The series draws together four strands, all of which are pretty formidable in their own right: The Arc Show for lighting; DX, which looks at how design and technology will be used in furniture; Interiors London, for mid to high-end interior products and kbb LDN, which is dedicated to kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.
The series aims to provide a comprehensive destination for London-based interior designers and architects, merging a trade fair with a series of talks and events as well as boasting an Innovation Centre and Champagne Bar for the interiors-weary to grab a drink.
The Champagne bar and the DX Bar have been designed by students from the RCA’s MA Interior Design programme. Two teams have been shortlisted, though the final winners will only be revealed when the show opens on 19 May.
Brands featured include Ligne Roset, Hitch Mylius, Deirdre Dyson, Armourcoat, PP Mobler, Grestec, Materia and D*Haus.
We love these D*Haus D*Tables, which are created based on the mathematical formula calculated by Henry Dudeney that allows a square to be transformed into seven other configurations by splitting it up into four separate modules.
Rogers’ design of the space aims to guide the visitor through the expansive Excel site using colour and geometric forms to help them navigate the fair, as well as aiming to ‘create excitement’ and ‘challenge the way that people behave’, he says.
He explains, ‘We were excited by the angular planes within the graphic template of the May Design Series logo; that became a very strong inspiration for this direction.’
The logo and visual identity for the fair was designed by BuroCreative and show graphics by Praline.
Rogers adds that the shapes will ‘fold and articulate, wrap around and fold back, different shapes will intersect, creating new and intriguing forms’ into ‘Matisse-like collection of planes’.
As well as the trade-fair arm, the Series boasts a packed talks schedule, including a discussion about the future of retail luxury from FAT Architecture’s Sam Jacobs; Speirs and Major director Keith Bradshaw looking at the change of the role of the lighting designer and Rogers joining Musicity’s Simon Jordan to examine how best to use sonic design to transform the visitor’s interaction with a place.
Designer Karim Rashid will be holding the keynote speech, entitled Analog versus digital – what will happen to our material world? His session will discuss how the move from analogue to digital has changed our material world and how design will inform social behaviours.
But it’s not all about serious, weighty topics. Rashid is also DJing the final hours of the show on the penultimate evening. We wonder if Manic Streets Preachers’ Design For Life is on the playlist? Pavement’s Grave Architecture, perhaps? Or maybe he’ll just stick to his theme and spin Madonna’s Material Girl.
May Design Series runs from 19 – 21 May at Excel London, One Western Gateway
Royal Victoria Dock, London E16