Makers & Brothers

London Design Festival Review

Last week saw London Design Festival takeover much of the city, from Somerset House to Arnold Circus there were little red banners on every corner. A lot of noise and colour but behind it all there was not so much to genuinely excite. This may be a little harsh or more so a factor of the massive scale the Festival has taken on over recent years but there was a feeling of much colours and noise and not so much beyond it.

Makers & Brothers launched The Souvenir Project at Rochelle School and when the time allowed we took a chance to explore what else was on show behind the noise and colour. What follows is a selection of our favourites.


Our neighbours at Rochelle School were PINCH. A wonderful design led furniture operation led by the super duo of Russell and Oona. They launched a product conceived through a process that made for an exciting experiment.

Nim, made from Jesmonite, acknowledges texture and form, referencing strata, stone and weather. A simple, elegant form full of life and depth.


Workshop for Potential Design year on year brings forth by far the most interesting gathering of work - intelligent curious thinking that opens up the mind. This year’s show was called ‘Pieces’ and saw a collection that played on the magical interior of Sir John Soane, a house full of fragments of architecture, art and interior collected by Sir John Soane - intriguing pieces of the whole.


My Grandfather's Tree is exactly what it says it is, the entire ash tree that once stood outside Max Lambs grandfathers house. Max brings an intelligent simplicity to all he undertakes, the process leading the way. In this installation he managed the removal of 90-foot-tall rotting ash tree carefully slicing it up piece by piece, documenting every cut, and reassembling the fragment whole in the galleries of Somerset House. A very personal project where the magic touches were the copper indexing of each piece and the doorstop as you entered.


Open Fires was the hidden gem of the Brompton Design District. A collection of clay pieces developed by Lilianna Ovalle that experiments ancient open firing techniques using damp sand, donkey dung and agave leaves to smoke and blacken geometric patterns across a collection of vessels.


Hotaru is a new collection of paper lampshades design by Barber & Osgerby in collaboration with Twentytwentyone. Taking an age-old production method that uses mulberry bark and frames constructed from bamboo wire they made a few slight adjustments to the classic forms to create magnificently beautiful bulbous forms. A commercial showcase but the best kind.

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