Having handpicked the heroes from the show floor at 100% Design, we now turn our attention to looking back on a handful of highlights from London Design Fair, Design Junction and Biodesign at London Design Festival 2018. So come with us on a whistle-stop tour, and don’t forget your toothbrush.
Having just eaten a sticky bun, we conveniently stumbled upon a stylish leap in toothbrushing design at the London Design Fair. Dubbed the Usetool Toothbrush it consists of a sonic wave toothbrush, sterilizer and magnetic wall-mountable holder. Flipping your toothbrush on its head and sitting it in the the sterilizer keeps your bristles in rude health. Created by exciting up-and-coming designer Jiyoun Kim, the sleek minimalist forms and magnetic wall storage certainly make it a desirable bathroom buddy.
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“Kids furniture” doesn’t usually grab us by the pigtails with excitement, but ecoBirdy is a new range that was turning heads at the show, including ours. The striking exaggerated curves of the Chair Charlie and Table Luisa give the pieces an almost animated and animal-like character, made all the better in the knowledge that they’re made from 100% recycled plastic. The bods at ecoBirdy even smartly separate the plastic waste by color, which means they can give each product distinctly striking look. Time to request some adult-sized versions.
Another fascinating and child-focussed piece of design. This time to help children who have autism spectrum disorders. Paula Lorence is a talented graduate from the Riga School of Design and Art who has developed a set of beautiful and highly functional objects called Taktil that provide tactile sensory stimulation, designed to help autistic kids focus, overcome sensory sensitivities and soothes anxiety during therapy. Carefully selected materials and colors are used to make objects that are each individually crafted to carry out a specific functions or games. Currently a working concept Lorence is now looking to get support to help develop the product further.
Easily the most mind-bending show at the London Design Festival, the Biodesign exhibition was a hive of live experiments and ideas associated with the exploration of designing new biological concepts. From growing sustainable mycelium based objects, to detecting DNA in your food at home, there was heaps of high-level thinking going on, and one particular out-there project ignited our imagination when we saw the working prototype in the flesh for the first time. Amphibio, a 3D printed amphibious concept garment that lets you breath underwater. How does it work? Well… “The gill accessory is 3D-printed from a microporous hydrophobic material, which supports sub-aqua breathing by extracting oxygen from the surrounding water and dissipating the carbon dioxide that accumulates in the system.” Simple.
Despite the name, Wanghe Studio’s Childhood Series is aimed squarely at adults and wants you to go play. Whether that means swinging on the rocking stool or skidding the skateboard inspired clothes rack into a corner. Designed for small apartments, each piece either has a small footprint or is intended for dual use, like the Marshmallow Sofa with its integrated and detachable side tables.
It’s playtime again as new designer Georgina Heighton aims to give us a casual excuse to engage in some spontaneous physical play “with no questioning or judgement” with her Kel Lamp. What’s lovely about Heighton’s creation is that it’s pretty effortless to lose yourself in the satisfying motion of rolling a simple bundle of oak dowels up and down and creating all sorts of patterns of light. As with the Pluck & Hug light, there’s certainly no shame in taking a minute to let a little ray of spontaneous light into your life.