Monday, 29 November 2010

Lean in Nord Architecture's Shingle House

On the shingle beaches of Dungeness, young firm Nord Architecture showcase the latest commission by Living Architecture - the Shingle House. The second completed home for Living Architecture series, the project aims to produce a number of rentable holiday homes around the UK, all designed by established and emerging architect talent.

We at Relay particularly like the Shingle House, not only for it contemporary structure, but also its stylish interior - including the Lean floor and wall lights by Orsjo.

The house sleeps eight and is available to rent now.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Örsjö's first UK design show

Örsjö Belysning is proud to announce their participation in ‘The Sleep Event 2010’ as their first UK Design Fair.

With over 60 years experience providing unique lighting solutions for a host of different environments, Swedish lighting company Örsjö presents the UK market with an exciting and broad range of innovative products. Örsjö will present a selection from their extensive collection to the UK Hotel market, including Aria by Claesson Koivisto Rune (below) and Pin by Matti Klenell.

Come visit us on stand G21 at Sleep Event 2010
24-25 November at Islington Business Design Centre, London

Are you being served?

With the trend for pop-up shops on the increase few have done it with such style and panache as Studio Voltaire as they launched House of Voltaire this month in Mayfair.

Nestled upstairs at Rupert Sanderson's west-end showroom, this artist-led venture is selling a diverse selection of limited editions and original pieces by leading contemporary artists and designers including Martino Gamper, Gary Webb and Richard Nicoll.

With an interior designed by 6A and exhibition graphics by Apfel the House of Voltaire brings a boutique glamour to Christmas shopping. On our Christmas wish list are Matthew Darbyshire and Grace Spooner's dip-dye bags, dog bowls by Donald Urquhart and some very nice bird boxes by artists Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan (all below).

All proceeds go toward funding Studio Voltaire's programme of exhibitions and events in their south London gallery space. If you around today do pop around and see design critic Alice Rawsthorn take over shop keeping duties. Other guest shopkeepers include Betty Jackson, Emily King and Julie Verhoeven.

Open Monday - Sunday 12-6pm
11 November – 4 December 2010
Upstairs at Rupert Sanderson
19 Bruton Place, Mayfair W1, London

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Relay on Facebook

Relay Design Agency is now on Facebook.

We seem to take a lot of photos on our travels, but until now haven't really done a lot with the photos, so we though we would start a Facebook page as an easy and convenient way to keep everyone updated. So, as well as our website, newsletter, this (rather fetching) blog and our Twitter feed, you can also keep tabs on us on our Facebook page here. Isn't technology great?

Don't forget to "Like" us!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Interieur 2010, Kortrijk and Orgatec 2010, Kӧln

Design shows are like buses - you're almost guaranteed that two come along at once. Every second year the Belgian town of Kortrijk is host to Interieur and as soon as that closes its doors everyone decamps to Cologne for Orgatec, the largest office show on the block. It is a major commitment for any manufacturer who decides to show in both locations.

Let's start at the beginning with Interieur - an accessible and sophisticated show. Generous stands, wide aisles and 6 halls meant it was easy to see everything in a day without being completely worn out. Stand designs were imaginative and ample space was given to young designers within the main show. The focus was firmly on Belgian and Dutch design, but the big Italian brands like Moroso also had a presence.

Overall, the trend seemed to follow Milan - muted backgrounds with splashes of vibrant colour, however this time the colour had the volume turned down slightly. Milan's acid yellow and fluorescent green became mustard and apple green.

Zeitraum launched Morph Kid, the latest addition to the incredibly successful Morph family. Scaled down and with bright felt seat cushions Morph Kid maintains the sleek design credentials of its big brother but adds a playful edge.

Below are some of our other highlights from Interieur. We have uploaded an album of images to our Facebook page here with a more detailed impression.

One week later and everyone was in Cologne, Germany for Orgatec - a mecca for anyone with every the remotest interest in office design. The industry giants like Vitra and Herman Miller had vast stadium-sized stands which certainly drew the crowds, but the smaller stands proved to be just as (if not more) interesting.

