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