Dixon at The Dock

A very wet Thursday morning, and so no sunning myself on the outdoor patio overlooking the canal at The Dock , Ladbroke Grove - home to Tom Dixon's new shop and its associated 'creative hub'.

Beautiful wall tiles which line the entrance, formed from lava from Mount Etna (by made a mano), set the theme; materials, and the emotions they provoke. Reflective, matt, rough, smooth, subtly-coloured, discreetly-patterned. Expertly selected, a sensual experience.

Simon Hasan, who describes his ethos as 'collectiveness and craft in industrial design', is in residence in one of the adjoining workshops for the duration of the London Design Festival, showing people how he creates his leather vases. The wetting of the leather allows him to manipulate and mould them into beautiful sculptural forms. When complete, they are eerily akin to lumps of meat, displayed in a retro vending machine.

In an adjoining classical building is a room full of lamps made from a variety of materials, mydeco have devised a simple and highly effective display which makes us question the value of a product and guess its retail source, simply by looking at it. The lure of winning one of the lamps by voting for my favourite tickled my fancy. Plucked from its retail context, would you be able to tell which is the £15 lamp from BHS?

Finally, a product which meets an unglamorous, yet vital need. 'Mind Dice' is a 12-sided dice which is aimed at helping people with dementia to communicate with their carers. Currently at prototype stage, it's designed & developed by John Sprange, who came up with the idea while caring for his father, an Alzheimer's sufferer, through the last 6 years of his life. John is one of seven designers whose products feature in Metropolitan Works' canal side tent, winners of a competition which saw 50 designers develop product ideas.

As I was about to leave to space, I was drawn in by an intriguing installation. Two lovely girls, Sarah and Annette, have devised the idea for 'Supermarket Sarah', a funky new e-commerce format suited to designers and collectors of cult bits and pieces. A designer hangs their work on a wall, then photographs it. The real wall is then transformed an interactive wall, where users can scroll over the item they like... then click to buy. Simple. Cute. Effective.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post, Jo. For once, this is something cool that won't shut down after the design festival. Looking forward to visiting it myself after all the festival madness dies down.