspiring shows continue beyond the weekend. Here are six of our top FizzPicks…

‘SOMEWHERE OTHER’: JOHN WARDLE ARCHITECTS
Ground Level/Foyer, NGV Australia, Federation Square
Until 28 July (10am-5pm, free)

Visitors are invited to peek through five portals within timber and steel structure ‘Somewhere Other’, a compact, interactive experience by Melbourne practice John Wardle Architects. At NGV Australia until late July, this intriguing installation was first shown as part of 2018’s 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale (pictured, top and above). Each of the wooden volumes, voids and apertures in its interconnected series frames views of the studio’s projects, the Australian landscape or the craft of collaborators including artist Natasha Johns-Messenger and filmmakers Coco and Maximilian.

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‘NEW VOLUMES BY ARTEDOMUS’: AN INSTALLATION BY FIONA LYNCH AND THOMAS COWARD
TDF Gallery, 14 Little Oxford Street, Collingwood
Until 24 March (11am-5pm, free)

We’re big fans of Artedomus’s ‘New Volumes’ collection, which showcases solid marble homewares by eight Australian designers. This Collingwood exhibition, curated by interior designer Fiona Lynch and designer Thomas Coward, represents the range in an installation that follows the journey of this sculptural material from the ‘ground to the house’, contrasted with a series of chunky marble plinths.

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‘MATERIAL THOUGHT’
Modern Times, 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

Presented by Fitzroy interiors store Modern Times, group exhibition ‘Material Thought’ explores material through the work of innovative Australian designers. On show are furniture, lighting and objects by nine top talents, including Henry Wilson (‘Stone Surface Sconce’, in Calacatta Marble, above), Coco Flip and Christopher Boots, all illuminating themes of design experimentation and sustainability.

’CLEMENT MEADMORE: THE ART OF MID-CENTURY DESIGN’
Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Swanston Street
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

Fans of modernism will enjoy exhibition ‘Clement Meadmore: The art of mid-century design’, a homage to the acclaimed Australian talent. The first major survey of Meadmore’s industrial design practice, it explores the inspirations that shaped the renowned sculptor’s early career as a designer. Part of a new wave of Australian design in the Fifties and Sixties, Meadmore championed streamlined forms, fresh materials and new manufacturing processes. His furniture and lighting appeared in the houses of iconic architect Robin Boyd, with well known designs such as his 1951 corded dining chair on view at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

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‘WELCOME TO WASTELAND’
Compound Interest, 15-25 Keele Street, Collingwood
Until 24 March (11am-5pm, free)

Presented by Friends & Associates, ‘Welcome to Wasteland’ shares the work of cutting-edge local talents involved with sustainable design. Featuring architects, industrial designers, furniture makers and researchers, the show explores the potential of waste materials recycled into fresh, eco-friendly products. Typically innovative is Vert Design’s ‘HuskeeCup’ made from coffee husk waste, their collaboration with Spark & Burnish to craft ‘Marine Debris Bakelite Door Knobs’, and Maddison Ryder’s use of discarded Iceberg lettuce to form ‘Lettuce Eat’ disposable plates. Other materials in the mix include waste glass, ceramic, plastic, oyster shells, rubber bands, paper pulp, denim jeans, pigs’ blood and even golf balls!

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WORK SHOP: FIONA LYNCH
7 Glasshouse Road, Collingwood
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

A curatorial showcase of experimental design, fine art and objects, interior designer Fiona Lynch’s new permanent gallery Work Shop aims to celebrate work by Australian and international designers and artists, as well as doubling as a testing ground for her own studio’s practice. For Melbourne Design Week, the debut show curates a selection of pieces examining the tension between resolved and incomplete elements, including ceramics by Olivia Walker (black porcelain collapsed vessel, above), burnt wood bowls by Makiko Ryujin, paintings by Jiaxin Nong and lighting design by Mary Wallis.

www.ngv.vic.gov.au/melbourne-design-week
Melbourne Design Week 2019 runs until Sunday 24 March at venues across the city and Geelong

Sydney Design Festival 2019 – 5 Must-Sees

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Sydney Design Festival 2019 brings inspiring exhibitions, talks and workshops to town. Here are five Fizz faves for getting your design on!

