The RCA Show 2015

RCA Show 2015

Last Thursday we visited London's Royal College of Art summer graduation show to view this year's student projects.

Thanks to friendly social media connections, we arranged to meet Jakub Pollág, a student from the Design Products programme, who is also one of the designers behind deForm - a studio he founded with his fellow student Václav Mlynář during their studies at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Jakub very kindly gave us a guided tour of the wide range of projects the Design Products course has produced this year. It was great to speak to so many of the students and to learn more about the individual and team based projects they have been pursuing.

This year's diverse and engaging show includes a broad range of creative outcomes, with projects ranging from the domestic to the outdoor, and from the technological to the political.

Here is just a small selection of them.

Radioactivity by Gemma Roper

Radioactivity by Gemma Roper

Gemma Roper's internet enabled radio allows you to select music by tempo or beats per minute. The device pairs with Spotify and features a single dial that moves vertically to mimic a metronome for music selection.

The aim is to explore physical and tactile interfacing for online music without a screen through the use of an overtly reduced aesthetic that becomes the central focus for interaction.

Also by Gemma Roper in collaboration with Jakub Pollág, Stackabells is a  wireless modular doorbell system where the aesthetic and musical qualities can be interchanged.

Aiming to move away from the idea of the doorbell as an unsightly white box "discernable only by its unenthusiastic tinny playback of a chime recording in response to a visitor" the system aims to instead celebrate the arrival of visitors in a playful and engaging way.

Stacking doorbells by Gemma Roper & Jakub Pollag
Designed as much as a sculptural piece as a sounding object, the Stcking Doorbell combines wireless technology with physical sound production and action, allowing it to be placed on show in any place within the home.

We loved Daniel Durnin's mobile architecture project WaterBed - a wooden barge that can be towed by bicycle, and then launched onto the water without the need to remove the wheels.

WaterBed by Daniel Durnin

WaterBed by Daniel Durnin

Flip by Stine Keinicke Jensen is a flexible and functional cabinet system with detachable doors that can be flipped over to reveal an alternative colour on the reverse. Spheres on the corner of each door magnetically connect it to the cabinet frame.

This modularity is designed to create a satisfying way of rearranging a layout through a stimulating and novel movement.

Stine has also designed a lamp with a rotating controller made using a glass disc that can adjust the brightness of the light source, again offering the user a satisfying interaction with the product.

Roll light by Stine Keinicke Jensen

Roll light by Stine Keinicke Jensen

CanopyStair by Robert McIntyre and Thorwald Ter Kulve, created with the support of Haworth Tompkins Architects, is a modular system of steps that can be attached without tools to form a spiral staircase around a tree trunk, allowing you to walk up into the canopy above.

Carefully designed not to damage or mark the tree in any way it evokes childhood memories of climbing trees and the idea of being able to acess a secluded habitat.

It certainly made for an impressive focal point in the tree fern courtyard at the RCA.

CanopyStair by Robert McIntyre & Thorwald Ter Kulve

CanopyStair by Robert McIntyre & Thorwald Ter Kulve

The RCA show 2015 at the college's Kensington and Battersea campuses is open daily 12-6pm until 5 July with late night opening until 9pm on 1 July. Closed 3 July.

With thanks to Jakub Pollag and Rob Phillips for the guided tour.

The 2015 Serpentine Pavilion by selgascano

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by SelgasCano

Last week we popped down to Kensington to see the Royal College of Art graduation show, and while we were there called in on this year's recently installed temporary Serpentine Pavilion.

This is the 15th year that the project has been running and 2015's offering is really rather different. Designed by Spanish architects selgascano it embraces the temporary nature of its brief with a colourful plastic fantastic structure constructed from stretched plastic skin and woven tapes over steel hoops. Irridescent panels reflect the suns rays both internally and externally, bathing the structure and its white concrete floor in a myriad of kaleidoscopic colour fades.

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by SelgasCano
Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by SelgasCano

The entrances and exits are both inviting and surprising, ensuring the visitor is fully encouraged to explore every surface on offer.

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by selgascano
Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by SelgasCano
Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by SelgasCano
Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by SelgasCano

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 by SelgasCano

It's serious fun and we loved it!

The Serpentine Pavilion 2015 is at the Serpentine Gallery until 18 October 2015.

All images by Design Hunter.


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Name to know | LO+BEHOLD

Mohair geometric blanket by Lile Sadi

Today I'm featuring another 'Name to know' as part of an occasional series introducing independent shops and designers I hope you will enjoy discovering.

