Although not yet back to its pre-pandemic size, London Design Festival is fighting fit with hundreds of events, installations, workshops, exhibitions and talks spread across ten designated designs districts that cover the length and breadth of London. Supported by more than 200 partner organisations and affiliated with dozens of retail-hosted events, COVER takes a look at a few rug-specific events.
The Future of Home
Big, bold, bright graphic shapes and colours feature in a hand-tufted rug designed by Studio Sam Buckley for cc-tapis; one of forty ‘new products for the hybrid home’ exhibited in ‘The Future of Home’ as part of LDF’s Brompton Design District located near the V&A museum. Edinburgh’s Local Heroes curated work by fifteen Scotland-based designers for the exhibition to demonstrate how innovative products can meet ‘the hybrid needs of flexible working’. Buckley’s freshly original rug design has diverse influences that seem to range from the lozenge ‘fingers’ and hemispheres of Darmstadt’s famed ‘wedding tower’ of 1908 to Verner Panton’s 1969 colour-rich environment for Spiegel Publishing that included a carpet woven by Vorwerk & Co for the staff canteen. Buckley’s colour saturated Glasgow flat features not only his cc-tapis rug, but a sunflower yellow Panton pendant light hanging from a pink ceiling. At the more nuanced end of the colour spectrum, ‘The Future of Home’ includes new work by Orkney-based Hilary Grant whose St Ives woven tapestry is inspired by ‘the layered use of colour and shape characteristic’ of the famous mid-20th century St Ives School of artists in Cornwall.
Founded in 1988, Christopher Farr translates the vision of creatives and artists into hand-knotted rugs. To celebrate their recent collaboration with Matthew Hilton, a Christopher Farr x LDF event takes place on 23rd September (free tickets still available here) with Matthew Hilton in conversation with David Nicholls of House & Garden discussing his new rug collection for Christopher Farr and the thirtieth anniversary of his Balzac chair. Also new to Christopher Farr is their participation in the reckoning that restores under appreciated women artists and creatives to their rightful place in design history. Michal Silver of Christopher Farr collaborated with the estate of abstract artist Sandra Blow (1925-2006) to translate Blow’s artwork into two rugs including the custom order hand-knotted wool and mohair Three Squares rug and a limited edition hand tufted design.
Not far from ‘The Future of Home’ exhibition is the Tai Ping showroom where the company reveals its new hand-tufted rug collection Transcendent by Jamy Yang of Yang Design, Shanghai. ‘Evoking science, art and physics’, the designs reflect layered, multi-dimensional worlds inspired by ‘the Theory of Relativity and hyperspace’. The designer paired his esoteric influence with a more prosaic interest in the rug-making process he witnessed at Tai Ping’s Xiamen workshop. These influences entwine to become rug designs that are spirited and spiritual. Names include Vortex, Vapour, Forge and Iconic while patterns resemble magnifications of banded geologic rock formations and the visual beauty of fluid dynamics.
FLOOR_STORY x Henry Holland
Disco-era dance floor anthem I Feel Love by Donna Summer was covered to acclaim by Sam Smith in 2019, and it’s now the title chosen by Henry Holland for his collection of rugs for London-based FLOOR_STORY. ‘Inspired by 80s and 90s rave culture’ Holland’s inaugural rug colours avoid rave era neons and instead settle on shades that don’t burn the retina. Designs include psychedelic ‘melting’ swirls of stripes and that mainstay of acid house culture: the smiley face. The collection is hand-knotted and available in custom sizes and colours so you can get your rave on with era-defining brights if you fancy.
Designers from the three Baltic nations—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania—feature in Tactile Baltics. The sea, landscape, flora and fauna of the region inform the designs of established and new designers who include rug and textile designers Audronė Drungilaitė for EMKO, Agne Kucerenkaite, Annike Laigo, Alvida Klinge and Kärt Ojavee.