London Design Festival 2014: Ace Hotel Shoreditch London is hosting Super Stimuli and the Extra-Ordinary Gallery, a series of installations including flower displays by Bethan Laura Wood, ceramics by Max Lamb and furniture by Martino Gamper (+ slideshow).
New biannual design magazine Modern Design Review invited four London-based designers – Fabien Cappello, Martino Gamper, Michael Marriott and Bethan Laura Wood – to install work in the public areas of the hotel for Super Stimuli.
"Rather than pretend we were walking into a black space we thought we would celebrate what is there already and exaggerate it in a playful way," said Laura Houseley, editor of Modern Design Review.
Alter is a series of floral and ceramic arrangements by Bethan Laura Wood. Inspired by altarpieces, harvest festivals and temple displays, the designer has adorned a runner board in the Ace Hotel restaurant, Hoi Polloi and a shelf in adjoining florist, That Flower Shop, with sprays of foliage in ceramic containers.
A bank of foliage planted in colourful plastic buckets and baskets that decorate the hotel steps completes Wood’s contribution to the exhibition.
Fabien Cappello has installed a pile of beanbags in assorted patterned fabrics that heap into a corner of the main hotel concourse. Soft Play is intended to provide contrast to the structured lobby furniture.
Michael Marriott responded to a request from Modern Design Review to provide a display area for the publication by issuing a special oak and black steel edition oak of his Croquet shelves featuring neon pink cross-braces.
A new wooden trestle table and bench named Trestle and Slalom provide a seating area beside the shelving, while the Sled cabinet provides storage. Marriott also presents prototypes for a table lamp and bowl made from old propane drums.
The Recto Verso chair by Martino Gamper is a take on the bentwood café chairs, a type of seating typically used in cafes.
The chairs take up residence in the hotel cafe for the duration of the exhibition and are accompanied by two Arnold Circus tables by the designer that feature a hexagonal wooden top on an asymmetric base.
In the hotel lobby, London Italian design studio Fabrica present the Extra-Ordinary Gallery – a cabinet of curiosities displaying products from the collection the brand launched in Milan earlier this year.
The designs, which also occupy the space behind the reception desk, form a collection of every day objects reinterpreted by young designers.
"These things are made special through attention to detail, and are reinterpreted with a broader potential - to become a little bit more than what they already are," said Fabrica.
The collection uses a monochrome palette and includes a set of marble dumbbells by French designer Charlotte Juillard, a wire-framed wall organiser by Federico Floriani and a marble and wire vase that reveals both the stem and the flower by Japanese designer Ryu Yamamoto.
A ceramic cake stand, by British designer Dean Brown, doubles as a fruit bowl when stood on its head. Dilemma is intended to make every day use of an item less frequently used, and to play on the dilemma of whether to eat healthily from the fruit bowl, or indulge from the cake plate.
"It's an extraordinary object. That's our mission," said Fabrica designer Federico Floriani.
Super Stimuli and the Extra-Ordinary Gallery installations run concurrently at Ace Hotel Shoreditch, London until 22 September.
Photography is by Peter Guenzel. Images Courtesy of Ace Hotel London.