Category Archives: lighting

A treasure trove of design gems at New Designers 2011

Well I’ve made it back from the New Designers Show 2011 part 2 which is being held in London’s Business  Design Centre, feeling shattered after two whole days of intense interviews and general press duties – but well worth it! I’ve come away totally inspired and have huge admiration for design students everywhere.

The level of work was exceptional, from furniture to textiles and product designs to Interiors, if I was a robot I’d definitely have a design overload!

Firstly I’d like to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the New Designers 2011 winners, they’ve worked so hard to gain recognition from the UK’s freshest student design event and of course their peers.

Here are some of my favourites and the names of the other winners can be found on the New Designers Website.

Luke Diaz Habitat Innovation Winner - Bucks New University

Judges thoughts: “We admired his innovative construction and use of material. We enjoyed his overall charm, warmth and character. The low storage with woven sliding doors is a product with soul.”

Oksana Akishyna - Interior Design Association Winner AIU London

Judges thoughts: “Oksana’s portfolio showed refreshing clarity and at times mesmerising presentation that was refined and at a professional standard.”

Northumbria University - Best Stand Award

Judges thoughts: “Northumbria have a huge variety of inspirational products on display. The graduates have made clever use of recycled materials-creating a highly polished and professional presentation.”

Brinley Clark - Business Designer of the Year winner University of Hertfordshire

Judges thoughts: “Brinley has got design in his bones. Passionate, inspiring and intelligent, with a wicked  streak of humour. His pigeon project is ‘shit’ – go and find out more!”

The event was split into three floors and then sub divided into specific design sections so it was easy to make your way around. Although, it wasn’t easy walking around each section without stopping to look every few steps and swooning over another fantastic design.

The One Year On section, curated by award winning designer Jethro Macey, showcased 50 specially selected designers who’ve set up a business in the last 12 months. In this wonderful room, I came across Imogen Heath who launched her first ever collection at the show. Her mid-century patterned wallpaper and fabrics instantly dragged me in. Imogen was just as colourful and sweet as her designs which are inspired by her love of geometric composition, art deco and contemporary art.

If you’re just as head over heals in love with Imogen’s designs as I am, you can bag a cushion from £48 – £55 and wallpaper for £100

As I  was interviewing Imogen, just opposite us a group of talented artists and illustrators under the name of Secret Wars, were doing a live graffiti demonstration on their white stand. Their creative flair attracted the attention of lots of visitors who stared in amazement at how effortlessly they drew – I couldn’t take my eyes off them!

After, finally pulling myself away from the One Year On section, I had a good gander on the first floor and came across a product which The Design Hub had already featured as a Design of the Day – the Tweetingseat. Created by Product Designer Chris McNicholl, who’s recently graduated from the University of Dundee in Product Design, the Tweetingseat has caused a huge stir.

The seat takes reality and combines it with the virtual world by taking pictures of anyone sat on the seat and uploading the image to a live Twitter feed. This is done by one camera in the shape of the blue Twitter bird which can be mounted above the seat and another camera inside the seat that takes an image of anyone standing in front. So in the end you get two images uploaded to Twitter – genius!

Chris McNicholl speaking to Kellie Hill

As well as the tweeting seat causing a buzz with social media lovers, some feel this idea of sharing images on Twitter of people unaware they have been papped is unethical. When asked, Chris told me he welcomes the debate and encourages it. Listen to Chris’ interview!

Innovative furniture makers

The level of talent and skill shown by the students at New Designers was breathtaking and one designer rom Plymouth University certainly took the biscuit. Michael Carroll had created a chair without using glue or nails.

Named “Tankard“, this chair is held together with…. well you’ll have to watch his interview to find out!

The young furniture maker also made a table using metal bars which resemble the shape of a mouse trap.

Another talented chap, Luke Diaz from Bucks New University, won the New Designers 2011 Habitat Innovation Award for his Eco cabinet that he bound together with hemp twine. Like Micheal Carroll above,  he didn’t use a single nail or drop of glue. I see a trend developing here!

