The Brompton Design District programme of temporary exhibits, curated by Jane Withers Studio, will be located within a vacant retail and office block a short distance from the V&A (197 - 205 Brompton Rd), owned by South Kensington Estates. The building includes street-level shops as well as first- and second-floor offices above (3 Yeoman's Row). Other exhibits will occupy spaces on Egerton Garden Mews, Cromwell Place Mews, Thurloe Place, and in the public realm.
A diverse range of engaging installations, workshops and talks will take place across the district, exploring new material innovations, waste as a resource, as well as studies into our attitude to sustainability and rethinking our throw-away society.
Brompton Design District 2018 Temporary Programme
Crafting Plastics!: Feel Free to Consume
Can ecological products be more seductive? How can the consumer be involved in the innovation and product creation? In the installation 'Feel Free to Consume', crafting plastics! studio presents the results of their research in a new generation of bioplastic material. From a material's birth to its decay, from limited edition to mass produced consumer goods, crafting plastics! studio explores new aesthetics and the limits of material, demonstrated in the production process in their dirty lab setup for Brompton. Thanks to their newly developed sustainable material NUATAN(tm) in collaboration with scientists from Slovak University of Technology, crafting plastics! studio challenges negative prejudice around biodegradable materials.
Fernando Laposse: Totomoxtle
Fernando Laposse will show developments of his Totomoxtle project, a new veneer material for interior surfaces and furniture that harnesses the brilliant spectrum of colour revealed in the husks of native Mexican corn. Besides creating a new sustainable material, the project raises awareness about the rapid loss of the original species of corn in today's globalised world. The project is creating local employment based on this new craft, but also regenerating traditional farming practices in Mexico, providing income for impoverished indigenous farmers and conserving biodiversity for future food security.
Can design and material innovation enable us to live and consume 'Guilt-free' without compromising our lifestyle choices? The Guilt-Free? space curated by FranklinTill will present a series of immersive and inspirational exhibits exploring if design and material innovation can satisfy our social and environmental conscience, and indeed enable us to live and consume 'Guilt-free'. As well as showcasing new commissioned work, the studio behind Radical Matter and Viewpoint magazine will be hosting design workshops and material salons aiming to provide inspiration and tools to help navigate the complex sustainable agenda and guide towards circular design approaches.
Michelle Lowe-Holder: The Urban Forager
'The Urban Forager' explores the material story of Nitrous Oxide canisters. Manufactured mostly in Taiwan and Hungary for making whipped cream, these shiny steel capsules containing laughing gas have made their way into club culture and now litter the streets of London creating a huge amount of waste that is currently not recycled. Having collected them for almost three years, Michelle Lowe-Holder presents a mixed media exhibition questioning waste, consumption and materiality. A sculptural installation, film documentary and collaborating photographers and designers present their own visual and design statements on this growing phenomenon across London and the UK.
Ma-tt-er: Why Materials Matter
A reading room will play host to the launch of materials research design studio
Ma-tt-er's newly published book 'Why Materials Matter'. Furniture, objects and a series of one-of-a-kind bookends by those who have been featured in the publication will captivate the space, which looks towards a future of responsibly-designed environments. Ma-tt-er has created a reciprocal exhibition which encourages lounging and learning, the conversations in their reading room will extend beyond those held by the surrounding material. The book features artists, designers, scientists and chefs, and shows materials through a cross-sector approach and the issues surrounding particular materials - economically, politically, society and environmentally.
#OneLess: Unlocking London's Refill Revolution through a Design Fellowship
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest challenges facing the ocean today. #OneLess will present the work of its Design Fellows, selected to develop and design innovative solutions to help ramp-up London's refill revolution and eliminate plastic bottled water.
Oparanze Collective: Spolia
Oparanze Collective, an interdisciplinary design co-operative based in Lagos, Nigeria, presents Spolia, a collection of furniture and objects inspired by notions of embodied energy. A practice popularized in ecclesiastical buildings, Spolia, or materials that previously were part of alternative structures, become intrinsic to the form and utility of their new states. In the words of Erwin Panofsky: "The future is invented out of the past." The exhibit interrogates existing normative concerns and aesthetic assumptions of African design. Furthermore, themes and discourses are explored, developed or indeed challenged via a series of events and talks held at the space.
Sigmar x OKOLO: Hotel Praha
London-based design gallery Sigmar and Czech creative collective OKOLO showcase original pieces from the emblematic Hotel Praha in Prague, an architectural symbol of late communist rule, which was demolished in 2014. The exhibition will explore the history, architecture, design and art of this masterpiece of socialist hospitality, alongside selected furniture pieces created for the interiors of the hotel and rescued from demolition. The project explores the value of craftsmanship and materials in creating enduring objects, but also the paradox that the extravagant luxury associated with a political elite led to the hotel's demise. http://sigmarlondon.com/ & http://www.okolo.cz/
Skipping Rocks Lab: Ohoo
Skipping Rocks Lab present Ohoo throughout the Brompton Design District from Wednesday to Sunday. Their trolley will have a street presence in and around the district, serving their 'edible water' and algae packaged cocktail bites, a material development intended to reduce single-use plastic and make packaging disappear. http://www.skippingrockslab.com/
Stitch by Stitch: From Rain to Loom
Stitch by Stitch creates handmade textiles made in India and Nepal, and is driven by sustainable practice and preserving the livelihoods of skilled artisans. 'From Rain to Loom' highlights the Khamir Kala Cotton Initiative, which is a reinterpretation of an old craft value chain reconfigured for the modern marketplace. Kala cotton is an ancient, genetically pure, drought resistant species, indigenous to the Kutch region of India, an area famed for its hand weaving. Rain-fed, it is resilient and resurgent in difficult land conditions. This contrasts with more common genetically modified widespread and imported species, which require intensive irrigation, synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.