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

Northern Design Festival 2017

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This year's Northern Design Festival in the North of England champions good design, from furniture to graphics and material innovation

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Forget Geordie Shore! For exciting action up north, head to the UK's Northern Design Festival, celebrating inspiring design at six venues across Newcastle and Gateshead. Running from 3 to 8 November, the annual showcase includes 50-plus designers, nine exhibitions, installations, talks and tours, taking in products, furniture, lighting, textiles, ceramics, fashion, graphic design, illustration and architecture. 2017's theme is 'Material Matters', explored by a host of northern, national and international talents, with special commissions from designers and artists.

Major one-day symposium Design NOW kicks things off on Friday 3 November, attracting big-name speakers including Lancashire-born, Leeds-trained graphic artist, printmaker and designer Anthony Burrill, whose clients include Google, Apple, Hermès and London's Design Museum. Alongside established talent, you'll find emerging names, with shows such as 'Chairs and Lamps' presenting prototypes by five second-year students from Northumbria University's BA (Hons) 3D Design programme. 

Keen to join industry insiders on the design trail? The festival's exhibition hub is at historic venue The Assembly House on Newcastle's Watergate Road, alongside nearby Cooper's Studios. Here are six FizzPicks to get you started... 

ABOVE: Graphic design exhibition 'Unforsaken (Part 1)' was conceived by Jimmy Turrell, who worked on Beck's video (still, shown)
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Wireless' lamp by Georgina Heighton for student exhibition 'Chairs and Lamps' at The Assembly House


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UNFORSAKEN (PART 1)
The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle

Graphic artist and director Jimmy Turrell, who has worked with Adidas, Beck and The Guardian, will present exhibition 'Unforsaken (Part 1)', which explores beauty found in unexpected places. In 2016, Turrell rescued a job lot of 1,000 vintage books and objects from eBay, before using them as a base for screenprinting, drawing and painting. Discarded and forgotten materials, from ski manuals to scrapbooks of the Norwegian royals, are salvaged with style.

ABOVE: UK graphic designer Jimmy Turrell's vinyl record and cover design for Beck's new album 'Colors'


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DANIEL SCHOFIELD
The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle

Up-and-coming UK design talent Daniel Schofield – who has bagged an award from Elle Decoration magazine – gets a solo show and a chance to share new work, from furniture to lighting and accessories. Warwickshire-born, Sheffield-trained Schofield has previously collaborated with top British brands Benchmark, Conran and Skandium, and his simple, contemporary pieces draw on materials from brass and oak to enamelled volcanic stone, paring forms back to chic essentials. He has a background in both graphic design and carpentry, and it shows.

ABOVE: Young British design talent Daniel Schofield will present new work at The Assembly House


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AURORA
The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle

Known for innovative surface materials, sculptures and architectural works, Giles Miller has crafted a new installation – 'Aurora' – for the festival. Past clients of the London studio include Stella McCartney and the V&A, with creations involving a mix of high-tech and the handmade. A 'composer of materials', Miller took inspiration from the Northern Lights for his latest piece, which incorporates around 2,000 mirror-finish, stainless steel 'pennies', suspended within a structural lattice, designed to harness diverse reflections while still being visually permeable.

ABOVE: Giles Miller's dramatic new 'Aurora' installation, a sculptural lattice of mirror-finish, stainless steel discs throwing out reflections


ART ON PAPER SINCE 1885
The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle

Discover iconic printed designs from the G . F Smith archives at 'Art on Paper since 1885', including work by influential contributors Saul Bass, Milton Glaser and Paul Rand. Founded in 1885 as a paper merchants, the Hull- and London-based British firm has a legacy of creative collaborations with graphic designers, artists and photographers, with promotional and marketing materials under the spotlight here. Names in the frame include Made ThoughtStudio Makgill and SEA.

ABOVE: Printed works, spanning promotional and marketing materials, from 'Art on Paper since 1885' showcasing the G . F Smith back catalogue


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NEW BOOSBECK
Part of a growing movement committed to social design and enterprise, New Boosbeck helps the unemployed, community groups and public to build furniture, with more than 130 people gaining valuable work experience and skills to date. Led by artist Adam Clarke, and inspired by Boosbeck Industries, a 1930s initiative to tackle unemployment with creativity, it produce bespoke pieces for sale. Check out the results here.

ABOVE: A wooden chair created by members of social enterprise group New Boosbeck, celebrated at Northern Design Festival


DESIGN SOURCE
Selling show Design Source is your go-to for a spot of design shopping, with furniture, lighting, products, ceramics, wallpaper, textiles, and jewellery from across the North of England. Selected by industry experts, designers involved include Deadgood, Nick James, North Sea Collaborations and Susi Bellamy. There's also a Pop-Up Shop. 