Diaz taught himself how to weave the twine and create the doors of the cabinet, which I think make it look beautifully organic and earthly. He also designed two stools, a smaller cabinet and hanging stand to complete his sustainable furniture range.

Interiors

We’ve all had to live in a boxy apartment or a ground floor flat that resembles a dungeon (like myself) when starting out on the career ladder.  Having to cook, sleep and shower in the same room is something which the majority of yuppie’s (young professionals) put up with until the day comes and a promotion lands on the table.

And if you’re like me and LOVE to decorate but also rent, it’s fair to say that the landlord wouldn’t be too happy at the next inspection to find two walls knocked out and the living room changed into a bedroom. Renting makes it near impossible to flex those creative fingers.

Well, I met young innovative Interior Designer, Henry Parker at New Designers 2011 and he has come to the rescue with a city apartment perfect for the hard-working yuppie’s, that want to make their flat into a home.

Adaptaflat is an apartment which is flexible, moveable and totally brilliant! These living spaces are the same size as a two bedroom flat but have maneuverable walls. Yes, you heard right, you can move the walls  in the apartment to suit your needs, lifestyle or make space for Saturday night’s party. Somebody PLEASE commission this!

How does it work? There are a series of custom made tracks on the ceiling of the apartment which the walls are connected to and this allows them to be moved in the desired place and clamped down when positioned. Want one? Then listen to Henry Parker’s interview with The Design Hub and learn more about this clever design or click HERE to go to his website.

 
 
 
 
 
Images: New Designers 2011, Imogen Heath, Kellie Hill

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Filed under Chris McNicholl, courses, distance learning, Eco-friendly, higher education, Home Acessories, Interviews, Kitchen Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, modern design, new career, New Designers 2011, News, Quirky, sustainable interiors, upholstery

New Designers 2011 Gallery

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Filed under Art, BA in Interior Design, Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, higher education, homeware, lighting, modern design, new career, New Designers 2011, Quirky, Soft Furnishings, upholstery

A trip to Philips HQ for the lowdown on the LED lighting revolution

Do you consider yourself as a “dark greeny” or a “ bright greeny?”. I can hear the screams, “what the heck is she talking about!” Well, let me put it like this, do you fit in the “must stop driving, turn all lights off and stay inside before we burn the plant to a crisp category” Or are you the “we can still travel, have fun and live a super dooper life whilst tackling our carbon footprint category”.

The reason I ask is because the popularity of sustainable living is rapidly growing, with most people now actively taking part in one way or another, in fight against harmful carbon emissions by investing in technology such as combi boilers, under floor heating and efficient lighting. We’re now taking real responsibility for our energy usage, whether you chose to be an extreme “dark greeny” or a more positive and flexible “bright greeny”.

Speaking of bright, lighting is one feature an interior designer will spend many hours working out where to place in a design scheme, taking into account colour temperature, colour rendering and the psychological effect that light has. Nowadays, technology has progressed at a super pace, which enables designers to create a desired lighting plan without the huge energy consumption, heat output and cost. Great!

But the knowledge about lighting design can’t just be learned over night, it’s a skill that needs to be developed and mastered. This is why the National Design Academy in Nottingham (including myself!), traveled to Philips’ head office in Surrey yesterday, to explore the revolutionary LED light that will be used the Academy’s design studio’s and make up a possible educational display for students to fully understand all aspects of energy lighting and the bigger picture of sustainable living today.

