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    London Design Festival at the V&A

    September 15, 2014

    Every year in September I look forward to The London Design Festival. Now in its 12th year, it’s bigger than ever.

    I spend some of the weekend at the V&A, the hub of the Festival. Last year I was honoured to have my work hang in the museum, as part of a collaborative project with Moleskine.

    There’s so much to see that you would need a full week just to explore what’s on offer. Part of the program is a full series of talks.

    I was delighted to find out that graphic legend Paula Sher, New York based partner of Pentagram, was going to present some of her work and talk about her successful career. A long-time heroine of mine, it was amazing to be in her presence.

    london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
    Paula Sher in conversation with Adrian Shaughnessy

    Yesterday I returned to the V&A to hear Amsterdam born Irma Boom present her work. Irma specialises in bookmaking and has made more than 250, of which 50 reside in the collection of MoMA in New York.

    A true maverick, her constant pushing boundaries and staying true to herself makes her the most interesting designer in her field. It was fascinating to hear that for every project Boom makes a miniature model first.

    I loved meeting her.

    london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
    Irma Boom presenting some of her work.

    Another highlight (in the true sense) at the museum is the Candela installation by a multi-disciplinary team comprising of product designer Felix de Pass, graphic designer Michael Montgomery and ceramicist Ian McIntyre.

    A large rotary machine sits centrally, hovering just off the gallery floor. As the face of the machine revolves, it passes through a light source charging its surface, which emits this energy as afterglow. The continual revolution of the machine creates a perpetual ebb and flow of light patterns travelling across the structures.

    Photographs don’t do it justice. If you can get to the V&A, make sure you put that on your list.

    london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
    Candela installation

    While at the museum, pop out to The John Madejski garden. There you’ll see Zaha Hadid‘s Crest. It’s designed as a demountable sculpture to be installed as a permanent feature within the ME Hotel in Dubai which opens in 2016.

    london design festival at the v & a - colourliving

    Also in the garden you’ll find The Wish List, a collaborative fusion of design experience. Ten famous names in design and architecture each nominated an emerging talent to collaborate on a very open brief:
    “What have you always wanted in your home but never been able to find?”

    Paul Smith asked Nathalie de Leval for his ideal shed. It’s 3m x 3m just like his first ever shop in Nottingham.

    london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
    The shed from the outside. It’s made from thermo-treated ash.

    london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
    Loving the Anglepoise + Paul Smith lamp.

    london design festival at the v & a - colourliving
    Those chairs are to die for.

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    Interior by Paul Smith and Nicholas Chandor

    Other works from ‘The Wish List’, are located close to the entrance of the museum.

    I’ll leave you with this incredibly ambitious project. Double space for BMW – precision & poetry in motion. Designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have collaborated with BMW to create a remarkable and memorable experience in the V&A’s Raphael Gallery. The first thing you notice is the sheer size of the space. Truly imposing.

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    I’m really enjoying the Festival. I shall be back on Thursday with more Design inspirations. Have a good start to the week everyone.