Lee Broom – Park Life

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British designer Lee Broom reveals ‘Park Life’, a dazzling pop-up exhibition in a car park in Sydney

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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UK design talent Lee Broom is known for glamorous lighting, furniture and accessories. His shows are just as cutting-edge, with the rising star previously exhibiting his work in a mock department store, a mobile van (albeit one tricked out with an elegant room interior) and on a fairground carousel. Now Broom is taking over an underground car park below Space’s Sydney furniture showroom for ambitious pop-up ‘Park Life’, sharing his new lights with the public in a modernist maze. The Alexandria installation will be his largest to date, covering 4,000 square feet, with the free exhibition running from 14 to 20 March.

‘I am delighted to return to Australia to present this exciting exhibition with Space Furniture,’ says Broom. ‘Australia has been a big supporter of my work for many years and it is an honour to create such a significant installation to showcase my collection in Sydney.’

TOP: The entrance to Sydney’s subterranean ‘Park Life’ maze pavilion, with Lee Broom flanked by his ‘Orion Globe’ and ‘Orion Tube’ lights. ABOVE RIGHT: Fix up, look sharp… London lighting designer Lee Broom before he turned blonde for his Australian tour

A former actor and fashion designer, Broom is known for his trademark sharp look, teaming simple classic and street-savvy details. His designs also reinterpret classical styles in contemporary ways, giving them an unexpected edge. Expect more striking fusions at immersive experience ‘Park Life’, where he’ll be transforming the raw, concrete, industrial car park into his take on a trad English garden.

ABOVE: Lee Broom’s surreal modernist garden maze ‘Park Life’ in Sydney, a beautifully resolved installation featuring his lighting, accessories and furniture in a series of 16 illuminated room sets. Enchanting vignettes play with ideas from chess boards and Newton’s Cradles to cascading waterfalls and trompe l’oeil reflections

Channelling a meandering maze, the pop-up will take guests on ‘a poetic journey of discovery through hidden passageways, with tableaus and vignettes,’ says Broom, showcasing his lighting, furniture and accessories. Inspiration hails from 18th-century pleasure gardens, with their mazes and miniature waterways, amusing visitors with the latest art, architecture, music and illuminations. However, Broom gives the concept a modernist spin, aiming to create a sense of escapism, entertainment and drama.

ABOVE: More mesmerising moments from the ‘Park Life’ pavilion. A white polycarbonate box within the concrete car park, its interconnecting spaces are lined with pale gravel, with designs displayed beside classical statues on boxy, layered plinths. Black acrylic, cut-outs and mirror add surprise to surfaces

If Broom’s mind-bending 2017 trompe l’oeil installation ‘On Reflection’ at his London showroom is anything to go by, design hunters should be in for a treat. Broom chose to show in Sydney, not Milan this year, reaching out to his Australian and Asia-Pacific fanbase, and has put all his creative energy into crafting a surreally beautiful space, guaranteed to whisk visitors into wonderland.

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ABOVE: Lee Broom’s new ‘Eclipse’ pendant lights, updated in polished gold, will be showcased at the pop-up

Debuting at the ‘Park Life’ installation is a new version of Broom’s award-winning ‘Eclipse’ light in a polished gold finish, a warmer, softer interpretation of the original chrome. Like an elegant mobile, these sculptural pendants look different from every angle, with mirror-polished gold and acrylic discs interacting, simultaneously eclipsing and revealing their charms.

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ABOVE FROM LEFT: ‘Eclipse’ chandelier three piece in sheeny gold. The design also comes as a table lamp, with all three variations available to order from April. Broom’s ‘Orion Tube’ and ‘Orion Globe’ pendant lights in polished gold

‘Park Life’ is part of Broom’s wider #LBTour of Asia and Australia, which has seen him give design talks at Space’s showrooms in Singapore for Singapore Design Week (4-17 March), and Brisbane, with another to come at Space Melbourne on 14 March (6pm-9pm) for Melbourne Design Week (14-24 March). Design fans can buy tickets to the Melbourne event, in which Broom will chat about his career, global brand and the experimental nature of design. Plans are also afoot for him to talk at ECC’s Auckland showroom in New Zealand. Don’t miss this illuminating talent…
leebroom.com spacefurniture.com.au

