Stop 1: Studio Octopi
|A glimpse into the Octopi|
We started at a small boutique architectural firm called Studio Octopi - the company is heavily involved in projects that revitalise waterside areas and has spent some time on feasibility and design for a floating Lido in the Thames. We had a short talk from one of the partners who showed great enthusiasm for the area as well as projects around the world that have brought the pleasure of a more natural swimming experience to cities.
|The route of the walk|
Stop 2: Bompas & Parr
After a short walk and getting slightly puzzled by the street numbering in Rushworth Street we arrived at a very different bunch of creatives at Bompas and Parr who worked with food and drink companies to create some incredible experiences, experiences that create a stir and reaction - wrong footing preconceived idea about companies and their products.
|Not exotic - the current premises|
The company at first sounded like a couple of kids following their crazy dream but the office belied this idea with a group of people at keyboards and phones hard at it and as explanations were given it was clear they knew a lot about their niche (they've even got their own bar)- seems they'll be moving soon as the building (which looked modern to me) is going to be knocked down and redeveloped.
|Some of the past glories from previous commissions were on show|
Stop 3: Ilse Crawford
Stop number 3 was at what had been Ilse Crawford's HQ for a number of years (as well as her living space) but had now reverted to being a mainly personal space for Ilse as well as a meeting/conference room at the top of the building.
|The building of Ilse|
|Ilse was an engaging speaker who spoke warmly of Ikea|
Ilse has an impressive portfolio and showed her commitment and love of Design by the way she spoke as well as the artifacts scattered across her environment - nice hospitality too with hot beverages and cakes aplenty.
|Design was all around.|
|Cork a great natural material|
Ilse has been involved with Ikea and spoke warmly of the collaboration and her admiration for what Ikea has achieved and the corporate values they hold.
|The view across London from Ilse's bolthole|
|An inspirational library|
Ilse's premises have great views and her/Ikea's corked furniture was much in evidence.
Stop 4: Zandra Rhodes
|The workshop's next door|
|Traditional skills in evidence|
|Much looked haphazard|
As with the rest of our visits the people were incredibly charming and happy to answer questions and provide explanations.
|Our hosts went to great trouble to explain and illuminate the process to us all|
Brand Zandra is a big business but the woman who heads it up showed her character (even though absent in America where she spends most of her time).
|In the USA but strangely here too|
|and from old collections hanging|
The craft was explained to us and we had a rare glimpse into planet Zandra at the top of the building full of amazing artefacts and with a rooftop garden.
|A small Russian man?|
|An inspirational mirror of a giant and...|
The Workshop is next to the Fashion and Textile Museum of the creation of which she was instrumental.
|The table view at the top of the building|