We spent a couple of days with Buzzispace on their first ever Orgatec stand and the reaction to the collection was amazing. Having previewed the new Buzzibooth and Buzzihood products at 100% Design in September, we thought we knew what to expect but with people from as far afield as Canada and Australia getting excited about the range, it meant we were run off our feet. Just the way we like it!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

London Design Festival 2010

The London Design Festival has come around again. Each year it seems to get bigger and more diverse, but not diverse enough for Neville Brody who has launched the Anti-Design Festival to inspire creative thinking and risk-taking. Their manifesto is to "shift the focus from bums-on-seats to brain food". A commendable idea and we agree designers should be inspired and challenged, but should a design be criticised simply for being commercial? Shouldn't design be accessible to everyone? We'll watch the debate in action as the week progresses.

As we mentioned earlier, we will be keeping ourselves busy this week with a presence at the two premier shows of the Festival - 100% Design and The Tramshed, so we took the opportunity yesterday to do a whistle-stop tour of a fraction of the events on offer this year.

First up was the V&A - the festival hub and host to some impressive installations. Save some time to take the Hidden V&A iPod Tour, specially commissioned for the festival and lose yourself in some of the less visited spaces of this amazing (and free!) London resource.

Also at the V&A are installations by Michael Anastassiades (Kinetic Light in the Music Room), Stuart Haygarth (Framed on Staircase P leading to the Architecture Rooms) and Relay favourite Max Lamb whose Vermiculated Ashlar-Plaster Bench was still drying when we visited. All shown below.

While you're in the Brompton Design District, make sure you stop by mint for their Homework exhibition, below, and Italian brand Skitsch are hosting one of two Dezeen Watch Store pop-ups (the other will be our neighbour at The Tramshed - the temptation might prove too much).

Moving into central London we managed to get through the crowds gathered to see/protest against the Pope and saw Outrace in Trafalgar Square. The robots had gathered quite a crowd but no one seemed to know what they were doing. You can send your own message for the robots to write here.

Down on the South Bank, Paul Cocksedge's Drop, below, had also drawn a crowd and this time, people instinctively knew what to do.

Down the steps to Canteen was the installation of Thomas Heatherwick's Spun chair, below. Adults and children alike took great delight in spinning and spinning and spinning. It would seem the secret to lifting your mood is to take one of these for a spin.
We'll post more on the Festival when we can, but in the meantime you can download your official guide to the 200+ events here.

See you at 100% Design and/or The Tramshed.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


Its that time of the year again...the Royal College of Art Design Summer Show. Showcasing the best in art and design the RCA is always a great place to see new talent. Sadly the year of 2010 left us feeling slight underwhelmed. While previous years have left us giddy (see our previous blog Young Bright Things) maybe our expectations were just too high. There were, however, some stand out works including Hye-Yeon Park's digital and analogue clocks (below) which mix new and old technology with typographic flare.

Also worth pointing out was Krystian Kowalski's simple yet ingenious Stool Chair shown here in Ash wood

Good design was also to be found outside of the 'Design Product' department in 'Design Interaction', a course famed for taking a sidewards look at design problems. A standout project came courtesy of Oliver Goodhall and his 'Nuclear is Good' project, which seeks to readdress our distrust of nuclear power and promote its safe and sustainable credentials.

The New Décor & The Edges of the World

The Hayward Galleries summer blockbuster opened this week. The New Décor, 'an international survey of contemporary artists who incorporate elements of furniture or interior design in their works' took over the brutalist space on London's Southbank.
Including pink mirrored room dividers by Tom Burr (above), plus work by Gelitin, Mona Hatoum, Jim Lambie, Sarah Lucas, Tatiana Trouvé and Franz West, the show seeks to dismantle the borders between interior decoration and art. Familiar forms of furniture and lighting are reinvented by the artist to reflect on social, historical and psychological issues.

We particularly liked Angela Bulloch's 'Smoke Spheres' (below).
As well as the rollercoaster bed 'La Montana Rusa' by Los Carpinteros (below).

If that was not enough the Hayward has also treated us to a solo exhibition by Ernesto Neto - 'The Edges of the World'. Taking over the entire top floor and balconies Ernesto Neto has filled the space with his organic forms to create an immersive and sensory set of installations. Inviting an interactive relationship to his art Neto asks his audience to wander through the architectural space, to relax on cushions, to even take a dip in his swimming pool (made specifically for the Hayward balcony). If we had known we would have brought our swimming trunks.