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ABOVE: Broom’s circular ‘Carousel XL’ pendant light in matte black at the installation, inspired by British fairground merry-go-rounds

Free exhibition ‘Park Life’ is at Space, 84 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria, Sydney, from 14 to 20 March 2019 (open daily 10am to 5pm); a launch evening on 13 March is by invite only. Lee Broom’s products are available exclusively in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia from Space Furniture. His ticketed Melbourne talk is at Space, 629 Church Street, Richmond, on 14 March (6pm-9pm)

Pictures: Craig Wall (Sydney installation)

LDF 2018 – 11 Fizz Faves for London Design Festival

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Enjoy all the fun of the fair at this week’s London Design Festival, with our 11 must-see installations and showcases around town…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

This year’s London Design Festival is in full swing, bringing a bewildering array of new design launches and exhibitions to town. We’ve already shared our top tips for the thought-provoking London Design Biennale and festival hub the V&A, but here are 11 citywide FizzPicks for design inspiration, taking in landmark projects, alfresco installations and seductive showrooms.

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ES DEVLIN: ‘PLEASE FEED THE LIONS’
Attracting Insta love in Trafalgar Square – as well as confused looks from tourists – interactive design ‘Please Feed The Lions’ is a collaboration between British artist/stage designer Es Devlin and Google Arts & Culture. A fifth fluorescent red lion has joined the square’s big cat statues, roaring out a crowd-sourced, collective poem. Tap in your word via the on-site screen or online to see it displayed in LEDs in the lion’s mouth. The streaming text is also projection-mapped over Nelson’s Column and the lion at night. Naturally, we fed it the words ‘design’ and ‘fizz’.
Trafalgar Square, London WC2 (18-23 September)

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KELLENBERGER-WHITE: ‘ALPHABET’
Sit on a letter or make words with the 26 vibrant, alphabet chairs at interactive installation ‘Alphabet’ in Broadgate. An experiment in folding metal to create a typographic system, the bespoke seats were designed by London graphic design consultancy Kellenberger-White, known for their playful approach to typefaces. Their inspirations ranged from Bauhaus designers to artist Bruno Munari. Each chair is a different colour, daubed in specialist industrial paint, ranging from orange to cornflower blue.
Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate, London EC2 (15-23 September)

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SCHOLTEN & BAIJINGS: ‘TIME FOR TEA’
Take ‘Time For Tea’ at Fortnum & Mason with help from Scholten & Baijings. The Dutch design duo will draw on more than 80 global designs for this installation celebrating the dainty ritual, drawing inspiration from the store’s signature eau de Nil colour and gorgeous green hues. The tabletop setting encompasses a new porcelain tea set produced by 1616/Arita, plus furniture, accessories and limited-edition pieces contrasting tradition with cutting-edge Dutch creativity. Featured products include chairs by HAY, Moroso and Karimoku New Standard, curtains by Maharam, and marble tables and flooring by Luce di Carrara.
First Floor, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1 (15-23 September)

TOM DIXON: ‘ELECTROANALOGUE’
UK designer Tom Dixon hosts ‘Electroanalogue’ at his new HQ and shop The Coal Office in Kings Cross. Expect product launches, live demonstrations and workshops exploring digital innovations and traditional craft, including group show ‘Hyper Real’. Mates on board include Bill Amberg Studio (see below), sound designer Yuri Suzuki, Ege carpets, Kirkby Design, Formica, Spiritland bar and Teenage Engineering showcasing a synthesiser in a Seventies-style disco. The space is part of Coal Drops Yard, a cutting-edge shopping and dining street opening on 26 October with design by Thomas Heatherwick.
The Coal Office, 4-10 Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1 (15-23 September)

BILL AMBERG: ‘PRINTED LEATHER LAUNCH’ AT TOM DIXON STUDIO
Luxe leather brand Bill Amberg Studio presents a stunning new collection of digitally printed leathers, including British contributions from Faye Toogood, Timorous Beasties and Tom Dixon, and American-based interior designers Alexandra Champalimaud and Natasha Baradaran. It’s a gamechanger for the industry, with patterns spanning colourful sketches, splattered damasks, lace, circles, foil and rock graphics.
The Coal Office, 4-10 Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1 (15-23 September)

