Visiting Collect and Design in London

As part of our field research we embarked on a trip to London primarily to visit the Collect contemporary craft design show in the Saatchi Gallery, but also to visit other galleries, exhibitions and shops relevant to our work. We were looking at how work was displayed as well as the work it self to help us think about our exhibition design and experience the different ways of displaying work.

Some of the glasswork at Collect was stunning and I found it really interesting to looks at the different techniques that had been used to create the some of the most incredible effects. What I particularly liked about the glass was the way the makers had merged the rough with the smooth, creating work which looked different at every angle, with the material properties central to the concept of the work. One of my favourite pieces was an amber pieces of glass which changed and morphed in shape and colour as you walked around it.

Also the different methods of display were really interesting, below are some of the methods I liked the most along with some other interesting pieces of work. With some of the exhibiters the method of display could actually be a pieces in itself, such as the curved and flowing shelf which held woodturned vessels on, see below.

After visiting collect I had a list of shops and galleries that I wanted to visit to view the work they displayed and how they displayed it.

TwentyTwentyOne is a contemporary furniture and lighting store combining classics from the 20th century with progressive contemporary work. The shop had an industrial style about it with the building itself being a old ware house type store. It had quite a range of work in some of which I had researched before so it was really good to experience the pieces in real life.

I then went onto to visit the small Jasper Morrison shop which was very interesting. The shop focused on objects. With no real area of speciality, each object was a thing in itself with no branding or origin stated. The objects were neatly laid out across the shop for purchase, each pieces being just as important as the next.

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I then visited the Conran Shop, which is a massive department store containing many contemporary designer goods which I found really exciting as I saw many of the designers work which I had researched and taken inspiration from over the years such as Bocci, Lee Broom, Northern Lighting, Flos, Tom Dixon etc. This was another great place to note all the styles which seemed to be current such as marbled effects, spheres and curves, polished metals and sculptural forms.

I then visited Skandium which has a lot of Scandinavian lighting design which was really good to look at. I love the pastel colours and clean forms they use with many contemporary lighting designers taking inspiration from the style.

Finally, I visited Mint which was an really interesting showroom with a large array of different, unusual and abstract objects inside presented in the context of a living space. I really liked it as a showroom; it contemporary and cutting edge with pieces often being from upcoming designers or commissioned specifically for Mint.

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