Designjunction is one of my favourite London design events, bringing together the best of new contemporary design and the opportunity to take some of it home. Now in its eighth year, design junction is set to transport the cultural hub of London’s South Bank, September 20 - 23, with hundreds of product launches, boutique pop-up shops, bespoke installations, exhibitions, a specially curated talks programme and dedicated spaces to relax, meet, work and enjoy delicious food. The Doon Street site, the largest superstructure ever built by designjunction, will house 200 international design brands and temporary pop-up shops; the Riverside Walkway will showcase a series of outdoor installations; and the Oxo Tower Wharf and Bargehouse will host major brand activations, talks and exhibitions.
The Riverside Walkway will also provide a platform for Mud Shell, an innovative housing project marrying ancient earth architecture techniques with the latest drone spraying technology. Led by architect Stephanie Chaltiel, the project aims to build a simple but sturdy and durable housing system that can be customised depending on the location. Stephanie has developed a unique digital tool that can be piloted or programmed to “Drone Spray” natural materials over a light prefabricated framework until it forms an inhabitable structure.
Designed for both emergency contexts and alternative dwelling systems, Stephanie will construct one of these mud shells at designjunction in collaboration with students of London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture. Mud Shell will explore new methods to transform temporary housing into a permanent innovative habitation combining sustainable natural materials with advanced technology. 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, the city of Saint-Etienne will showcase the “Gateway to Inclusion”, an installation conceived by Lisa White, Head of Lifestyle and Interiors at WGSN, in collaboration with designer François Dumas. A structure made of steel and ribbon, two of Saint Etienne’s traditional industries, the project aims to promote inclusion in design.
The steel arches will be of different sizes and dressed in ribbons created by Neyret, an international ribbon manufacturer established in Saint Etienne in 1823. Lisa White worked closely with the WGSN colour team using the trend forecaster’s new Coloro colour-coding system, while the experts at Neyret developed an innovative technique of stretching the industrial ribbons in an almost couture manner to fit Dumas’ distinctive design. François Dumas explains: “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. The colourful ribbons will create a centripetal movement that invites the audience to prolong their experience by visiting the Saint Etienne Biennale in 2019.” After designjunction, the installation will travel to Paris and Saint Etienne where it will welcome visitors to the Saint Etienne International Design Biennale next spring, from March 21-April 22, 2019.
Designjunction is also supporting the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT) in partnership with RIBA in a year-long campaign, which aims to raise funds and promote diversity and inclusion in the design and architecture industry. The Trust, along with other commemorative initiatives in architecture, honours aspiring architect Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered at age 18 in a racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus in South East London in 1993. ‘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 to coincide with the inaugural Stephen Lawrence Day (22 April 2019), a small run of each toolkit will go into production. A percentage of the profits made will go towards giving someone else the tools they need to start their career.
This September, ‘The Architect’s Toolkit’ project will launch at designjunction as part of a co-working space designed by award-winning, 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.
For a full list of designjunction events you can visit their website.