Hands On Design brought to life

Hands On: Design Brought to Life by studioXAG

London Design Festival 2010: this cardboard interior by London designers StudioXAG has giant hands suspended above it and houses products by University of Arts London graduates.

Hands On Design brought to life

Hands On: Design Brought to Life is an exhibition curated by StudioXAG that sits behind the glazed street front of the new Arts Gallery in Holborn.

Hands On Design brought to life

The interior is designed to look like a tea party in the drawing room of a scaled-up dolls house and will be open until 29 October 2010.

Hands On Design brought to life

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Hands On Design brought to life

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Hands On: Design Brought to Life

studioXAG invite you to step into their parlour

An idyllic Edwardian parlour is transplanted into a twenty-first century gallery space and opened up to the street, exposing the enchanting interior to the passing crowds. This London Design Festival, studioXAG and University of the Arts London invite you to step in to the new Arts Gallery, remodelled as a fantastical shoebox house. The doors open on 16 September.

A childhood daydream comes to life as studioXAG create an eccentric doll’s house drawing room scaled up to adult size. The plate glass wall of the gallery reveals a design aficionado’s tea party, replete with the quirkiest new design objects. Accept the genteel invitation to this private party and the spectator unwittingly becomes a player in this fanciful domestic scene.

Inside this topsy-turvy setting Hektor Mamet’s disobedient Leaning Chair reclines casually against the wall, refuting its practical purpose, while David Clarke’s impish Gore Blimey spoons appear to be literally stirring up mischief. Witty Drip Teas & Lip Tease teacups by Reiko Kaneko lure you in with the promise of refreshment before revealing their 24 carat gold shadows of lipstick and tea drips, hinting at previous users.

Unsettling the nostalgic delight of the scene, a giant pair of hands hang pendulously above the room, a very fitting motif for an exhibition in which handcraft is the star of the show. studioXAG use craft materials to meticulously replicate the interior architecture, from the traditional fireplace and floorboards, to sash windows complete with shutters. The fittings play with scale and materials to surreal effect.

Speaking about their ambitions for the work, studioXAG reveal “Personal nostalgia for a youth spent making things led us to re-imagine a small scene in a shoebox. Scaling this up to human size allows us to utilise an eccentric selection of furniture and products to enhance the playful mood, with elegant trompe l'oeil tableware nodding to the tea drinking sensibility.”

Hands On is created entirely with imaginative products designed by University of the Arts London graduates. Limited edition prints and featured design products will be available to purchase exclusively from the Arts Gallery. Hands On designers include: Reiko Kaneko, Cemel Otek, David Clarke, Julie Spurgeon, Robert Dawson, Laura Plant, Debbie Lawson, Hektor Mamet, Christian Newton, Joe Ferrari, Sung Kug Kim, Elisa Strosyk, Anna Sudbina and Bodo Sperlein.

Multidisciplinary design team studioXAG was established by Central Saint Martins graduates Xavier Sheriff and Gemma Ruse in 2009. Offering expertise in consultancy, art direction, illustration and prop production, their client list includes Odille, Bertie and Diesel, Oasis, Whistles and Agent Provocateur.

Hands On forms part of University of the Arts London’s programme of events and exhibitions for London Design Festival 2010. This will be the first exhibition at the Arts Gallery in Holborn, since moving from University of the Arts London’s headquarters site in the West End where the original gallery played host to hundreds of artists including Peter Doig, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas, Chris Ofili, Peter Blake, John Keane, Poppy de Villeneuve, Annie Kevans, Tom Hunter and Martin Creed, alongside legions of emerging artists fresh from University of the Arts London’s art colleges.

16 September – 29 October 2010
Arts Gallery, University of the Arts London,
272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY
Monday – Friday 11am – 6pm

See also:


All our stories about the London Design Festival 2010
Dezeen’s top ten:
cardboard projects
Flatform 322 by
Horrocks and Aus
All our stories about the London Design Festival 2010