ABOVE: Selling show Design Source includes work by northern talents Deadgood ('Bute' armchair), Susi Bellamy (cushions, lampshade, ottoman and wallpaper), Godfrey Syrett ('Low Ken' stools and circular 'Harry' table), Nick James (lamp base) and Dove Street Pottery (bowls and jug); European oak 'Fluted' cabinet by Nick James, with fluted doors and drawer fronts; Handmade 'Oak' bench with subtle curves and rounded corners by Nick James; 'Working' table, 'Setter' chairs and 'Pop' rug by Deadgood

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Northern Design Festival 2017 runs from 3 to 8 November 2017. All the events listed here are on show at The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, (entry £2.50; see website for opening hours, and other events at alternative festival venues).

Pictures: Sasa Savic, Guy Archard

Design-Made 2017

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Indie festival Design-Made celebrates Australian design talent in Sydney

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Sydney's debut independent contemporary design festival, Design-Made, kicks off in Alexandria this week, showcasing a veritable Who's Who of more than 50 Australian talents. Expect a three-day programme packed with product launches, thought-provoking exhibitions and curated installations from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 October, including cutting-edge furniture, lighting and accessories. The atmospheric main venue is former woodshed Sunstudios, normally used for photo shoots, with a few offshoot talks at the nearby Fischer & Paykel Experience Centre.

Founded by Kobe Johns of Factory Design District and Authentic Design Alliance director Anne-Maree Sergeant, Design-Made celebrates Australia-wide design, with an emphasis on original, local design and quality craftsmanship, engaging visitors in the creative process. You can watch Melbourne potter Colin Hopkins of Porcelume shaping porcelain lighting shades on a wheel, while listening to his own musical score (the results are represented by Spence & Lyda). Leather-cutting and print-making are also on display.

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Homegrown and international brands will share their collections – from Mud Australia to Cult and Singaporean furniture firm Castlery (collaborating on a new range with Australian designer Charles Wilson) – alongside an impressive roll call of independent designers and studios. It's a rare opportunity for Australian talents to show their work across diverse brands on their own stands, including Adam Cornish, Ross Gardam, Jonathan West, and the three Toms – Tom Fereday, Tom Skeehan and Tomek Archer. Free and ticketed talks and workshops allow you to get hands-on, plus there are parties to pep you up. Here are 10 FizzPicks to whet your appetite...

TOP AND BELOW: Ross Gardam's new 'Noon' collection at Alexandria's Design-Made show, including coffee table and mirrors
ABOVE: Furniture-maker Jonathan West's gleaming cabinet

'Noon' collection by Ross Gardam
Australian furniture and lighting designer Ross Gardam will be unveiling his graphic new 'Noon' collection of wall mirrors and coffee tables, made in Melbourne. Subtly exploring the passage of time,  the tables come in two sizes with surfaces including timber veneer, laminate, marble, and mirror, or a striking 'Tri-Cut' combination of walnut, marble and black glass (available from Stylecraft). The mirrors, set back from timber frames, feature clear, bronze and black finishes, or opt for wow factor with the 'Tri-Cut' configuration incorporating all three.


'Paperclip' collection by Seaton Mckeon
Sydney-trained industrial designer Seaton Mckeon's new outdoor furniture range 'Paperclip' for Stylecraft will be exhibited for the first time, styled by Jason Grant. Formed from powered-coated steel, the clean-lined, modernist-influenced collection consists of a stackable lounge chair (with Merbau timber armrests), chair, bar stool and low stool, bound to add graphic attitude to gardens. Finishes include wire and laser-cut perforated sheet metal, with a seductive choice of Dulux colours, from rusty reds to deep blues and eucalypt greens, as well as black, white and grey.

ABOVE: Seaton Mckeon's 'Paperclip' outdoor furniture collection for Stylecraft, including lounge chairs with wooden armrests, stackable chairs in green; and low stools in green and white


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'Igneous' wall light by Ash Allen and James Walsh
Crafted from upcycled bluestone waste, sourced locally, the new 'Igneous' light is by Melbourne designers Ash Allen and James Walsh, presented by Australian brand Catapult. Victorian bluestone is synonymous with Melbourne's architecture, but quarrying generates waste. The pair melted bluestone powder in a kiln to create this striking textured, patterned version of the stone, with a goldy-blue surface set off perfectly by the light's shadowplay. The gorgeous modern wall sconces are made to order, in two sizes, and feature a central gold-dipped bulb.

