next stop on the london design festival tour was tent london, held at the truman brewery on brick lane. a ground-breaking arena for forward-thinking design across all disciplines, tent london delivers the very best in contemporary design, encompassing architecture, interiors and the world of digital.
as well as galleries dedicated to digital adventures in contemporary craft and exhibitions curated by kingston university and the danish design center, there were over 200 designers, companies and brands exhibiting, making volume four of tent the most dynamic and international yet.
i was particularly drawn to the practical design of architect and designer umut yamaç, whose rus in urbe brand displayed a stylish modern update of a classic fifties roller clock, and clean simple cage clock, with an evident scandinavian influence. åry trays carried the elle decoration seal of approval for their white spoon tray, but i was particularly taken with the simplistic black and white silhouette tray, as seen above.
the illustrations of gemma milly caught my attention for their ethereal and sensual style, whilst i was naturally drawn to the ercol stand where i spent a good long while gushing over their beautiful new pieces, including british fabric designer sarah-jayne guest’s special editions of the ercol windsor chair and donna wilson‘s versions of ercol’s studio couch, using her rainy day fabric, and a quirky knitted cover which gives the effect of the arm rests as giant knitting needles.
but my highlight from tent this year was areaware, a new york city based manufacturer who collaborate with a vast array of talented designers to, in their own words, create thoughtful products that encourage a dialogue between people and their everyday surroundings. i was particularly taken with the stylish and contemporary collection of magno radios, designed by singgih kartono, which have a very appealing mix of retro and modern style.
areaware‘s mission is to be a strong voice for american design on the world stage, and i have to say i have never had a particularly strong view of american design as contemporary or innovative before. but areaware have assembled a very strong team of designers and seem to be very successful in creating a forum for young and local american talent to see their ideas become real and tangible, and to develop their narratives through a larger body of work. long may that continue.