London Design Festival – Tent and Superbrands

This year’s Tent shares a space with its big, shiny sister Superbrands, which is now in its second year.

Zuzunaga espadrilles
Preperations get underway for Superbrands

With Superbrands using the ground floor space, there’s a rather sparse feel to the event- pieces are given ample breathing space, quite a change from the usual bustling affair of its sibling, Tent.

For the most part, it works well. However, the installation pieces that were introduced this year – namely the Cozy Shelter by Lambert Kamps, are fun, but feel slightly incongruous – and many seem to be lying dormant. Though the sandbag fortress is impressive, it seems a bit lost in the slick feel of the big brands that Superbrands specialises in.

Preperations get underway for Superbrands
Lambert Kamps’ Cozy Shelter

While Foam Party by Martijn Rigters, which uses visitors’ bottoms  to form a made-to-measure foam seat in 30 seconds, sounds ludicrously fun, it appears not to be running – though the results of former efforts certainly look intriguing in their porous, colourful forms.

Zuzunaga espadrilles
A cute wolf from Bath School of Art and Design student Caroline Brown

Tent, on the other hand, has a far more excitable feel, with new and more established designers showing a huge range of crafts and homeware, though it was disappointing to see the digital element shelved this year.

Among the highlights were the vibrant pixel-like patterns that Zuznugua exuberantly cover pretty much anything in, as shown on these dashing espadrilles:

Preperations get underway for Superbrands
Zuzunaga espadrilles

Echoing the theme this year for techie-style patternation and colour was Zoe Murphy’s gorgeous furniture, which uses recycled pieces brightened up with playful squares of colour:

Abigail Edwards wallpaper
Furniture by Zoe Murphy

As a sucker for anything avian, we also fell in love with this owl wallpaper by Abigail Edwards:

Abigail Edwards wallpaper
Abigail Edwards wallpaper

Pitfield London café has created the dining area this year, and the influence of the company’s founders, interior designer Shan Clarkson and textile designer Paul Brewster, is clearly apparent. The space is flanked by a strange collection of knick-knacks, with this opulent still-life of gold skull, pistols and ceramic parakeets being one of the best.

Abigail Edwards wallpaper
Pitfield London

Illustrator Lizzie Mary Cullen’s stand didn’t disappoint, showcasing her distinctive brand of quirky, fantastical monochrome drawings:

Zuzunaga espadrilles
Lizzie Mary Cullen

Tent and Superbrands run until 23 September at Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street, London E1

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