ABOVE: Meaning 'from fire', the 'Igneous' wall light by Ash Allen and James Walsh is crafted from waste bluestone powder using extreme heat


Good Design Australia showcase
Good Design Australia, a veteran prize dating back to 1958, will showcase recent Good Design Awards winners in furniture and lighting. Highlights include Canberra-based Tom Skeehan's minimal, Japanese-inspired 'Hoshi' collection of armchairs, benches and ottomans for Stylecraft, Adam Goodrum's ergonomic 'Bower' work-pod/seating screens and sculptural 'Malloy' chair for Cult design store's new Australian collection 'NAU', and Charles Wilson's 'Carafe' table for Herman Miller.

ABOVE: Recent Good Design Awards winners including Tom Skeehan's 'Hoshi' lounge collection of seating, benches, side tables and ottomans for Stylecraft, Adam Goodrum's 'Bower' screened desks and seats for Cult, and Charles Wilson's 'Carafe' table for Herman Miller


'LD' wallpapers by Local Design
Collaborative Sydney-based label Local Design is launching an eight-strong range of graphic, contemporary printed wallpapers, with Australian contributors including the label's creative director Emma Elizabeth, Kate BanaziDaniel Emma, Shilo EngelbrechtTom Fereday, Dowel Jones, Fiona Lynch and Tom Skeehan. Durable enough for use in schools, hospitals and public spaces, the large-scale papers are eco-friendly, due to their low chemical emissions. Banazi will be screen-printing 100 limited-edition prints at the installation, available for sale.

ABOVE: The brand-new 'LD' wallpapers by Local Design


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'Boulder' side tables by Dinosaur Designs
Best known for resin tableware and jewellery, Sydney's Dinosaur Designs unveils a box-fresh new collection of 'Boulder' side tables at Design-Made. Inspired by rock formations, as well as the serene palette of Stonehenge and Giorgio Morandi's still-life paintings, the hand-crafted pieces come in swirly whites, creams, blacks and greys.

ABOVE: Dinosaur Designs' new 'Boulder' collection of resin side tables


'Interpretations V' exhibition
A biannual group show exploring materials, 'Interpretations V' tasked eight Australian designers to explore paper (cellulose), in an exhibition curated by Vert Design's Andrew Simpson. Innovative prototypes include Tom Skeehan's 'SO' tactile paper light fixtures, formed from traditionally dyed pulped paper; Tom Fereday's timber-framed 'Pieman' chairs with woven paper cord seats and backs; Elliat Rich (of Elbowrkshp)'s pebble-like textured paper sculptures '7 Rounds', including photographic hints of hands; and Charles Wilson's delicate oval 'Lirio' picnic plates, intended to be held with a wine glass in one hand.

ABOVE: Paper prototypes for materials showcase 'Interpretations V', including Tom Skeehan's 'SO' paper lights in soft pastels, Tom Fereday's cord-strung 'Pieman' chairs; Elliat Rich's '7 Rounds' pebble sculptures, and Charles Wilson's 'Lirio' picnic plates


'Stitchfield' 2017 installation
Interactive installation 'Stitchfield', commissioned by Design Tasmania, is a modern update of a weaving or knitting circle. Suspended above Sunstudios' entry lounge, the gleaming metallic 'wave' is formed from interconnecting brass components, devised by Melbourne architect Claire Scorpo and Alice Springs-based designer Elliat Rich. It will be lowered twice a day during the festival, encouraging visitors to join the gathering of makers crafting this communal work-in-progress.

ABOVE: Interactive brass hanging 'Stitchfield', formed from circular components, will be expanded by visitors during the show


'26 Original Fakes' exhibition
Curated by Dale Hardiman and Tom Skeehan, 26 Original Fakes is a group show in the atrium highlighting Australia's unfortunate status as the 'Wild West' of fake designer furniture. With insufficient copyright laws protecting both established and emerging product designers, this show, backed by the Authentic Design Alliance, invited 26 Australian designers to riff on British talent Jasper Morrision's much-copied 'Hal' chair for Vitra, distributed here by Living Edge. Look out for Tom Fereday's 'Shadow Chair', a cast concrete form representing the negative space under a replica 'Hal' chair, suggesting that by buying rip-offs you are left with nothing but a shadow of the original.

ABOVE: Exhibition '26 Original Fakes' includes designs hacking replicas of Jasper Morrison's 2010 'Hal' chair for Vitra, including Tom Fereday's cast concrete 'Shadow Chair', Daast studio's 'Royalties Paid' chair engraved with a satirical letter from the Australian government, and Jon Goulder's Sydney Opera House-inspired chair, itself a rip-off of fellow exhibitor Andrew Simpson's earlier replica of a replica!


