Sebastian Brajkovic at David Gill Gallery.
Photo: Courtesy of David Gill Gallery

These London Design Trends Are Making Waves

Ahead of PAD and Frieze, Julian Treger rounds up the latest design ideas coming out of the British capital
Rick Owens “Glade” exhibition at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London. Photo: Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery

London has seen a hive of exhibitions and openings in the past few weeks. Just ahead of this week’s PAD and Frieze was the weeklong London Design Festival. Here, Julian Treger (@juliantreger) gives his take on the recent events.

Paul Cocksedge unveiled a great combination sculpture and bench arrangement with a piece called Please Be Seated, which was 50 feet of wonderful undulation. And there were a number of interesting new shows: Rick Owens and Michele Lamy at Carpenters Workshop Gallery debuting a new seating system for gardens and homes; Achille Salvagni’s Laguna collection, inspired by Murano and Venice; Max Lamb’s Japanese body of work at Gallery Fumi, where a fantastic one-off tripod chair on mottled black wood had unfortunately already been sold for £30,000. Also ahead of the opening of PAD was a beautiful collection of flowing work by Sebastian Brajkovic at David Gill Gallery. 

Paul Cocksedge’s installation Please Be Seated for the London Design Festival. Photo: Courtesy of the designer and the London Design Festival

But the real news was a few emerging trends at PAD itself (which officially opens on September 30): unique objects. The design world is tiring of limited editions and reproductions, turning its focus back to bespoke, one-off objects. Both Gallery Fumi and Sarah Myersgough Gallery are centering their displays on such custom works.

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Black furniture: As produced by Ingrid Donat, as well as the beautifully designed stands by Rick Owens on view at Carpenters Workshop.

Sebastian Brajkovic at David Gill Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of David Gill Gallery

All things Japanese: The growth of yakisugi, the Japanese technique of preserving wood by charring the outer layers. I first noticed this in the West earlier this year at Remi Ruffini’s chalet in Saint Moritz, and it’s picking up speed, inspired, in part, by interest in wabi-sabi as championed by designer Axel Vervoordt. Also more lacquered furniture using the Japanese urushi technique. It seems like we are all searching for serenity and to feel comfortable with the traditional at this time.

Markus Haase, Cloud Chandelier No. 1, 2019. Photo: Courtesy of Todd Merrill Studio, NYC

Large chandeliers: There were many great examples, from Nacho Carbonell at Carpenters Workshop to a divine undulating sculptured bronze and onyx cloud chandelier by Markus Haase at Todd Merrill Studio.

Skins: Pretty ubiquitous, from the cover of a Rick Owens bench at Carpenters to vellum lamps and sconces at Alexandre Biaggi by Mario Gabri.

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