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Sydney Design Festival is back for 2019, unpacking new design, sharing emerging and established talents, and tackling design challenges. This year’s theme is ‘Accessing Design’, making design accessible to fresh audiences, with the action spread beyond the obvious inner-city hot spots. Running from 1 to 10 March – but with many shows lasting longer – the festival also shines a light on local design, including indigenous creativity, hosting events from exhibitions to talks, workshops, open studios, screenings and parties. Here are five of our #SDF19 Fizz faves…

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TOP: Sydney Design Festival keynote speaker Rachel Wingfield of Loop.pH with a range of dynamic past projects. ABOVE: Loop.pH’s ‘Arborescence’ installation for 2014’s Amsterdam Light Festival, proposing a future hybrid of trees and street lighting harnessing the studio’s signature bio-luminescence. Think sustainable ‘living lighting’

FESTIVAL KEYNOTE: RACHEL WINGFIELD OF LOOP.PH
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
8 March (6pm-8pm)

London designer Rachel Wingfield, co-founder with Mathias Gmachl of Loop.pH, will give the festival keynote speech at Ultimo’s Powerhouse Museum. Launched in 2003, their spatial laboratory is known for cross-disciplinary designs that combine digital, light, art and craft details, often in public spaces. Exploring design, architecture and science, Loop.pH’s intriguing installations and experiences harness diverse materials from LEDs, electro-luminous fibres and NASA’s reflective silver mylar to carbon, bamboo and algae. Buy tickets to the talk online or check out Wingfield’s collaborative workshop ‘Archilace’ on Sunday 10 March (3pm-5pm).

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ABOVE: Mungo Scott Flour Mill, historic home to authentic Australian design showcase ‘Home.Grown’ in Summer Hill

HOME.GROWN//DISCOVERING AUSTRALIAN DESIGN
Mungo Scott Flour Mill, 2 Smith Street, Summer Hill
8-10 March

A three-day celebration of Australian furniture, lighting and home furnishings, ‘Home.Grown’ is presented by the Authentic Design Alliance and curated by its director Anne-Maree Sargeant. Expect three halls over two levels featuring exhibitions, installations and pop-ups, championing locally designed and made products and homegrown talents. All up you’ll discover around 175 designers and 100 brands. Ground Floor Hall 1 features a combined showcase of designers and smaller independent brands, spanning innovative lighting by Lumil, rugs by Designer Rugs and stylish storage by Sagitine, alongside a pop-up mini mart of Australian homewares available to buy from top3 by design. Installations occupy Ground Floor Hall 2, including ‘Undervalued’ by Nick Rennie, ‘Project Replica’ by Mitch Tobin, ‘Brand a Fake’ by ADA, ‘Used by 3018’ by Will Thompson, a Mercedes-Benz Design Award display and atmospheric photos of the historic venue itself. Upstairs, the First Floor Gallery presents curated zones by 10 established Australian design brands, including Nau, Catapult, Didier, Furnished Forever and Artedomus (‘New Volumes’). Talks, starring talents including Adam Goodrum, Adam Cornish and Christina Bricknell, tackle issues affecting the country’s design scene. The location is a wow too, with the event taking over the 1922 Mungo Scott Flour Mill. A free preview afternoon on Friday 8 March is by RSVP only; for the weekend, buy advance tickets cheaper online or snap them up at the door.

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ABOVE: Trent Jansen’s ‘Tidal Lounger’ chairs and ‘Tidal Coffee Table’, made from premium stainless steel wire for Australian outdoor living brand Tait, feature in ADC’s exhibition ‘Steel’

STEEL: ART DESIGN ARCHITECTURE
Australian Design Centre, 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst
Until 3 April (closed Sundays and Mondays)

Discover the innovative ways artists, designers and architects are using steel in the 21st century at this major touring exhibition from Adelaide’s JamFactory. Free to visit at Darlinghurst’s Australian Design Centre, it showcases the work of 29 Australian creatives, including Korban/Flaubert’s bold steel sculptures, Trent Jansen’s wave-inspired ‘Tidal’ outdoor furniture collection for Tait, and BVN’s graphic Australian PlantBank research building at Mount Annan in New South Wales. A selection of steely works is also displayed across the road at Stylecraft’s showroom (24/100 William Street). Fancy some craft shopping? ADC hosts a Makers Market on Saturday 9 March (10am-4pm), featuring more than 27 local makers.

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ABOVE: ‘Purple with Black, White and Blue’ photo (detail) by Jon Setter, part of the artist’s exhibition ‘The Urban Text’ at design store Koskela

JON SETTER: THE URBAN TEXT
Koskela, 1/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
Until 31 March

This series of 12 minimal photographs explores the unnoticed aspects of urban environments and our everyday streetscapes. Detroit-born, Sydney-based Jon Setter’s free exhibition ‘The Urban Text’ is on show at inspiring design store Koskela in Rosebery, so call in for a culture fix, then stick around to shop for Australian-made furniture, homewares and accessories. The artworks are available to buy as unframed prints in three sizes, and their abstract, graphic, simple, colour-block style will look a treat on your wall. Feeling peckish? Three Blue Ducks cafe shares this atmospheric former factory space.

