Thursday, September 24, 2015

London Design Festival Walk - thanks Disegno

Yesterday I took up the opportunity to participate in a London Design Festival Walk organised by Disegno and supported by Camper - it made for a fantastic afternoon across Southwark's vibrant creatives.

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
The visit to Zandra Rhodes London workshop  was in many ways the most magical - of all the places we visited it was the most traditional and craft based premises, almost Dickensian, just 5 people working an a totally crazy layout making things with very few nods to computers and high tech.
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


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