ABOVE: 'Light Hut' tiny house by duo Fresh Prince, outside the Sunstudios entrance, illuminated at night

'Light Hut' by Fresh Prince
Finally, just outside Sunstudios, 'Light Hut' champions the tiny house movement. Designed by Sydney studio Fresh Prince, this outdoor sanctuary is a small moveable structure that 'sheds the weight of a modern dwelling to return to bare, essential shelter.' Here's to treading the Earth more lightly...
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Design-Made runs from 27 to 29 October over two locations in Alexandria – Sunstudios (42 Maddox Street) and Fischer & Paykel Experience Centre (96 Bourke Road). Opening hours are Friday 27 (10am-6pm), Saturday 28 (10am-5pm) and Sunday 29 (10am-4pm); $10 on the door.

LDF 2017 – 5 FizzPicks for London Design Fair

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5 top tips for London Design Fair, which takes over East London's Old Truman Brewery this weekend...

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Hanging out at London Design Fair is pretty much our idea of the perfect Sunday. Spend your day perusing emerging and established design talent in and around East London's Old Truman Brewery, before chilling out at one of Brick Lane's bars, cafes or curry houses. One of our key pit stops for London Design Festival, this sprawling event hosts a huge selection of exhibitors, ticking the boxes from furniture to lighting and accessories.

So where to start? Always worth a look are the Country Pavilions, which offer group shows celebrating the best of national design from Sweden to Portugal, the Netherlands to Finland, Poland to South Korea, and beyond. You'll also discover special Features at the fair, from themed exhibits to material galleries and one-off collaborations. For a mix of inspiring designs, kick off with these five FizzPicks...


TOP: Design hunters can satisfy their curiosity at 2017's London Design Fair at Old Truman Brewery
ABOVE: Handmade with 100% cotton textiles, Mijo Studio's interactive 'Aio' seating encourages users to create different compositions

Mijo Studio (stand E23, Hall T1)
Devotees of bold pattern and colour, painterly prints and contemporary textiles will love the work of Mijo Studio. Based in Copenhagen, the Danish-Norwegian design duo – Miranda Tengs Brun and Josefine Gilbert – have brought their interactive 'Aio' seating to London Design Fair, which started life as a playful experiment into the relationship between patterns and shapes. Turn and flip the elements of this foam seat, with jaunty printed cotton upholstery, to create fresh compositions. Scandi chic.


ABOVE: Flyte's levitating products include the 'Flyte' light and 'Lyfe' planter, which both float in the air; A video showing the 'Flyte' light in action

Flyte (stand L05, Hall T3-C)
An innovation company specialising in home decor and lighting products, Swedish brand Flyte, founded by Simon Morris, launches a minimal light and vase flaunting magnetic magic! Both the 'Flyte' light bulb and the 'Lyfe' planter float in the air, levitating, 'setting the design free'. 'Flyte' draws power wirelessly from the base below while twirling around in mid-air, using induction rather than batteries. 'Lyfe' harnesses maglev ('magnetic levitation') technology, with a custom-shaped magnet pushing up against an electromagnetic base causing the planter to levitate in a zero-gravity growing system. See Flyte's site for more on how these magnetic fields work, or just enjoy the mystery!


ABOVE: Liga Studio's multifunctional 'Liga' series of storage boxes/occasional tables combines ombré pattern, fluoro colour and an unusual ligature detail for a hinge

Liga Studio (stand F33, Hall T1)
Storage gets sexy thanks to new French company Liga Studio, which has unveiled gorgeous ombré 'Liga' tables/storage units for London Design Fair. Run by creative duo Pierre Alexandre Cesbron (ENSCI) and Matthieu Muller (Design Academy Eindhoven), the brand's range of storage furniture includes a box, a bedside and a coffee table. It's the colour gradients that give these sleek contemporary designs star quality, as well as unusual details such as the ligature linking the top and bottom, acting as a hinge.


ABOVE: British Craft Pavilion's showcase includes ash and leather easy chairs by Will Elworthy Furniture; handmade porcelain vessels by Linda Bloomfield; wallpaper murals by Louise Body; stoneware platters by Kana London; and Tanya McCallin's finely thrown bowls in black stoneware and earthenware

British Craft Pavilion
Looking good this year is the British Craft Pavilion, an innovative selection of around 40 UK makers across diverse craft disciplines, curated by Hole & Corner magazine. Furniture, ceramics, textiles, wood, and work in lacquer, leather, metal, and concrete are among the diverse media explored in this striking show, where the handmade rules.