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ABOVE: Bernabei Freeman’s contemporary ceramic ‘Hybrid Vessel’ (2018), incorporating 3D-printed ABS and handwoven rattan, is part of digital craft show ‘Femufacture’ at The Japan Foundation

FEMUFACTURE: JAPANESE AND AUSTRALIAN DESIGN
The Japan Foundation Gallery, Level 4, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale
Until 30 March (closed Sundays)

Lovers of craft and design will enjoy cutting-edge exhibition ‘Femufacture’, which explores the interface of craft traditions and digital fabrication technologies. Hosted by The Japan Foundation Gallery, upstairs in Chippendale’s Central Park mall, it features new works by Japanese and Australian women including 3D-printed ceramic and hand-woven rattan vessels by Melbourne’s Bernabei Freeman (Rina Bernabei and Kelly Freeman). Mediums include weaving, wood turning, indigo-dyeing, paper cut, silversmithing and knitting, combined with 3D printing, CNC machining, coding and robotics. The show also includes wearable technology by light artist Erina Kashihara, who joins the gallery’s free panel discussion to mark International Women’s Day (8 March, 6.30pm-8pm).

sydneydesign.com.au/2019

Sydney Design Festival 2019 runs until Sunday 10 March at venues across the city, but many events continue beyond this weekend. For more inspiration check out SDF’s suggested itineraries, from free and family-friendly ideas to sustainable thinking and design after dark.

Rigg Design Prize 2018

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2018’s inspiring Rigg Design Prize celebrates 10 of the best Australian interior design practices

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Interiors gets their hour in the sun at the 2018 Rigg Design Prize exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV Australia, which runs until 24 February 2019. Celebrating different contemporary design disciplines, the triennial prize focused on interior design and decoration for the first time in 2018, shortlisting 10 leading Australian practices. Each was tasked with creating a bespoke, purpose-built room in the gallery, responding to the theme of ‘Domestic Living’. The results are inspiring, suggesting fresh ways of inhabiting our homes, new trends and creative solutions to modern pressures. Even if you can’t get to Melbourne, check out our round up the 10 designs below…

HECKER GUTHRIE
Melbourne design practice Hecker Guthrie (aka Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie) bagged the AU$30,000 triennial prize for their graphic yet tactile installation ‘The table is the base’ (above). Riffing on the idea of the humble table, and its charismatic central role in domestic living spaces, the custom-made room plays with clean lines, form and scale. It explores the table as surface, support and enclosure. Judge Shashi Caan said, ‘Using only two elements – the simple form of the ‘Parsons’ table and terracotta as material – the project demonstrates the power of design restraint and curiosity at play.’


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MARTYN THOMPSON STUDIO
New York-based Australian photographer and designer Martyn Thompson’s space celebrates the ‘Atelier’, channelling the modern blurring of work and home life as an opportunity for creative expression. Bathed in light and shadow, his moody space features many of his own designs – including upholstery textiles, rugs, ottomans, wall treatments, ceramics, art and photos shown alongside collaborative, vintage, found and hand-crafted pieces. Even Thompson’s records, shoes and fleamarket finds make the cut. Clothes are hung like artworks and ambient music generates emotion. Flexible and ever-evolving, this is the home as heartland, layered, textural and deeply personal.


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DANIELLE BRUSTMAN
Like a chic spaceship or cool club, Danielle Brustman’s installation ‘Inner-Terior’ is somewhere we’d like to hang out. It helps that it stars a contemporary update of a cocooning, conversation pit and a futuristic record player (shown above right). A set designer before founding her Melbourne studio, Brustman drew on theatrical aesthetics for this curvy white space, edged with vibrant colour, glossy metallics and eye-catching illuminations. A lounge room that borrows from stage and spectacle, it takes its cues from Art Deco bandshells, European retro-futurist designs from the 60s, 80s movie Xanadu, rollerskating rinks and amusement rides. We reckon it’s 2001: A Space Odyssey gone domestic.


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THE SOCIETY INC BY SIBELLA COURT
Stylist and author Sibella Court, of Sydney interiors store The Society Inc, has always had a love affair with global curios, vintage finds, old tools, pirates and gypsies. For her Rigg Prize entry, dubbed the ‘Imaginarium’, she envisaged a space to ‘wonder, imagine, interact, research and create’. An entire home distilled into a single room, it feels darkly magical, with a rich mix of materials from pressed metal to wood and fabric. Layers of textures and colours, old and new, and real and imagined offer a modern take on a 16th-century ‘cabinet of curiosities’. The space celebrates craft, with displayed objects, including a striking feature wall, acting as a catalyst for memory and imagination. From an alchemy workshop to a ship’s crow’s nest, a bar, dress-up cupboard and pot-belly stove, it’s a mini world of wonders.