LEE BROOM: ‘OBSERVATORY’
British boy wonder Lee Broom brings his stellar-inspired lighting collection ‘Observatory’ to his Shoreditch showroom, a hit in Milan and New York. Playing with vertical and horizontal space, sculptural and spherical form, and light reflection and refraction, the third edition of this glamorous yet ultra-contemporary range includes pendant and table lights, making luxe use of LEDs and bespoke bulbs designed in-house.
Lee Broom, 93 Rivington Street, London EC2 (18-23 September)

HOUSE OF GREY
Book online to see House of Grey’s gorgeous North London pop-up exhibition ‘In the Neighbourhood’, a brilliant edit of local and international designers, artists and makers in two residential settings. Curated by Louisa Grey and Morgwyn Rimel, elegant townhouse ‘The Grey House’ creates a calm atmosphere celebrating texture, neutral tones, handmade craft and natural materials. By contrast, loft-style ‘The Blue House’ occupies a converted Methodist congregation hall, with vibrant, bold colours and eclectic contemporary designs. Furniture, textiles, accessories and lighting are on show, flanked by art and plants. Talents include Henry Wilson, Noorstad, Frama, Muller Van Severen for valarie_objects, Dirk Van Der Kooij and Dinosaur Designs.
By appointment only, North London (15-21 September); for availability check here.

THE CONRAN SHOP
The Conran Shop hosts two cracking shows for LDF18. At the Marylebone Store, ‘The Conran Shop x Carl Hansen’ celebrates on-trend indigo, with exclusive editions of the Danish’s firm’s furniture transformed by the deep blue hue. Think Carl Hansen & Søn’s ‘CH4 Wishbone Chair’ by Hans Wegner with an indigo lacquer and Hiut denim seat pad. A stool and chair by Kaare Klint’s also get the denim treatment. At Chelsea’s Michelin House store ‘The Conran Shop x Pinterest’ features a maze of giant red pins, channelling the social media inspo site, while visitors can Pin and save products as they shop using an app and innovative Near Field technology microchips hidden in tags. Pincodes on display reveal the inspiration behind key designs.
The Conran Shop, 55 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, London W1; Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 (both 15-23 September)

MATTER OF STUFF
Prepare to be transported by London design research gallery Matter of Stuff. In Kings Cross, their pop-up Concept Gallery at Fenman House has been designed by Raw Edges. Hung with wooden dowels suspended by blue string, the space celebrates materials, finishes and texture, including marble and ceramics. It’s the ideal backdrop to Matter of Stuff’s collection of furniture and lighting (by Bohinc Studio and Uufie) plus a curated mix of global brands including CC-Tapis, Made in Ratio and La Chance. Matter of Stuff also explores blown-glass at site-specific exhibition ‘Blown Away’ at Mayfair restaurant/bar Sketch. Don’t miss the new borosilicate glass ‘Bubble’ chandelier by master glassblower Simone Crestani. Magical.
Fenman House, 5 Lewis Cubitt Walk, Kings Cross, London N1; Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, London W1 (15-23 September)

The ARAM GALLERY
Covent Garden’s The Aram Gallery presents ‘Hilos Invisibles’, a collaboration between Montevideo-born designer Matteo Fogale and seven Uruguayan design studios, including furniture, lighting, mirrors and accessories in brass, glass, wood and concrete. Inspired by the work of modernist Uruguayan architect Julio Vilamajó – a design consultant on New York’s UN Headquarters with Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer – the project was born of a 2017 residency and workshop at Montevideo’s Vilamajó House Museum, built by the architect in 1930, and draws on his architectural design details.
110 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2 (17 September-27 October)

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THE NEW CRAFTSMEN
A serene sanctuary, ‘The New Craftsmen x Malgorzata Bany’ offers zen time out from the frenzy of LDF18. Hosted by contemporary British crafts showroom The New Craftsmen in Mayfair, London-based, Slade-trained artist and designer Malgorzata Bany presents her collection of sculptural furniture, objects and table lights, including new additions to the popular range. Materials span Jesmonite, metal and handmade paper, with minimal yet organic forms. Bany also shares her edit of the store’s other makers. And breathe…
34 North Row, Mayfair, London W1 (15 and 17-22 September)

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