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ABOVE: Graphic lighting by Earnest Studio is a highlight on the USA: Guest Country stand

USA: Guest Country (Stand 10, Hall S3)
Curated by Sight Unseen, this inspiring assembly of 13 American-born or -based design practices includes minimal lighting by Earnest Studio, modernist-inspired furniture by California's Eric Trine, quirky sculptural lighting by Chicago's Steven Haulenbeek, and gorgeous, light-refracting glass objects by Seattle-based John Hogan. Don't miss Brooklyn/Seattle's Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, known for playful furniture, jewellery and lighting creations. Born in the USA...

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London Design Fair is at Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1 from 16 to 24 September 2017, including public days at the weekend. For visitor and ticket details click here.

David Hockney: Current

'David Hockney: Current' taps into the so-now iPad and iPhone art of Britain's greatest living artist

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

World-premiere exhibition 'David Hockney: Current' at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria is turning heads not just for the iconic English artist's trademark colourful portraits and paintings of interiors and nature, but also for his more recent tech-driven art.

A major solo show dedicated to this still-influential 79-year-old artist, running until 13 March 2017, it features more than 1,200 works from the last decade of Hockney's career, including paintings, photography, digital drawings and video art. Among them are significant new pieces, such as immersive room installation '4 blue stools', a digitally constructed image (or 'photographic drawing') of Hockney's Hollywood Hills studio presented as floor-to-ceiling wallpaper with custom-created stools and chairs. Also striking is the 60-metre long hall housing recent oeuvre '82 portraits and 1 still life', painted over several years and incorporating portraits of entertainer Barry Humphries, architect Frank Gehry and designer Celia Birtwell.

ABOVE: David Hockney inside the world-premiere exhibition 'David Hockney: Current' at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
BELOW: '4 blue stools' 2014, photographic drawing printed on paper, mounted on Dibond, edition 5 of 25; installation view, including iPad drawing 'Yosemite I', October 16th 2011 (1059); installation view

ABOVE: Installation views of 'David Hockney: Current' at the NGV International, Melbourne

Think Hockney and you probably imagine paintings of sun-kissed swimming pools or primary-hued furniture dotted around LA living rooms – in Vuk Vidor's witty print listing artists' attributes, he states 'Hockney owns California'. More recently in 2004, Bradford-born Hockney returned to his native Yorkshire, capturing its vibrant countryside and changing seasons.

But it's his foray into new-tech digital art that's most arresting here, including works crafted on iPads and iPhones. Over 600 iPad works – some animated – span self-portraits, still lifes (from flowers to tea pots, slippers and chargers) and large-scale landscapes of Yorkshire and Yosemite National Park. They're presented both on screens and as monumental prints, some almost four metres tall, alongside a recent video work focussed on Hockney's iPad drawing practice.

ABOVE: 'Self-portrait', 25 March 2012, No. 3 (1236), iPad drawing; 'Untitled', 91 2009, iPhone drawing; 'Untitled', 655 2011, iPad drawing

This is the first show to focus on Hockney's captivating iPad and iPhone works, proof of his constant experimentation. In the past he has made art using Polaroid photos, colour photocopiers, fax machines, computers, and high-definition multi-screen videos, so he's always been an early adopter. Every suit Hockney owns sports a large pocket, once used to hold a sketchbook, but now containing his go-to iPad. 'I've been able to practise the iPad a lot in the last few years... and I've really loved mastering it,' he says.

BELOW: Installation view of 'David Hockney: Current' at the NGV International; 'The Arrival of spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven)' – 31 May, No. 1 (900), and 2 January (1147), iPad drawings printed on six sheets of paper mounted on Dibond

BELOW: 'Bigger trees near Warter or/ou Peinture sur le motif pour le nouvel age post-photographique' 2007, oil on 50 canvases

Hockney was quick to embrace this emerging design technology, getting the brushes out straight away and enjoying the method of drawing on the screen. 'You're drawing on a sheet of glass, really, and you can't really overdraw, which you can on a piece of paper.' The digital canvas is endlessly expandable though, allowing Hockney to zoom in to add more detail or zoom back out to view the whole composition. He credits this digital innovation with reviving the fading art of drawing, confessing, 'I was amazed that it was the telephone which can bring back drawing. I thought that was very funny!'
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'David Hockney: Current' is at the NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne until 13 March 2017. UK fans can also catch major retrospective 'David Hockney' at Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1 until 29 May 2017

Photos: Wayne Taylor (portrait); Richard Schmidt