if you’re planning to attend some of the events and exhibitions currently scattered all around town for the london design festival this weekend, make sure you schedule a stop at super natural, an installation by studio toogood at the garage in sw3.
super natural is dedicated to foraging, collecting and observing the english countryside, and combines an extensive mushroom installation by new forest forager brigitte tee with the debut collection of furniture – assemblage 1 – by interiors stylist faye toogood, and a unique pop-up café offering a menu created by la fromagerie in collaboration with arabeschi di latte, with an emphasis on seasonal and foraged ingredients.
assemblage 1 by studio toogood uses the three recurrent elements of wood, brass and stone to create simply formed designs which focus their attentions on english-sourced materials and traditional english craftmanship, including stonemasons, carpenters and metalworkers. the pale blond wood and gently rounded curves offer up the natural beauty of the materials without any pretence or over embellishment, and my personal highlights of the collection were the silo cabinet and the spade chair for their simple form and industrial influence.
there is also an eclectic selection of products cast from found objects, which form the ‘sticks and stones and broken bones’ collection by studio toogood in collaboration with izé, which aims to translate the organic and geological into crafted, cast metal. the series of handles and hooks successufully bring the tactile textiles of the natural world into the usually geometric realm of hardware, thus imparting to the architecture a sense of the foraged and the found.
the whole installation is scented with a bespoke fragrance, created by perfumier francis kurkdjian, which evokes the heady scent of an english woodland right after rainfall, saturating the air with scent of lichen, moss and tree bark. this olfactory installation accentuates the foraged fare on offer at the bramble café, where mushrooms, blackberries, old variety apples and pears and wild salad leaves are served up alongside a variety of english farmhouse cheeses to become the ingredients for an “untamed” meal, all inspired by the wild and natural life of the english countryside.