At a time when we are experiencing an increased fluidity between our home and our workspace, a new exhibition by Edinburgh-based curatorial studio Local Heroes will showcase 40 new products for the hybrid home as part of the London Design Festival.
Marking five years since the first Local Heroes exhibition, Local Heroes’ director Stacey Hunter has worked with 20 designers from 15 Scottish design studios and brands to develop the special collection. The Future of Home exhibition responds to Brompton Design District’s theme ‘From here on…’ – set by Jane Withers Studio – and invites visitors to explore a snapshot of contemporary design from Scotland that reflects a reignited optimism and youthful exuberance. Situated just a stone’s throw from the V&A in a dedicated 140 square metre showroom at 6 – 7 Thurloe Place in South Kensington, The Future of Home will appeal to people who consider their interior environment to be a canvas for self-expression. Beautiful forms and nuanced colour palettes sit alongside brilliant invention and highly skilled processes such as intarsia and scagliola. One-of-a-kind lighting sculptures offer collectors a distinctive midpoint between decoration and practicality.
The showroom presents multiple viewpoints on form, material, and beauty; Instrmnt Applied Design’s armchair – a collaboration with independent furniture makers Hame – is an exercise in minimalism using wind-felled sycamore sourced from the Wemyss Estate on the East Coast of Scotland. This has been paired with stainless steel and salvaged linen. It contrasts beautifully with a monstera-plant inspired chandelier by Urpflanze rendered in brass and laser-cut green acrylic and a brutalist inspired mixed aggregate and pigmented cement console table by Nicholas Denney Studio.
Myatt–McCallum are blurring the relationship between interior and exterior with concrete furniture that flows joyfully into unique forms. Jeni Allison’s blankets play with and test the boundaries of digital and manual knitting processes, blending the master craftsmanship of intarsia with cutting edge 3D modelling in her Digital Drape series. James Rigler presents the Glasgow Triptych; a series of monumental, austere forms with a distinctive black-and-verdigris surface. They use the language of grandiose buildings, splicing this with humble object types: a shelf, a light, a table. Walac’s shelving system elevates the storage of books and treasured objects into The Art of Stacking. A new range of wallpaper from Bespoke Atelier continues the studio’s radical No Rules philosophy, where patterns have been intentionally designed not to repeat. Instead, all parts of the roll work together to form a seamless wallcovering.
The natural materials used by many Local Heroes designers are sourced in the UK such as Jeni Allison and Hilary Grant’s 100% lambswool blankets. Chalk Plaster’s gypsum-based Scagliola side tables have been created with wild pigments collected from the coastline of Fife with every location offering its own distinctive palette of colours and tones. Simon Harlow’s walnut, poplar and beech furniture demonstrate how a chair can be a dining chair, a lounge chair, an office chair – even a workstation in its own right, and a boldly graphic sculptural object. Hard linear engineering for longevity and strength goes together with handmade processes, as seen in Mirrl’s latest solid surface material Fossil. It was developed as a way to use the waste material from the production of the original eponymously named Mirrl surface. This is finely chopped and becomes the inclusions that gives the new material its unique fossil-like appearance – and which carry their own histories.
“This exhibition is a showcase of refreshingly original, bold design for people who see their homes as a canvas for self-expression. The showroom is also a survey of design research in practice. It brings together an international group of designers, artists and makers who all work and live in Scotland. New ideas are being tested and tried out – and cultural contradictions are welcome in this landscape which conveys the sense of curiosity and discovery found in Scotland’s dynamic design culture.
The past 18 months have obviously been very difficult and unpredictable so it’s been wonderful to see this group of designers rise to the challenge and respond to the remit of creating completely new pieces for our debut at the London Design Festival with verve and vigour. This is a muscular exhibition of new work that is confident and takes risks. It firmly establishes Scotland as a region of design excellence. Visitors will see expressive forms; innovations in production and thoughtfully articulated craft techniques combine to create a highly accessible collection that breaks new ground.”Curator and Local Heroes Director Dr. Stacey Hunter
A platform for critical discussion, dissemination and acquisition, The Future of Home is positioned towards buyers, collectors, and future collaborators. The showroom will host specially programmed elements throughout the festival including a preview of knitwear by Jeni Allison, designer and designer talks and a free (but ticketed) curatorial tour.
Local Heroes: The Future of Home 18th – 26th September (Industry View 23rd September) Brompton Design District 6 – 7 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, London SW7 2RX London Design Festival: londondesignfestival.com More info at: localheroes.design/ldf
Local Heroes Exhibitors
Jeni Allison @jeniallison_studio
Bespoke Atelier @bespokeatelier
Studio Sam Buckley @studiosambuckley
Chalk Plaster Design @chalkplaster
Nicholas Denney Studio @nicholasdenneystudio
Hilary Grant @hilarygrantknitwear
Simon Harlow @simon_harlow
Pavilion Pavilion @pavilionpavilion_
James Rigler @james_rigler