The Best of International Product Design Trends for 2016 from the London Design Festival

Words can't quite describe the euphoria and excitement experienced at the London Design Festival! That sensation of being kid in a candy store is teamed with immense inspiration and followed by an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to be part of this incredible industry.

Celebrating its 13th year at venues across the capital, the festival showcases the best creative talents with a smorgasbord of events and exhibitions. More than 350 events to choose from, I scoured six trade shows leading the way in cutting edge design and innovation. 

Decorex, 100% Design, Tent London, Matter of Stuff and Design Junction presented the latest design trends from around England and Europe. I have hand-picked my top 20 to bring to you best of the fest. 

(Click on the images below for direct links to each companies website).

1. Kaleido Splatt by TIMOROUS BEASTIES 
Timorous Beasties has defined an iconoclastic style of design once described as “William Morris on acid. Noted for their surreal and provocative textiles and wallpapers, their expressive designs translate into bold, colourful, signature furnishings that can vividly redefine the identity of interiors. 

2. Brogue Collection and Stud Collection by BETHAN GREY 
The beauty of natural coloured leather paired with and warm brushed brass and tactile textures create this stunning range of luxurious occasional tables. Available in a colour palette to die for thee tables are a must-have.

3. Verreum Reverso by SACHA WALCKHOFF
This collection of dual-purpose, mouth-blown silvered table accessories can be used as a glass or a vase. Designed to be played with, this super fun glassware can be turned upside down so that a vase can become a lantern when it’s not filled with flowers. A champagne flute becomes a tumbler, while the white wine glass turns into a coffee cup when turned on its head! 

4. Renaissnce by MINEHART
The Renaissance cowhide rug is unlike any cowhide you have ever seen, it's from a very exotic breed of beast that lives in the fantasy world of designers Young & Battaglia. The piece features a background image created by artist Himitsuhana, hand cut out in a special rubber backed fabric. A fusion between art and utility, this rug will add a beautifully surreal touch to any interior!

5. Silhouette Chair by David LINLEY
This chair is nothing short of mind-blowing! It’s crafted from a single copper panel which has been individually hand rolled and hammered. An age-old technique used by coach builders in the restoration of classic cars, enables the craftsman to form compound curves from a single flat sheet. Finished with a luxuriously soft aniline leather, the design ensures that the shell fits seamlessly with the form of a human body.

6. GLÜCK pendant light by NAOMI PAUL in Deepsea Blue & Putty
Part of the OMI pendant collection, GLÜCK is a handcrafted minimal flat pack pendant that is hand-made using traditional crochet techniques. The beautiful, natural soft texture of this product makes it timeless, playful and quietly opulent. 

Image by Nick Rochowski Photography

7. Tablerunners for GESTALTEN by ELISA STROZYK
I am so mesmerized by Eliz’a collection of products that I just had to include two! (Although I think all of them are noteworthy). Her wooden plaid table-runners with fading colour patterns are flexible giving them the ability to be formed into different three-dimensional shapes!

8. Woven Pendant for Gustav van Treeck Studios by ELISA STROZYK
Elisa's Woven Pendants push the limits of glass technology. The lights are made of circular brass frames inset with two parallel layers of interwoven glass panes, which surround the light bulb, allowing glimmers of light to pass through. The interlaced pattern distorts the material's transparency, creating radiant optical effects. 

9. Bubbles by Corinne van Havre of LaLouL
These magnificent glass-blown Bubbles are by Antwerp based designer Corinne van Havre. Designed to take on the appearance of an over-sized necklace, the bubbles are embedded in a chain of high quality polished Italian brass. Wall Jewellery at it's best! Consisting of 5 bubble filled glass orbs they make a beautiful statement piece!

10. Decorative Books by TROWBRIDGE GALLERY
Trowbridge’s designer beautifully re-bound, hand decorated vintage books are embellished with gold and silver leaf. They make fabulous accent pieces to brighten book cases, coffee tables and bedsides.

