The 2018 London Design Fair will take place September 20-23 in the one and only Old Truman Brewery. The Fair provides a valuable forum for showcasing international design and will host 13 country pavilions this year, surpassing previous years. Countries include Portugal, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Korea, Japan, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The British Craft Pavilion will make a welcome return, curated once again by Hole & Corner. Each country pavilion has its own strong design narrative and mission, many of which were developed in conjunction with the Fair's team.
The largest international fair - taking place during the London Design Festival - prizes innovation, quality and diversity in design, and visitors can once more expect a first class show. With its highly curated elements and compelling editorial, the Fair's expressed intention is to heighten the visitor's experience.
Returning in 2018, the London Design Fair's Material of the Year shines the spotlight on a material taking precedence in the design world, for better or worse. Never one to shy away from a controversial issue, the Fair will focus attention on a material that is derided by many: plastic.
With a long and chequered history, plastic-love it or loathe it-is unquestionably a material of the modern world. Finding application in everything from computer hardware to medical innovation, from product design to industrial design, plastic is, in many ways, a hero material. Yet its mass application across numerous consumer products has caused plastic to become a single-use, highly disposable material, having catastrophic environmental effects.
With this in mind, the Fair's focus on plastic as the 2018 Material of the Year, casts an eye on the design industry's efforts to repurpose plastic in ever inventive and useful ways. With a focus on innovatory practice, the Fair has selected four designers who demonstrate a refined and resolute approach to working with recycled plastic. By looking beyond the chipper, these four exhibitors from across the globe are treating plastic waste as a virgin material, and creating new designs imbued with meaning, value and desirability.
Tokyo-based product designer Kodai Iwamoto poses the question: What will happen if an old manufacturing process meets cheap and mass-produced materials? Working with PVC plastic piping Iwamoto has created a range of tubular vases, transforming the material into a set of desirable objects. Similar to glass blowing techniques, the pipe is heated and softened to improve flexibility and expands into a mold via the application of air pressure. Brighton-based Weez & Merl design around the concept of a circular economy, crafting plastic designs from local waste materials. Challenging today's throwaway culture, the duo melt plastic bags and packaging to make a choice selection of objects. The process includes a distinctive marbling effect, achieved by adding coloured plastic bags to melted plastic.