FO­CUS/18

Dis­cover what’s hot in the world of in­te­ri­ors at De­sign Cen­tre, Chelsea Har­bour, Europe’s big­gest des­ti­na­tion for in­te­rior de­sign pro­fes­sion­als and en­thu­si­asts

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - London Design Festival -

With more than 600 brands and 120 show­rooms, De­sign Cen­tre, Chelsea Har­bour is a high­light of the Lon­don De­sign Fes­ti­val. The largest de­sign hub in Europe, it spans three domes as well as four floors in De­sign Cen­tre East – and, for six days in Septem­ber, it’s home to the an­nual Fo­cus de­sign event. This is your chance to see new col­lec­tions from es­tab­lished brands and meet a host of emerg­ing tal­ent – plus, the in­ter­na­tional artist Moritz Walde­meyer wants to fill you with pos­i­tiv­ity through his in­stal­la­tion of light, colour and move­ment.

De­sign Cen­tre, Chelsea Har­bour has long played host to some of the most in­flu­en­tial names in in­te­ri­ors. Take in­spi­ra­tion from the fab­rics and wall­cov­er­ings in the show­rooms of Style Li­brary, GP & J Baker, Romo, Arte, Lelièvre, Alt­field, Suther­land Peren­ni­als Stu­dio, Cole­fax and Fowler, Cole & Son, Hol­land & Sherry and Dedar. Ad­mire the fur­ni­ture at Po­liform, Po­rada, Gal­lotti & Radice, Savoir Beds, Gior­getti and Flex­form. Find vi­brant rugs at Tufenkian Ar­ti­san Car­pets, see the lat­est bath­room in­no­va­tions at Sa­muel Heath, Vic­to­ria + Al­bert Baths and Villeroy & Boch, and check out the lat­est kitchens at Espresso De­sign and Per­rin & Rowe. There will be a jam­packed pro­gramme of more than 100 free ses­sions, in­clud­ing talks, demon­stra­tions, work­shops and dis­cov­ery tours, giv­ing you ‘ac­cess all ar­eas’ to the new­est ideas in home dé­cor. 16–21 Septem­ber (dcch.co.uk).

How do you de­scribe what you do? That’s a dif­fi­cult ques­tion! I’m a cu­ri­ous cre­ator of sorts, I go in cre­ative di­rec­tions that aren’t lim­ited to a sin­gle dis­ci­pline, bor­row­ing strands from art, de­sign, pho­tog­ra­phy and fash­ion – just be­ing very free. I hes­i­tate to use the phrase ‘Re­nais­sance Man’, but per­haps it’s the clos­est de­scrip­tion. Poly­math, maybe?

Light fea­tures promi­nently in your work – what ma­te­ri­als do you pre­fer to use when de­sign­ing?

I started out in my ca­reer at the same time as the rise in the in­no­va­tion of the LED bulb – I was work­ing at Phillips from around 2000, when LEDS were just lit­tle sig­nal lights on ra­dios. We had the sense that they would be­come twice as strong and half as ex­pen­sive, and the beauty of them for me is that they can be eas­ily in­ter­faced with elec­tron­ics, sim­ply con­trolled, and used to cre­ate amaz­ing ef­fects and an in­cred­i­ble am­bi­ence. You can use them to tap into peo­ple’s emo­tions. You see, fire is some­thing that is pro­grammed into our psy­ches – we have an in­stant re­sponse to it. With LEDS, I can find a way to mimic that, but make it look more cu­ri­ous than flames, am­pli­fy­ing the re­sponse.

What was the brief De­sign Cen­tre, Chelsea Har­bour came to you with?

They wanted an in­stal­la­tion that would be site-spe­cific, would at­tract peo­ple and be a talk­ing point. It needed to be in­ter­ac­tive and pho­to­genic. I love the build­ing’s oc­tag­o­nal domes, so was in­spired to cover two walls in oc­tag­o­nal frames that will shine light around the space. The De­sign Cen­tre is all about dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments, full of wall­pa­per and fab­ric sam­ples, so peo­ple will be able to bring their swatches up to a cam­era be­side the lights and it will read their colours, turn­ing the LEDS into that spe­cific shade. It means the in­stal­la­tion will be led by the cu­ri­ous, and we’ll be able to tell which colours are the big­gest trends of the sea­son by look­ing at which ones get shown to the cam­era most of­ten. What do you hope peo­ple will get from it? At the mo­ment, noth­ing is more nec­es­sary than pos­i­tiv­ity – we are be­ing over­run with neg­a­tiv­ity every time we open a news­pa­per. De­sign needs to coun­ter­act that and bring bal­ance back to the world with op­ti­mistic vibes – that’s what my prac­tice is all about. Walde­meyer’s in­stal­la­tion ‘Jour­ney of Colour’, a 12-me­tre-long walk­way of light, will be open 16–21 Septem­ber (walde­meyer.com)

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