For nine days in September Oxo Tower Wharf celebrated design in all its forms for the London Design Festival. A vibrant mix of site-specific installations, events and happenings took place across its exhibition and outdoor spaces and in the design studios as part of the Bankside Design District.
The Courtyard at Oxo Tower Wharf was selected as the location for one of the Festival’s Landmark Projects, URBAN CABIN, a 15 square metre micro-house developed by the MINI LIVING team and Sam Jacob Studio.
The structure’s features, such as a shared kitchen, extendable ‘al fresco’ dining table and a tiny library, were made to represent London’s unique character. Its copper mesh surface, too, reflected the rich contrasts of its London surroundings at Oxo Tower Wharf. Find out what internationally acclaimed architect Sam Jacob has got to say about the project.
Friche Studio’s ‘380:1’, a site-specific installation which transformed the Platform at Oxo Tower Wharf into an urban oasis of sapling trees. Together with their programme of talks, workshops and innovative performances (pictured below), Friche aimed to raise awareness around air pollution, climate change and deforestation.
For those of you wondering: the trees have now been rehomed in south London by Trees for Cities, a charity which runs tree planting programmes around the capital. This new green space will offer an opportunity for local community groups to learn and care for trees and improve their lifestyle in the city.
At the design studios at Oxo Tower Wharf visitors enjoyed a varied range of events including wagumi’s traditional Japanese Daruma doll painting tutorial, a series of demos and talks with Skylark Galleries 2 artists and Studio Fusion’s ‘6 make a bridge from Europe’ exhibition, featuring pieces made by European designer-makers working with unusual materials.
Several studios launched their new products and hosted sales; Snowden Flood revealed her limited edition chair collaboration with Arlo & Jacob, Innermost hosted a presentation of their new Bluetooth-controlled Casambi lighting range, Bodo Sperlein displayed Bodo’s prestigious work with Loewe and Black+Blum offered a fantastic 50% discount to shoppers on many of their designs.
BANKSIDE DESIGN DISTRICT LATE NIGHT
Events on our Late Night Opening on 23 September, as part of the Bankside Design District, included Mr Jones’ Watches treasure hunt with a chance to win their coveted Gilded skull watch; electrobloom’s talk about Artificial Intelligence and the future of design and Sima Vaziry & Katherine Elizabeth’s talks about gems and hats; live window painting with Chris El Famoso at Brand Academy Store and SUCK UK’s exciting screen-printing tote bag workshop as well as a chance to submit that brilliant product idea you had in a dream once to sit alongside ‘The Greatest Gifts on Earth’ in the SUCK UK store.
Bramwell Brown launched ‘Minute Miniatures’, a new personalised range of clocks fitted with tiny pre-cast models that can be tailored to suit any family situation or hobby, with a series of packed out miniature model-painting workshops on the night.
JeDeCo, who had set its jewelers the creative brief of designing a piece of jewellery inspired by their favourite city, revealed their fabulous creations on the night. Jen Molinera presented ‘Urban Graffiti No 2.’ necklace, inspired by the brutalist yet colourful architecture of the well-loved South Bank Skatepark.
At Bargehouse the Oxo Hub provided a calm space for visitors to pick up information, orientate themselves and plan the next festival ‘fix’.
Jack Hardy’s ‘Rocking Wotsits’, a cross between furniture and toys which you could climb, peculiarise and wigwag to your own ends, catered to the most restless of visitors.
Bargehouse was the chosen venue for CLINIC //2, an immersive, multi-sensory exhibition produced by Vitamin London, which demonstrated the bridging of technology and reality through cutting-edge design, digital artworks and installations.
Last but in no way least, injecting the festival at Oxo Tower Wharf with a wonderful international feel, was the Estonian Association of Design with ‘Size Doesn’t Matter’. This travelling exhibition and pop-up shop filled gallery@oxo with intriguing products by 50 Estonian designers, ranging from homeware to jewellery and fashion and it even included live demonstrations of their wheels (pictured below). All products however different, possessed the same characteristics: the typically Nordic minimalist style, natural materials, ingenious solutions and humour, which form the pride of Estonian design.
Overall, another year of great successes for LDF at Oxo, part of the Bankside Design District. We enjoyed every minute and hope you did too.
Ilaria & Sophie – Oxo Tower Wharf
Head over to Oxo Tower Wharf’s Facebook page to see more photos of the event.
Between 16 – 24 September we celebrated the London Design Festival as part of the Bankside Design District. Find out…
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