Previous energy lights have been criticised for being very clinical and cold, however the new age Philips LED lights throws this stereotype out the window. As the largest lighting company in the world, Philips put roughly 5% of their profits back into research and have invested in a thicker phosphor coating inside the bulbs to create a warmer light. This coating can also be adjusted to create a more orange or blue effect depending on the project. Continue reading

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Dragon’s Den survivor preaches the eco design gospel

After stumbling across “Annie” the shopping trolley chair, by contemporary Eco designer Max McMurdo, I just HAD to get in contact with his company reestore and find out more. Max’s approach to sustainable interiors is refreshing and oozes style. But it’s not only The Design Hub who’ve been wowed with his creations, he’s been nominated to be a judge for this years Observer newspaper Ethical Awards and attracted the interest of two business big shots… Continue reading

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Nottigham Eco Artist and Designer turns heads with her plastic bottle designs

Nottingham based Artist and Designer Sarah Turner, is causing a storm in the interior design world with her eco-friendly lighting designs.  From her studio in the heart of Nottingham, Sarah uses old plastic bottles discarded from the city’s cafes and transforms them into eclectic pieces.

So far she’s been commissioned by the likes of SodaStream, London Fashion Week, Twitter, the Ideal Home Show and recently secured a place in the final of this years Philips lighting competition.

Read her exciting interview with The Design Hub and find out how Sarah’s made such an impact within the design world and what’s in store for her next! Continue reading

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What trend is sweeping the interior design world and getting everyone shouting?

It’s fantastic to see interior designers from all corners of the industry really thinking about sustainable design and showing people how they can re-use materials to create not only eclectic pieces to put inside a home or building, but taking a serious approach to their own carbon footprint. Pressure groups and political parties have shouted about eco-friendly living for years, so this new “eco-chic” or “up-cycling” trend which has swept the design world hasn’t just popped onto the scene from nowhere.  Bearing this in mind, I ask, why has it taken us so long to finally care about our surroundings and start to change our habits?

I’m sure some boffins out there have an intricate explanation, but from my point of view, attending shows such as Birmingham Interiors, Ideal Home Show and keeping track of what other bloggers, designers and tweeps are discussing, reveals one major point, people have far less to spend so are forced to make-do and mend.

I know many people and designers, who’ve jumped on the band wagon, using old wood from skips, battered doors, unwanted plastic bottles and vintage suitcases to re-create various pieces of furniture which look immense. Eco designer Sarah Turner, who I met at this years Birmingham Interiors Show, creates lights from used plastic bottles and Hendzel & Hunt who are behind the label “Made in Peckham”, also showcased at BIS, create wonderful rustic tables and chairs from wood and pallets discarded on the streets of Peckham. Watch the video below to see their designs!

Hendzel & Hunt

Sarah Turner

Sarah’s designs also featured in some of the show homes at this years Ideal Home Show at Earls court in London and it’s great to see young fresh talent really pushing through on the eco front, basing their designs around sustainability and setting a positive example.

This years Ideal Home Show followed suit and was heavily based around sustainable living from George Clarke’s Coronation Street eco-refit, that demonstrated how energy inefficient many of the UK’s homes are and how they can be improved, to Linda Barker’s eco-chic styling seminars. As well as interior design celebrities endorsing green living, other areas of the show also showed their support for green living. The stand for the Help for Heroes campaign at the event was kitted out with furniture made from various soldiers uniforms, buttons and hats which I thought was a lovely gesture.

The impact these shows have on people is huge, in one of her eco-chic seminars, Linder Barker showed spectators how to make a cake stand from old plates and glasses. I thought this was a fantastic idea and decided to make one myself and write a guide for others to do the same. To this day, one of the most popular searches I find on The Design Hub, is how to create a vintage cake stand! Okay it’s not on the same scale as investing in under floor heating or compressed insulation, but it’s still making a difference and tackling the “throw-away” culture which we’ve all been caught up in – thank you Linda!

Even Robin, the Finance Director at the National Design Academy, had a go at up-cycling and created a magnificent cupboard from bits of scrap. It didn’t cost him a penny and give him great satisfaction I’m sure, to know that he’d created something from nothing. Interior Designer Karen Lane, who’s based in the East Midlands, often gets old worn furniture from charity shops and restore’s them to sell on – check out her guide!

Which brings me to another important point, all this restoring and up-cycling is really benefitting our charity shops. I think my local one is sick of the sight of me, but I get a lot of pleasure making use of unwanted items and helping others at the same time, so it’s worth having a look to see what you can find.