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RICHARDS STANISICH
Texture rules in the mesmerising tone-on-tone sculptural installation crafted by Richards Stanisich, titled ‘Our natural needs in a digital world’. The Sydney practice, established in 2018 by former SJB talents Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich, addresses our fundamental need for shelter, sanctuary, hygiene and intimacy and how it has been transformed by integrated technology and the Internet of Things. A central ochre living, sleeping and kitchen space champions the handmade, simple and earthy, with natural fabrics, ceramics and tiles. By contrast, it’s surrounded by black gloss tiles edged with blue light, representing the digital realm.


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FLACK STUDIO
Melbourne interior architecture firm Flack Studio has a way with vibrant colour, bold pattern and unexpected details, as seen in their striking portfolio of residential spaces, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. For the Rigg Prize, David Flack and his team ‘Flackify’ their living/dining space with saturated gold hues, luxe textures and quirky art and ornaments. ‘We’ve boundless plains to share’ references diversity and inclusion, creating an emotionally charged room for a golden age in Australia, encouraging collaboration and community.


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ARENT&PYKE
Elegance and beauty are at the heart of ‘Home: feast, bathe, rest’ by Sydney interior design studio Arent&Pyke (Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke). The smartly zoned space combines areas for dining, washing and retreating, offering ideas for respite and emotional and physical wellbeing in a stressful world. Each area includes a contemporary Australian artwork and a bespoke piece of furniture, blending inspiring design-art with comforting, restorative simplicity.


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AMBER ROAD
Sydney interior design and landscape practice Amber Road’s seductive space ‘Take it outside’ is full of burnt colours, floaty textiles and dreamy desert and starlit views, centred around an inviting lounger. It celebrates the verandah or porch as a key transitional zone for relaxing and chatting together, especially in Australian homes. Principal designers and sisters Yasmine Ghoniem and Katy Svalbe spent time in the Middle East, as well as on their family farms in Australia, capturing this heritage in a beautifully crafted indoor-outdoor room.


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DAVID HICKS
Have homes become inner sanctums, fortresses or vessels for consumerist ideals? Melbourne- and LA-based David Hicks studio presents ‘Panic room’, combining Hicks’ trademark eye for luxe detail with lighting strung on chunky chains and threatening screens. It’s a slick satire on our panicked, media-saturated times, suggesting a life on stage, voyeuristic and yet paranoid about threats from outside. Has the aspirational ideal of a perfect life morphed into homes as psychological retreats and cocoons for self-protection?


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SCOTT WESTON ARCHITECTURE DESIGN
A sequence of six rooms forms ‘Wunderkammer’, an installation by Sydney-based Scott Weston Architecture Design which takes its cue from the renovation of Weston’s own Victorian Italianate terrace house, Villa Carmelina. Each contains a cabinet, or wunderkammer, featuring prized ‘jewels’, miniature artworks by favourite makers. An abstract representation of the house, it makes use of monochrome dioramas with coloured highlights and wallpaper vignettes or ornaments and collectibles.

Catch the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at Level 3, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne until Sunday 24 February 2019 (10am-5pm) or see the gallery’s website for a virtual tour and online interviews with the designers

Claus Porto Takes Manhattan

New Yorkers can snap up a little Portuguese style with the arrival of Claus Porto’s first standalone store outside Portugal. Olá Manhattan!

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

Portuguese label Claus Porto is famed for its exquisitely packaged soaps and, more recently, its revamped ‘Agua de Colonia' fragrance collection (right) created in collaboration with leading British perfumer Lyn Harris. However, until now, the company has been very much under the radar – a secret Lisbon and Porto gem for beauty and graphics enthusiasts alike. This is about to change.

RIGHT: British perfumer Lyn Harris has been instrumental in the brand’s revamp, These five new fragrances are based on a modern interpretation of colognes. ‘Agua de Colonia’ collection, £85 each for 125ml

Claus Porto has just opened a store on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan’s Nolita, the beauty and fragrance label’s first retail space beyond their Portuguese home. Conceived by New York firm Tacklebox Architecture, under the direction of Jeremy Barbour, the scheme is eye-catching in every sense. 

Milled from Portuguese cork, 1,500 faceted white diamond tiles line the walls of the vaulted interior, incorporating carved display niches. A 42-foot-long archway has also been inserted into the ground floor of this early 1800s building. Both pay homage to Portuguese architecture and craftsmanship, with the arch and tiles referencing Porto’s Sao Bento train station, which was first proposed in 1887 – the same year that Claus Porto was founded.

