Adam Nathaniel Furman creates sequence of tiled archways in London

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Adam Nathaniel Furman creates sequence of tiled archways at London Design Festival

Designer Adam Nathaniel Furman explains how his Gateways installation for London Design Festival showcased the history of Turkish ceramic tiles, in this movie filmed by Dezeen for Turkishceramics.

Gateways installation by Adam Nathanial Firman

Furman's Gateways installation consisted of four four-metre-high tiled structures leading up to the designjunction trade show at Granary Square, London, during London Design Festival last month.

Each side of the gateway structures featured a different kind of ceramic tile produced by a range of brands represented by Turkishceramics, an organisation that promotes the Turkish ceramic industry around the world.

Gateways installation by Adam Nathanial Firman

"Turkishceramics asked me to design something that would represent the history of Turkish ceramics, which goes back thousands of years," Furman says in the movie.

"I've created four ceramic gateways and each of them speaks of a different period of ceramics history."

Gateways installation by Adam Nathanial Firman

The first gate featured decorative hand-painted tiles by the Iznik Foundation, which are traditionally used on mosques.

"The first one is the classical gate," Furman says. "It’s using the traditional Islamic motif of paradise, so it's the scenes of God’s creation."

Gateways installation by Adam Nathanial Firman

The second gate featured contemporary flooring tiles designed to look like wood or stone, while the third structure was covered in colourful square tiles arranged to create patterns that evoke the tiling used inside London Underground stations in the 1970s.

"The retro gate is using a hard, durable product, which is normally used for public swimming pools, but it's revisiting the 70s aesthetic of Tube stations," Furman explains.

Gateways installation by Adam Nathanial Firman

The final gate featured monochrome, rectangular, bevelled metro tiles, which have seen a resurgence in popularity in bars and cafes over recent years.

"It’s celebrating the reuse of black and white, clean ceramic tiles at the moment in the United Kingdom and America," Furman explains. "You see these tiles in quite a lot of hipster places."

Gateways installation by Adam Nathanial Firman
Furman's Gateways installation for Turkishceramics was on show at Granary Square in London during London Design Festival 2017

Turkishceramics president Bahadir Kayan says the aim of the installation was to showcase the versatility of ceramic products produced by Turkish companies.

"We would like to show the huge variety of qualities of Turkish ceramics, which allows architects and designers to be very creative when it comes to putting different installations together," he says.

Gateways installation by Adam Nathanial Firman

For Furman, the installation was an opportunity to show how tiles can be used on an architectural scale.

"Some people think of tiles as being something only suitable for bathroom floors or your kitchen backsplash, but actually they have a fantastic tradition of being used in really monumental ways on buildings as exterior facades and also on interiors," he says.

"I wanted to take standard products and using those without a lot of bespoke layouts or cutting, create really exciting, generous effects over large areas."

Gateways installation by Adam Nathanial Firman

This movie was filmed by Dezeen in London for Turkishceramics. Photography is by Hufton + Crow.