Like South African designer Katie Thompson say’s, “make something ordinary, extraordinary”. (check out her Suitcase Chair’s they’re a great example of up-cycling)

In these hard economic times, people seem to be more open to all ideas thrown out there that can save money which could be the reason “eco-chic” and “up-cycling” and has taken off.  Those who have redecorated their home on a shoe string are leading the way with chic, rustic, recycled designs that all the home magazines have jumped on. If you want to achieve this look, it’s cheap and easy, just use your imagination and make use of interior design blogs/sites/forums to get inspiration, because they’re all shouting about it in one form or another.

Back to the point, this years biggest trend is sustainable living which like all trends has levels of expense, if you can afford a £2000 chair made from old t-shirts, great, it’s still an appreciation of the eco concept and keeping that designer in business, but if your more towards the make-do and mend end of the spectrum, you have a wealth of exciting and creative eco-friendly options to try. Whatever level, whatever design keep thinking green and you’re already bang on trend.

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, Birmingham Interiors Show 2011, Eco-friendly, George Clarke, Ideal Home Show 2011, Kitchen Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, News, Periord Ideas, Quirky, Sarah Turner, sustainable interiors, The Designers Block, Up-cycling, www.nda.ac.uk

Design of the Day – Bag yourself a light!

We’ve all heard the term “put a bag over your head”, well these designers have taken the concept of covering something unsightly with a bag literally, creating the “Bagalight Old School” light. Created by Martin & Cameron Fry, the shade (bag) is made from paper and card and makes great use of an object people would usually throw away – super eco-chic!

The bulbs are A rated energy efficient which is great news for your pocket and the environment and you can choose from a variety of designs, as well as table light versions to wow your friends.

Yet another great find on the brilliantly quirky Brighton POD website, where you can buy any of these designs for under 30 quid!

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Design of the Day – Rectangular leaf light by Aline Johnson

Aline Johnson’s serene lighting designs have taken my breath away. Specialising in exclusive kilnformed glass vessels and platters, Aline also works with architects and interior designers making site specific lighting designs that have been commissioned for Dune, Covent Garden and the Foreign Office for the British Embassy in Doha, Qatar.

Born and bred by the sea, I just adore how Aline translates her rural roots of Dorset and seaside inspired palette into these beautiful and delicate designs. I’m instantly drawn to the “Rectangular Leaf” light which boast so much colour and positive energy.

If you want to catch a glimpse of Aline’s work , she will be showing off her fabulous designs at this years Tent Show in London – don’t miss it!

Image source: http://www.alinejohnson.co.uk

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Design of the day – WrongWoods animated mid-century designs

British artist Richard Woods, teamed up with designer Sebastian Wrong to create a collection of statement furniture for manufacturer Established & Sons, as part of a series of collaboration in 2007.

The bold grain print is one of  Woods’ signature designs which I believe makes the furniture designed by Wrong, look almost animated and not real. WrongWoods designs are a nostalgic representation of mid-century utilitarian furniture and would certainly makes a bold statement in any part of the home.

The collection includes a chest of drawers, a long low credenza, a small night table and a wall unit.You visit nest.co.uk to buy ony of WrongWoods’ designs but it’s not cheap so be prepared!

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Design of the Day – Literally a tea light

After yesterdays mad rush to launch the NDA National Design Award competition, I thought I’d build up todays momentum a little more slowly.

After leisurely scouring the internet for design this morning, I came across this fantastic light on the Liberty website.

Inspired by 1930′s tableware, The Tea Range is a collection of quirky Art-deco tea-cup and teapot shaped lights, a perfect addition to any chic room design, kitchen or café!

Made from bone china and hung from a cotton braid cable, the lights take 4 to 12 weeks to arrive and cost £145, I’ve just placed my order!

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Filed under Ceramics, Home Acessories, Liberty, lighting, NDA National Design Award 2011, Quirky, Teapot Light, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk