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London Design Festival 2012: Vibrant Furnishings

Creative takes on color brighten up Blighty

by Karen Day in Design on 21 September 2012

The London Design Festival is in full color this year, slapping Blighty's austere environment with an array of vibrant furnishings. The creative takes on color found around the numerous festival locations speak out against the ubiquity of wooden wares, showing how sustainably-minded design doesn't always have to point back to nature. Here are seven examples that prove recycling can be elegant, renewable timber, handsome and handicraft, sleek.

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Redesign&Rebirth Chairs

Redesign&Rebirth chairs mark a vibrant collaboration between graphic designer and book artist Qiongjie Yu and print and textiles designer Siwen Huang, who recruited skilled bamboo artisans Daqing Huang and Zhiming Dong in Anji, China, to reinvent customary steel chairs in contemporary patterns. The collection is a reflection of the duo's dedication to fuse modern design with traditional handicraft.
On view at Tent London

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Recycled Sari Cushion

New from the altruistic team behind Finnish studio Tikau is a series of recycled sari goods. Each colorful cushion is woven by a group of women in the South Indian state of Karnataka who are part of a work program that provides them with "a better income, social status and empowerment."
On view at Be Open Space at The Dock by Tom Dixon

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Sand Series

Kueng Caputo's "Sand Series" is the upshot of limited resources and clever thinking. The Zurich-based duo spent a month in Jaipur in 2011, where they began experimenting with one of the only appliances in the studio—a microwave. They bought brightly colored pigments at one of the local markets, mixed in some wax and sand and began baking it all in the microwave. The resulting sand objects reflect Jaipur, but would work well in any environment since they can resist all types of weather.
On view at Wonder Cabinets of Europe at the Brompton Design District

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Hunter Sideboard

A prototype from London-based, Oslo-born designer Oscar Narud, Hunter Sideboard is inspired by traditional Norwegian architecture. The stained beech and birch plywood doors are installed on an angle, so when you slide them all the way to the left the doors fall flush with the side of the credenza but present functionally beautiful grooves along the bottom when shut.
On view at 100% Norway at Dray Walk Gallery

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Tea For One

A novel take on the classic TV dinner table, Tea For One is an ideal piece for any single urbanite. Designed for high tea, DesignK's small handcrafted solid ash table features a built-in dish and colorful waxed string woven around the legs to match your tea-time setting.
On view at Tent London

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Window Chair

Hwa Sung Yoo, director of Stockholm-based outfit Mars, created the ultimate "Window Chair" by simply removing the back of the furniture to let the light shine through. The neatly crocheted back and wide seating area gainfully allow the sitter to rest comfortably for an extended period of time while also using less resources.
On view at Tent London

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Re-Imagined Chairs

London-based designer Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama tapped artist and fashion designer David Saunders of David David to created boldly patterned textiles for her new series of bespoke furniture, dubbed Re-Imagined as a token of Tolstrup's interests in re-using the often overlooked or unloved.
On view at the newly opened 19 Greek Street Gallery House

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