London Design Festival Preview: Designersblock

This year, Designersblock has upped sticks from its former home at the Southbank, crossing the river to take up residency in Clerkenwell.

Alex Garnett, Dead Sexy
Alex Garnett, Dead Sexy

The new space sees Designersblock ensconced within the beautiful Old Sessions House – a Grade II listed building that has been completely stripped back for the show.

Elli Popp, Desert Grove
Elli Popp, Desert Grove

As usual, Designersblock is offering a forward-thinking, bold selection of designers working in illustration, graphics, product, furniture, fashion and accessory design. Over the years we’ve found the event to show the more weird and wonderful end of the design spectrum, and this year looks set to be no different.

One piece that caught our eye is the skull (shown at the top of the story), by Alex Garnett. While the skull symbol is certainly nothing new, we like his cheeky, bottom-based take on the icon.

Another designer who looks to bare-bones anatomy for inspiration is Fay de Winter, who will be presenting her contemporary ceramics. Look out for winged dinosaurs and a small, dejected-looking Buddha.

Caroline Morgan, Loss Walk on By
Caroline Morgan, Loss Walk on By

Danish illustrator Caroline Morgan is taking a little slice of Scandinavia to Clerkenwell with her work: all muted colours and a simple, paper-cut feel, they narrate a Second World War story through images, quotes and poetry.

Work by Effie Koukia
Work by Effie Koukia

We’re also looking forward to seeing Effie Koukia’s work, which merges the worlds of graffiti art, high-end cosmetics and food. Her Extract range uses neat graphics and bold flashes of hot pink to explore health, safety and sustainability issues relating to graffiti equipment.

Demetrios Christodoulou's coatstand
Demetrios Christodoulou’s coatstand

Elsewhere, Demetrios Christodoulou will be showing his clever coat stand, Combas – meaning “leaning” in Greek. The device is formed of two halves that can be leaned on any wall, and closed for storage.

Laura Daza, I saw the future
Laura Daza, I saw the future

Laura Daza will be showing her Colour Project, a bold experiment that looks to revive ancient pigments; while fellow Central Saint Martins MA Textile Future graduate Shubi Sachan’s pieces look to revive the use of rice husk ash, which was historically used as a cleansing agent.

Shubi Sachan, I Saw The Future
Shubi Sachan, I Saw The Future

Arts charity IdeasTap will be showing the results of its design graduates awards at Designersblock from 18 – 21 September. The awards were judged by the Southbank Centre’s Adam Thow, Rory Dodd from Designersblock, theatre designer Joanna Scotcher and onedotzero founder Shane Walter.

Ideastap winner Serena Katt
Ideastap winner Serena Katt

Serena Katt won the Graphics & Illustration category for her picture book Sunday’s Child, which is based on the written recollections of her Grandfather, describing his childhood during the 1930s in Germany.

IdeasTap winner Beth Lewis-Williams
IdeasTap winner Beth Lewis-Williams

The winner of the Product & Furniture category was Beth Lewis-Williams, who presents her porcelain lighting collection Lights, Lithophanes and Landscapes.

The pink room at the venue
The pink room at the venue

Designersblock runs from 18 – 24 September at The Old Sessions House, 22 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0NA

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