My next stop, after The Dock, was Moooi showroom, also situated in Portobello Dock, where the collection was exhibited together with new additions freshly released in Milan last April.
The Construction Lamp, which reminds the vintage building Meccano toys, by Joost van Bleiswijk and de Bucket Lamp by Studio Job were among the new products. Although they seem quite opposite _the Construction Lamp being elegant and sophisticated, the Bucket lamp uninhibited, natural and informal_ they are both an exaggeration of an existing object that has being taken out of its usual context.
The Construction Lamp’s conspicuous joints, bolts and screws have been magnified in order to clearly show that the idea, the concept of the product is precisely the way it is made, the way its pieces are assembled.
Moooi enlarges the New Antiques family by Marcel Wanders with a new stool that matches the Container New Antiques 10638, the family’s tallest table. Here there is again an object, a baluster, taken out of its natural context _the stairs or the balcony of an old villa_ to be turned into a stool made of resins. We can find a different approach but a similar idea in the Balustrade Salvaged Wood Table (Restoration Hardware).
Finally, to complete a busy day, I left Portobello Dock in order to visit The Great Western Studios, a building that offers studio space for artists, designers and architects. It also has a space for exhibitions in the atrium. The one on show during the London Design Festival 2013 was Pearson & Lloyd 1:1 Inside Design, a compilation of their seating designs displayed together with some photographs and three panels with the principles that drive their design process. The ones I find more interesting are, on one hand, their aim to provide the best hand-made craft quality to their industrial products, and, on the other hand, their interest in taking into consideration how people’s behaviour can be affected by their designs. This latter is crucial, Architecture and Design can raise our quality of life, the problem is that the good architecture, the good design is, not always but very often, unfortunately, unaffordable for most of us. In this regard, I find the idea of designing healthcare products superb. It is true that when one is very ill in hospital nothing else matters, but if chairs, tables, beds, and other hospital furniture were more friendly and likeable, at least, the place would be less scary…, don’t you think?