Both 'The New Decor' and 'The Edges of the World' are on at the Hayward Gallery until the 5th September. For more of a taster, check out a Quicktime film of the construction of Ernesto Neto's balcony artworks below.

1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces

For the Small Spaces exhibition, the V&A Museum has invited 19 architects to use the venerable London institution as a test site. While all 19 proposals, themed around refuge and retreat can be viewed in the Architecture gallery, 7 have been constructed full-scale and are currently dotted around the V&A. The recurring difficulty with architecture shows is finding a way to make drawings, photos and models an engaging experience for the audience. The 7 structures on show at the V&A actively encourage participation. Climb, sit, relax, wander and contemplate. These bespoke structures use their small stature to shift the focus on to material, texture and form. Terunobu Fujimori's "Beetle's House" in the new Medieval & Renaissance Room is a wonderfully idiosyncratic work, a floating tree house, a space for discussion. Fujimori insists his buildings should look like nothing built since The Bronze Age. The timber frame is charred to instantly give it an aged look, while also strengthening the timbers. The interior is arranged to allow a group to sit and talk around a small stove.
The other Japanese-designed structure by Sou Fujimoto guards the entrance to the Architecture gallery and couldn't be more different to Fujimori's calm tree house. A starburst in perspex and cable ties, Fujimoto's "Inside/Outside Tree" in based on the idea of a void left by a tree, the ultimate shelter. As the project progressed through the 3D modelling stage, the form became more abstract and asks the question how can a void, a negative become a positive space?
Norwegian architects Rintala Eggertsson, have created a tower of books within a stairwell to connect the new V&A bookshop with the National Art Library which sits above it. 6,000 books sit with their spines facing inwards to create a clean facade and a bibliophiles fantasy on the inside. Cosy reading platforms at regular intervals create an intimate environment for reflection.
Studio Mumbai Architects have cast of a "guerilla home" from the streets of Mumbai, while Helen & Hard Architects have transported Norwegian ash trees from Stavanger, via a 3D modelling suite to create a playful climbing frame and of course there are others, but rather than spoil the fun, we recommend you check it out for yourself. As an added bonus, you can lose yourself in the V&A's enormous collection while you track down all 7 structures. Open daily until 30th August.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Relay ♥ RVW

Relay is proud to announce that we have been appointed as UK and Ireland Agents for the RVW collection. Young and passionate, we knew when we first met them at the Stockholm Fair earlier this year that they should be part of the Relay family.

RVW was founded by designers Johannes Herbertsson and Jonas Nordgren in 2009. Based in the city of Malmö in Skåne, the southernmost region of Sweden, RVW employ the talents of local craftspeople and some from across the bridge in Denmark. Their name is derived from the word “Review”, illustrating their design practise of looking at objects again in order to find new and better ways for them to be made and enjoyed.

Informed by their Scandinavian background, RVW represents consistency in creation, free from trends. Drawing on the wealth of knowledge, talent and skills of the region, they seek to create something new, something timeless. The small
Haijk flowerpot is the embodiment of this ideal – the glazed pot can be angled to follow the sun and each pine base is supplied with a small map showing where the tree was harvested and even which part of the tree was used.

With a well-rounded collection of products RVW are equally adept with small intimate design as well as more substantial works, like Mollis. Visually lightweight, this low-slung easy chair revels in its simplicity of form. The slender wooden seat is made from moulded veneer that curves around the body and is available in either stained or transparent lacquer finish, with upholstery in either fabric or leather. The chair sits upon a double cross steel leg frame, available in either powder coated or brushed finish. The Mollis is an easy chair that delivers comfort and elegance in equal measure.

Alog, a simple and fun modular shelving system, features a wall mounted modular block and easily detachable shelves that require no fittings. The nature of the design allows for various combinations and compositions of shelves (coloured or natural), allowing the user to create their own bespoke system. The design has strong roots in the language of grids and systems, functioning both as a shelving system and a visual wall display.

For more information visit our website