London Design Festival: a new gallery showcasing socially responsible design has opened in Soho and its inaugural collection features furniture from Brazil curated by US specialists Espasso plus pieces by designers including Studiomama and Australian collective Supercyclers.
Montage occupies the top floor of the Victorian townhouse alongside an exhibition space for Supercyclers, a collective of designers who seek to reuse waste materials in their work.
Above: chairs and cabinet by Studiomama
Above: chairs by Studiomama and David David
The third floor gallery contains furniture from a number of international design studios, including pieces made from reclaimed pallets by Nina Tolstrup's Studiomama and cardboard furniture to be used after natural disasters by Parisian studio Nocc.
Above: Asturias Armchair by Carlos Motta
On the lower ground level is a screening room and an exhibition space featuring non-commercial works, including woven plastic chairs produced by former prisoners in Colombia for fashion house Marni.
Above: Oscar chair by Sergio Rodrigues
"A big focus will be on private events for press, architects and collectors," Péridis told Dezeen. "Since our furniture is very craft-driven, we will use these events to demonstrate how the furniture pieces are made."
Nina Tolstrup's Studiomama recently contributed a chair to the Stepney Green Design Collection curated by Dezeen. We also previously featured a Studiomama cabinet made from reclaimed wood currently showing at 19 Greek Street.
Here's some more information about the gallery:
New Design Gallery for Soho merges storytelling, craft and social responsibility
19 Greek Street is London’s hub for craft, excellence and socially responsible design. Established by Marc Péridis, designer and creative director of the design studio Montage, and opened to coincide with London Design Festival, this six-floor Victorian townhouse is a centre for distinctive design storytelling bringing together handpicked pieces from international design studios, as well as housing the UK outpost of Espasso, the much acclaimed US specialists in modernist and contemporary Brazilian design.
Fuelled by an innate sense of curiosity and exploration, Péridis’ extensive travels through the world’s design hubs of New York, Miami, São Paulo, Berlin, Milan, have set the tone for the space. Its inaugural collection showcases works by an international stable of established design talents alongside emerging newcomers.
19 Greek Street features both commercial and non-commercial pieces in exhibition and showroom environments, while also featuring a screening/lecture room and a workshop space where guests can engage with the process: the work behind the work.
Péridis says of his decision to set up 19 Greek Street: “I am one of those people who plays with design like a child plays with his toys - with amazement and bewilderment, seeing an infinite potential in everything I find. This is design. So, for me, the idea was simple. I found a building that was looking for stories to tell, and I found stories that were dying to be told.”
At the heart of this new venture is Espasso’s dedicated two-floor area, featuring works by mid-century modernists Sergio Rodrigues and Jorge Szalzupin, as well as contemporary designers such as Etel Carmona, Arthur Casas and Carlos Motta all showcasing the comfort, sensuality and lasting appeal of Brazilian design.
Carlos Junqueira, founder of Espasso, says of the launch at 19 Greek Street: ‘We are excited to open a London showroom, which allows us the opportunity to show our collection to a broader audience, as well as more convenient access to the works of our designers for our existing clientele based abroad. Collaborating with 19 Greek Street is a natural fit for us, and we look forward to bringing the best of Brazilian design, past and present, to London.’
Third Floor Showroom
19 Greek Street presents commercial works from a range of international design studios all with a socially responsible slant:
The Pallet Project by Danish London-based designer Nina Tolstrup is an egalitarian design that constructs furniture from the reclaimed wood of unused pallets. An organisation has now been set-up by Tolstrup in Lugano, Buenos Aires to help the locals emerge from this poverty stricken area through design training and development.
Winners of the OneHundredDays competition for sustainable design, Amsterdam’s design duo, Social- Unit, introduce the hotel version of their bed unit produced from recycled waste plastic, and used in homeless shelters across the country.
Parisian studio Nocc present their HM Darwin furniture range, which can be printed from cardboard through a common template and assembled anywhere in the world to provide emergency furniture relief for homeless survivors of natural disasters. 19 Greek street highlights the sustainable “pop-up friendly” nature of these cardboard constructions in a completely new context.
The top floor design studio/workshop allows users to engage with the design processes of highly crafted pieces from the Australian collective supercyclers.
The A-joint by Henry Wilson is an intuitive and utilitarian joinery system constructed to connect a variety of standardised timbers permitting users to create their own pieces from work-stands, to tables, plinths, stools and shop fit-outs fixtures.
Tamara Maynes, the undisputed queen of craft, launches an iPhone app by which the template to her famous quilt light can be downloaded and users can create their own edition of the piece using recycled cardboard. With several book titles and over 100 projects published in print and online, she democratises design so that others can take advantage of her skill and enjoy the process themselves.
Blakeborough + king launch their stackable coffee shop chair made entirely of recycled coffee bags from Colombia.
Lower Ground Gallery
The lower-ground level is an exhibition space and screening room featuring a series of non-commercial works, each contributing to the contemporary design conversation.
A few pieces from Marni’s range of 100 brightly coloured woven plastic chairs created by ex-prisoners in Colombia are featured here as well as the Chair Farm project: the brainchild of Berlin’s Studio Aisslinger demonstrating a harvesting process by which design can be “grown locally” and exported globally.
Also harnessing nature in the production process, German designer Markus Kayser uses the abundant and untapped supplies of the sun and sand of the Saharan desert to fabricate glass objects through a solar powered 3D printing device.
Montage also uses this space to feature its very first collection of wallpapers and patterns printed on cardboard furniture in collaboration with Nocc.