Founded by former fashion buyer Nuala Sharkey and based in East London, LO+BEHOLD is a new online destination which brings together a collection of colourful and creative homeware and gifts for the modern home.

"As a mum of 2 young boys, I was looking to create more work-life balance than my previous career could offer" said Nuala. "I've always had a desire to create my own business and so this felt like a way to follow my passion and be able to see the kids a bit more. So the website was born from a passion for interiors and homeware, especially Scandinavian, but in our own home we love to mix vintage pieces with modern to create an eclectic look. We may add some vintage to the range further along... so watch this space."

"The vision for the store was to create a destination offering the quirkier side of Scandinavian homeware. The pieces are carefully selected for their colour, pattern or their ability to work as a statement piece. Our own style is fairly minimal and we prefer a neutral palette with white and greys, so these pieces add the vital colour and personality. My own background training was in textile design so I'm especially drawn to fabric and pattern, which has influenced the product selection."

"We wanted the website to reflect the modern but minimal selection so the branding and design was worked on with that in mind. We also wanted the website to be as beautiful as its contents and hope we've achieved that. We've tried to follow this ethos from the website through to the packaging so that the whole customer experience should reflect the lovely nature of our product."

What's their style?

"We've got a Scandi slant, but not exclusively so," says Nuala. "We choose each product for its ability to transform your home into a cool, vibrant and happy place."

What do the sell?

Playful graphic cushions, stylish shelving, brass vases, marble kitchen accessories, minimal lighting and other stylish, affordable updates designed to add personality and a relaxed vibe to your home.

Brands like Ferm Living and Broste Copenhagen feature alongside pieces by Hackney based designer Eleanor Bolton.

Design Hunter loves...

...this geometric mohair blanket by Dutch designer Lile Sadi (above). A stand out piece that would liven up any room, the colour palette includes pretty much all of the shades I'm in love with right now - indigo, blush, soft grey and white.

Here are a few more of my favourites:

Theo vase by Broste Copenhagen

Theo vase by Broste Copenhagen

I love Broste Copenhagen. Every season they consistently offer up the kind of affordable easy updates I want to buy when a particular area of my home is in need of a refresh. This tall brass vase being a case in point.

Paper lamp shades by Broste Copenhagen

Paper lampshades

Also by Broste Copenhagen, these cool paper lamp shades would be a great option for the bedroom, the living room or even your home office.

Available in black or white they come in a range of shapes and sizes - and at under £50 they won't break the bank either.

Wooden storage box by Hubsch

Wooden Storage Box by Hubsch

These wooden wall storage boxes by Danish brand Hubsch are perfect for keeping magazines and stationery neat and organised. They'd also make a handy reading shelf next to the bed.

Oyoy cushion

Dotti cushion by Oyoy

This print and patchwork cushion designed Lotte Fynboe of Oyoy features a playful pattern and a different colour combination on each side.

Leather bracket shelves by Hubsch

I've admired leather shelving brackets in numerous Pinterest shots - and featured a couple of examples in this post a while back - but hadn't come across anything similar being stocked in the UK until I spotted these.

Mixing up different textures and materials is often my favourite approach when I'm tackling a room makeover project and this contrast beween the leather and the wood, along with the seagrass baskets and the pretty blue and white ceramics, is particularly pleasing.

Nuala also picks these out as among her favourite pieces in the shop. "I love how this small leather detail can transform a simple shelf into something more interesting and unique" she says.

Knotted plant pot holders by Eleanor Bolton

Knotted plant hanger by Eleanor Bolton

My collection of house plants continues to grow. I am forever moving them around and grouping them together in different displays, but I like the idea of suspending plants from the ceiling as a way of drawing the eye down and adding unexpected focal points at different eye levels.

I grew up in a house full of spider plants and macrame plant holders, and it was surely only a matter of time before these made a comeback, so for me there is something appealingly nostalgic about Eleanor Bolton's colourful knotted plant hangers. The Hackney based designer has added a modern colour palette to this retro design and each one comes in its own stylish tube packaging - making them the perfect item to give as a gift to any  plant loving friends.

I for one absolutely love them. Who knows, I could even be persuaded to get a Spider plant.

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The LO+BEHOLD summer sale starts tomorrow with up to 25% off selected items. They are also currently running a competition in which they'll be giving away a £100 gift voucher. All the details are over on the LO+BEHOLD blog.

Follow LO+BEHOLD on instagram for more lovely Scandi inspired home accessories and inspiration.

Posted in collaboration with Lo + Behold.