BELOW: The 1,500 faceted diamond tiles were milled from Portuguese cork – a material characteristic to the country – and reference the decorative azulejo tiled façade of the historic Casa dos Bicos in Lisbon

The arch serves as a dramatic portal to welcome visitors into the beautifully patterned and scented world of Claus Porto. It’s an otherwise minimal space, with a monolithic marble wash basin at its heart, celebrating bathing rituals. Yes, the interior is cool and futuristic – but the product remains king. What can we say but obrigado!
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Claus Porto, 230 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012. See Claus Porto’s website for details of their Portuguese stores in Lisbon and Porto.

LDF 2018 – 5 Must-Sees at the V&A

Five FizzPicks at the V&A for London Design Festival, including architecture, installations and dazzling pattern

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

A magnet for design fans, the Victoria and Albert Museum is the buzzy Festival Hub for London Design Festival for the 10th year running, with a cluster of special V&A Projects including architecture, installations and graphic design displays (until 23 September). You’ll also find exhibitions, talks, tours and workshops as part of LDF at the V&A. Here are five fresh designs you won’t want to miss…

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‘MULTIPLY’: WAUGH THISTLETON ARCHITECTS
Start at sculptural, recently launched space The Sackler Courtyard at the V&A, where temporary architectural pavilion ‘MultiPly’ has taken up residence (until 1 October). A nine-metre-high, modular maze-like installation made from American tulipwood, this pop-up project is by Waugh Thistleton Architects, supported by the American Hardwood Export Council and engineered by ARUP. It’s designed to be interactive, so you can clamber around inside. Come evening the pavilion glows with light by SEAM Design. Playfully appealing, it’s also a serious exploration of modular construction and sustainable housing, addressing climate change and housing need.

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‘THE ONION FARM’: HENRIK VIBSKOV
Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov is the wild mind behind ‘The Onion Farm’, a colourful installation in the V&A’s dimly lit, long, narrow Tapestries Gallery. Like a quirky car wash, it’s intended to brush visitors as they pass through, care of its vibrant, spindle-like industrial brushes and red textile ‘onions’. Somewhat surreal, it’s like something scary growing in the dark, but also riffs on ancient weaving techniques and nature scenes that chime in with the background tapestries. Don’t be afraid to get touchy-feely…

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‘DAZZLE’: PENTAGRAM x 14-18 NOV
Design studio Pentagram reinterprets experimental First World War ‘dazzle’ camouflage in ‘Dazzle’ at The Creative Studio (Level 4). Originally painted onto the surface of ships to protect them from U-boat attacks, ‘dazzle’ camouflage was first championed by British artist Norman Wilkinson. Inspired by Cubism, Vorticism and animal camouflage, he used graphic shapes to break up the profile of vessels against the sea and sky. Pentagram reinterprets the ‘dazzle’ motifs, taking them from pure graphic design into a typographic exploration. Letterforms and words from wartime poem ‘Suspense’ by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson are abstracted into immersive, monochrome patterns on a huge scale. Co-commissioned by 14-18 Now, which curates new work for the UK’s WW1 centenary commemorations, and Liverpool Biennial, this high-impact space is sure to dazzle.

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‘MEMORY & LIGHT’: ARVO PÄRT X ARUP
Music and design meet in ‘Memory & Light’, a collaborative installation by Estonian contemporary composer Arvo Pärt and engineers Arup curated by Clare Farrow. Conceived for the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room, this multi-sensory experience was born from Pärt’s words: ‘I could compare my music to white light, which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.’ Cue a transparent, curved Perspex screen and a luxe listening booth, upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, allowing visitors to experience the music through state-of-the-art speakers.

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‘A FOUNTAIN FOR LONDON’: MICHAEL ANASTASSIADES
How do you combat disposable plastic water bottle use? Make using public water fountains a pleasure. Designer Michael Anastassiades has come up with ‘The Fleet’, a luxurious new prototype for ‘A Fountain for London’, on display in the V&A’s John Madejski Garden and Brompton Design District (at Thurloe Place opposite South Kensington station). Aimed at reviving drinking fountain culture, it’s an initiative by The London Fountain Co. (founded by publisher Charles Asprey and curator Jane Withers). Robust yet elegant, the fountain comes in bronze, stone or cast iron, and will include wall-mounted and park-friendly versions. Sipping free water never looked so eco-chic…

londondesignfestival.com; vam.ac.uk

The Victoria and Albert Museum is at Cromwell Road, London SW7; admission to most events is free.