11. Balustrade Vases by Simon Moore for VESSEL GALLERY
These large hand-blown glass vases are by Simon Moore who has been making and designing glass for over 30 years. They have a special “battuto” surface cut finish which imitates the ‘distressed’ effect of hammered metal. Rather than just describing a technique for working glass “battuto” signifies a way of being, a way of breathing, and expresses the beat of life. Now that is pretty special!

12. Eclipse Artwork by Holly Allen Cooper of WHITEBEAM STUDIOS 
Simply elegant, beautiful and affordable, the Eclipse series of art works are hand-painted in pure pigment, with ground charcoal and silt from the East River New York and the River Thames. This unique medium adds a raw sometimes grainy texture in contrast to the clarity of the colour, giving the artworks an almost 3-dimensional quality. 

13. Douli Chair by BLUE SHANGHAI WHITE
This bamboo hat-shaped, traditional porcelain seat with curved legs made from Elm makes up the classic Douli chair. The bowl shape (called Woyi meaning ‘Vortex’) follows the design philosophy of “traditional modern life”. I love this chair for it sculptural quality, it’s a fantastic statement piece and is actually quite comfy too!

14. Knit by CURVER in collaboration with Franklin Till 
The knitted look is back and it’s here to stay! KNIT by Curver is a unique collection of stools, tables, baskets, poofs and planters which utilise a method of deep-texture injection to apply a 3D knitted look to plastic in a gorgeous palette of colours. 

15. Occasional Tables by Danuta Włodarska of TWO OR THREEE THINGS.
This amazing collection of tables are inspired by a cup of coffee! The top is made of veneer panels of Siberian poplar which has gentle wood grain pattern. The light colour veneer top and complementary delicate pastel coloured base, endow these tables with qualities of mildness and incredible warmth, just like the perfect latte!

16. String Shelving System by NILS STRINNING
String Shelving is the original Swedish shelving system designed by Nils Strinning in 1949. Still retaining its distinct Scandinavian style, the original system has now been developed and enhanced to include a number of variations. I love String because it can be built in an infinite number of ways and will never look quite the same as anyone else’s!

Polish artist and designer Alicja Patanowska been rescuing discarded beer glasses from the streets of London and giving them new purpose as planters! The project began from her need to find a symbolic use for things which have been abandoned. As such, she has created a collection of hand-thrown ceramic plant pots that fit inside old glasses so both stem and roots can be seen. The result is a gorgeous visual statement of ceramic, glass, and greenery.

18. Dolomite LED Wallpaper by MEYSTYLE
After 10 years of working with pattern and wallpaper, sisters Maria and Ekaterina Yaschuk went a step further to create a radical new concept that turns walls into light structures! LEDs are integrated into the wallpaper, allowing it to be used just like any traditional wall-covering – but with the added requirement of an electrical socket or switch. Together with the Trompe L’oeil design the 2D wallpaper gives the illusion of being 3 dimensional.

19. TABLEAIR by Lukas Lukosevicius
Humans weren’t built to sit a desk for 8+ hours a day, most of us don’t even sleep for that long! A study shows that sitting for periods of longer than 3 hours can decrease a man’s life expectancy by 20% and 40% for women! The TableAir is a height adjustable work desk that gives you the option to stand or sit and uses a sensor to detect the height of an outstretched hand. It then moves the desk surface up to match it. It can be paired with a smart-phone to automate a schedule for time spent sitting and standing, plus it has super cool colour-changing side panels!

20. Pool Table by FUSION TABLES
We all love the idea of having a pool table in the house, however, many of us face a common issue of not having sufficient space. These super sleek Fusion Tables provide the perfect solution, combining that pool table you’ve always wanted along with the dining table you have always needed! The contemporary table features a multi-piece removable top that allows the dining table to be converted to a full-sized billiards table in 60 seconds, and uses an invisible pocket technology, so your guests will be none the wiser. What a fab party trick! 

The best news is that all of these products can be ordered via each of the companies websites and shipped to Australia!

Happy 2016!

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