The London Design Festival, which will run from 13 – 21 September, is renowned for its ‘Landmark Projects’. Set in iconic locations within the capital these demonstrate some of the most inventive ideas in design and have become the public face of the Festival.
This year, the Festival is collaborating with Airbnb to bring a fascinating project to life in London’s Trafalgar Square. Airbnb is the world’s largest community-driven hospitality company. Whether it’s a chic urban loft, a stylish treehouse, or an artist’s garden retreat, with unique listings in 34,000 cities and 190 countries, travellers can feel at home wherever they go.
‘A Place Called Home’ brings together four highly acclaimed designers who have been invited to create their own interpretation of home. The four designers, Jasper Morrison, Patternity, Raw Edges and Studioilse will present a personal vision of a room which will intrigue and amuse visitors to Trafalgar Square.
The four ‘homes’ will appear to be similar in construction from the outside though each will have its own individual exterior identity, hinting at the creative interiors which range from a room which expands and contracts to the home of a pigeon fancier.
Renowned British designer Jasper Morrison, well – known for his subtlety in design, will create an amusing home based on a pigeon fancier’s house, ‘because who else would choose to live in the middle of Trafalgar Square?’ he says. Morrison will use this fictional character to illustrate a vision of a simple, ordered interior as the habitat for a person dedicated to uncomplicated pleasures.
Set amongst the minimal designs of Morrison’s furniture, the pigeon fancier’s hobby paraphernalia will be evident throughout the interior with curious objects, pigeon portraits and a dovecot mounting on the façade of the house. The small building will be complete with external perches and roosting boxes for the birds.
The London based innovative design team, Raw Edges, has created an interior with has the ability to transform its internal space to create different rooms within a home at different moments. Using a movable archive system as their inspiration, Raw Edges’ playful design creates a space which is versatile and surprising. With the turn of a handle on one of the three separate panels, accessible via a single veranda, rooms can be ‘opened up’ to reveal the interior spaces; bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom – as they are needed. The design shows how, with limited space and an imaginative approach, it’s possible to make the most of even the smallest living area within a densely populated city.
A central pendant light acts as one of the defining features in each room and sole light source. Clever concertinas for the bed and lounge hammock fold away as other rooms are revealed. Whimsical details include a shower head which doubles up as a shelf for the kitchen. Decorative elements such as wallpaper and curtains will be transformed from each other to change the atmosphere from room to room.
Ilse Crawford is a designer, creative director and academic who was recently awarded an MBE for services to interior design. Her design company, Studioilse, has created a space which challenges visitors to respond to the questions of what home means to them. Referencing daily home rituals, which will be familiar to everyone, Studioilse has designed a space which elevates the mundane yet comforting aspects of home life in a playful and poetic way.
Visitors will hear a soundtrack of background noises such as a kettle boiling, doors slamming, cutlery rattling; through openings in the house, visitors will also catch the smell of home, a bespoke fragrance being developed for the project by the studio together with fragrance expert Azzi Glasser. Two of the walls will show film projections which project images of household objects and rituals which take place throughout the day in every home, spanning all cultures and social spectrums. On the floor of the house will be a question: ‘What does home mean to you?’ Visitors can respond via a live twitter feed to share their own ideas.
Rising British design pioneers PATTERNITY use pattern in engaging and inspiring ways. For ‘A Place Called Home’ the design studio has created an installation that is both visually striking but also digs beneath the surface of pattern to tell worthwhile stories about the world around us.
The interior of the house is occupied with a trio of giant kaleidoscopes which will symbolically reflect the world around us through repeated pattern. Cut through the structure, each kaleidoscope uses the fundamental building blocks of life; circles, lines, triangles and squares to create an interactive installation which the public can peer into and play with.
Ben Evans, Director of the London Design Festival said: ‘We all live in a house and are conscious of other people’s homes. This project offers four contrasting ideas of home that will make you think more about how you live with design.’
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb said: ‘As a design-led company with a creative community of hosts and travellers, we believe in the power of design to create meaningful and memorable experiences. The chance to partner with the London Design Festival to celebrate these ideals, in one of the world’s most creative capitals, is an amazing opportunity for us.’