Having just drawn to a close, the London Design Festival is well known for celebrating innovations and combining traditional methods of design thinking with new technologies.
For example, an idea from 2015 where air quality sensors in backpacks were attached to pigeons has come to fruition in London, where they are used to test the quality of the air in the city.
But which ideas will be plucked from this year? We cannot say for sure, but here are some of our personal highlights:
Reflection Room by Flynn Talbot (pictured)
Installed in the V&A Museum, Australian lighting artist and designer Flynn Talbot showcased his Reflection Room, which used 56 custom-made stretch membrane Barrisol panels in gloss black.
Contained within the panels at each end of the room are strips of orange and blue LEDs. Talbot explained why he had created the design, saying: “I conceived the idea standing in the gallery, and wanted to add my story on top of the beautiful existing architecture, but not to take it over…” which is something we are very aware of when creating our lightbox concept designs.
Trashpresso Machine by Pentatonic
Pentatonic is a company who make flat-pack furniture entirely from rubbish, which takes the concept of upcycling to a whole new level! At London Design Festival, they showcased their latest concept; the ‘Trashpresso machine’ – a mobile, solar-powered upcycling machine which takes waste and turns it into useable material.
For the Design Festival, the machine was used to create building tiles, and now the Festival is finished, the machine is being taken to communities where waste is a big problem and is going to be used to turn it into something usable.
Lighting is an important element to consider when fitting out a new room, and that is exactly what the darc room installation highlighted. It was created to show off creative and high-end lighting, including Sunlight Graffiti from Studio Olafur Eliasson. The Little Sun project gave visitors the chance to leave their mark uniquely by creating their own Sunlight Graffiti images with a Little Sun solar lamp. There were also a number of exhibitors on hand to show off the latest in sustainable lighting, including LG OLED, EcoSense Lighting and DARK.
MYCELIUM + TIMBER
Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova have discovered a novel way of creating furniture out of fungus! Known as ‘grown furniture’, it is created using a process called biofactura from mycelium and wood.
Each piece is created by the mycelium as it grows and binds the green wood waste together around a purpose-built frame, and right before the wood is completely decomposed, the piece is taken out of the mould and dehydrated to stop the rotting process. This results in a final product that is strong and lightweight, almost like plastic, except it is completely compostable.
Cox and Ivanova were able to show what they have achieved in just 18 months in the form of a stool and some lights. Cox has also stated he hopes to get to the stage where mycelium completely replaces plastic, resulting in a product that can be grown without power or energy.
Photo courtesy of Flynn Talbot/Instagram