Designersblock will for the first time this year stage its London Design Festival show at a location in London’s West End.
The champion of emerging design talent has traditionally been known for its edgy London East End heritage, and has helped to revive buildings such as the Truman Brewery and Shoreditch’s Tea Building by staging previous shows in those locations.
The West End move is part of Designersblock’s strategy to reach more mainstream clients, and open up opportunities within the wider property market, looking at marketing and short-term use of venues, says Designersblock founder Piers Roberts. It will also add an element of public engagement, he adds.
‘Although tourism is not a major target audience for us – we’d like to see creative business buyers from the area find their way down – being in such a public space will be fascinating. The key will be how to get the right people down,’ Roberts says.
More than 60 UK and international designers, including duo Timorous Beasties and collective Kithkin, will be exhibiting work this year.
As to whether the move might dent the collective’s creative kudos in the long term, Roberts says, ‘The unique thing about Designersblock is that it has such a lightning rod into young creatives and what they are doing, it’s the most fluid environment one can imagine.’
‘All that information is relevant to exploring the difficult questions that face mainstream organisations about how they can stay ahead and keep themselves interesting,’ he adds. ‘We never sought to exist for poverty’s sake. All we’re doing is taking the learning we’ve derived over the past ten years into more developed markets where there are questions facing organisations over what direction they are going.’
Designersblock is also working with Selfridges – it is creating a ‘pop up shop’ on the department store’s fourth floor during the London Design Festival.
The group is also developing concepts for exhibition space and a trends magazine for interiors trade show client CMP.
Designersblock will run from 18-21 September at No 1, The Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2.