Designjunction has unveiled details of this year’s programme, which is set to present hundreds of product launches, pop-up shops and bespoke installations at London’s South Bank in September, as well as hosting a series of exhibitions and a curated talks programme.
Its Doon Street site will house 200 international design brands and temporary pop up shops, while The Riverside Walkway will feature outdoor installations, and Oxo Tower Wharf and Bargehouse will showcase major brand activations, talks and exhibitions.
The Riverside Walkway will provide a platform for Mud Shell, a housing project marrying ancient earth architecture techniques with drone spraying technology. Led by architect Stephanie Chaltiel, the project aims to build a simple and durable housing system that can be customised depending on the location. Chaltiel has developed a digital tool that can be piloted or programmed to Drone Spray natural materials over a light prefabricated framework to form an inhabitable structure.
Chaltiel is set to construct one of the mud shells at Designjunction in collaboration with students of London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture. The project is funded by the InnoChain ETN network, a shared research training environment examining how advances in digital design tools can challenge the building culture, enabling more sustainable, informed and materially smart design solutions.
On one of the jetties overlooking the Thames, meanwhile, an installation by the city of Saint-Etienne will showcase the Gateway to Inclusion. Conceived by Lisa White, Head of Lifestyle and Interiors at WGSN, in collaboration with designer François Dumas, the structure is made of steel and ribbon, two of Saint Etienne’s traditional industries, and aims to promote inclusion in design.
The steel arches will be crafted in different sizes and dressed in ribbons created by Neyret, an international ribbon manufacturer established in Saint Etienne in 1823. White worked closely with the WGSN colour team using the trend forecaster’s new Coloro colour-coding system, while Neyret developed an innovative technique of stretching the industrial ribbons to fit Dumas’ distinctive design.
“The long, narrow path offered by the jetty inspired me to design this Gateway in a way that would enhance the experience of walking on it, together with others,” François Dumas explains. “The colourful ribbons will create a centripetal movement that invites the audience to prolong their experience by visiting the Saint Etienne Biennale in 2019.”
Elsewhere, The Architect’s Toolkit project will launch as part of a co-working space designed by Brixton based architecture practice Squire and Partners, using acoustic panels by We Design Silence. Relating to Stephen Lawrence’s unrealised dream to become an architect, Squire and Partners’ installation creates a highly stimulating dreamscape environment in which core design tools are unlimited, and people from all generations and backgrounds can meet, work and create together. The space will be an active feature within the show where designers will host interactive workshops and connect young designers with industry leaders.
Supporting the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT) in partnership with RIBA in a year-long campaign, Designjunction aims to raise funds and promote diversity and inclusion in the design and architecture industry. Reflecting Lawrence’s desire to become an architect, The Architect’s Toolkit intends to help SLCT inspire and enable young people from underrepresented backgrounds to study and qualify as architects. The toolkit, created by London-based stationery brand Mark + Fold, will be a special edition of an architect’s essentials designed in collaboration with three renowned designers. Following the show and coinciding with the inaugural Stephen Lawrence Day on 22 April 2019, a small run of each toolkit will go into production, with a percentage of profits going to the trust.
Located on the first floor of the Doon Street site, Still by Form is a unique restaurant installation curated by design consultancy and procurement specialists By Form. The space is designed with harmonious layers of colour and texture to offer a setting for quiet contemplation in the bustle of the show. The menu will be provided by Nordic inspired 26 Grains, its name a reference to the number of ancient grains that are used to produce simple, healthy food. The pop-up features a refined collection of design across lighting, textiles, surfaces, furniture and new materials, including brands such as &tradition, Anour, Kabe Copenhagen, Zilenzio and Atkinson & Kirby.
Caesarstone also join the list of brands brought together for the Still By Form restaurant project. The brand has used its newly-launched Topus Concrete for the main bar, which was developed as part of a wider exploration of industrial finishes and weathered patinas. Its gentle linear pattern is reminiscent of Jupiter’s rotating cloud bands, while its blush pink colours work in harmony with Still’s calming palette.
On the ground floor, British designer Bethan Gray has teamed up with whisky experts The Glenlivet to create an experiential celebration of craft in the form of a bar serving a specially created menu of food and cocktails. Drawing inspiration from Cairngorms, home of The Glenlivet, Gray explored the natural landscape surrounding the distillery to design a unique reinterpretation of her distinctive Dhow pattern – influenced by the River Spey and the layers of mist that gather in its neighbouring valleys. The hand-stained birds-eye maple and solid copper inlay will reflect the charred barrels and copper stills used by The Glenlivet in the whisky making process.
The bar itself is made from marble with a brass inlay – a new technique mastered with long-term collaborator Mohamad Reza Shamsian and his Muscat-based workshop of 120 artisans. The bar will also feature Bethan Gray’s Victoria lights for Editions Milano, shown for the first time in UK within Lightjunction – Designjunction’s curation of international and innovative emerging lighting brands.
Meanwhile, Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra will present ’The Original. About the power of good design’ as part of its international roadshow, focusing on its classic and contemporary products. The installation will offering insights into the company’s product development processes, and recounts the origins and stories behind some of their most recognisable designs.
Flooring manufacturer Bolon is also expected to launch its nature-inspired Elements collection in an exhibition showcasing the company’s commitment to sustainability. Subtle and versatile, the Elements range reflects the textures of the natural environment and is inspired by materials such as linen, oak, ask, cork, birch and marble. The exhibition will highlight Bolon’s two new sustainable initiatives, Closing the Circle and Cradle to Cradle with NoGlue, and reflect on its history of environmental consciousness which started when its founder, Nils-Erik Eklund, began making woven rugs from vinyl waste sourced from a Stockholm factory in 1949.