Selection of Design Week events in December

Things to see this month include a Yinka Ilori pop-up store, a designer-made “non-traditional” Christmas tree display, and an introduction to design businesses emerging from RCA’s Creative Brands Accelerator.

Pop-up: Royal College of Art Introducing…

I Miller. Image credit: Martina Lang

A two-day pop-up features a range of 20 creative businesses established with support from the Royal College of Arts (RCA) Creative Brands Accelerator programme, which offers mentoring, business training and mentoring to RCA alumni.

Designs on display span homeware, fashion, jewelry, ceramics, and textiles, including those from Folium, an artist-run independent publishing platform, Farphoria, a zero-waste brand that creates jewelry from plants dipped in liquid porcelain and Official e-ternity, a digital fashion platform for trading virtual garments and NFTs.

The event will take place in the new Herzog de Meuron designed RCA building in Battersea.

Introducing… will take place on December 7 and 8 at Hangar Gallery, Studio Building, RCA Battersea, Howie Street, SW11 4AS.

Exhibition: Long live the Christmas Tree! Harewood House, Leeds

Yasemen Hussein’s tree. Photo credit Tom Arber

Eleven designers, artists, creative studios and makers have created ‘traditionally non-traditional’ Christmas trees for Harewood House in Leeds, drawing on its history, setting and setting.

Phoebe McElhatton has created a plaster installation drawing on Robert Adam’s design for the ceiling in the home’s former library; carnival costume designer Hughbon Condor has designed a large-scale tree inspired by winter festivals; Juli Bolaños-Durman has collaborated with the carpenter Jonny Taylor on a tree made from recycled wood and glass bottles from the surrounding area; Yasemen Hussein has designed a rotating copper and glass tree, which refracts light throughout the Music Room; and set designer Simon Costin has built a pagan-inspired tree using antlers and natural materials from around the state.

Meanwhile, composer and accordionist Martin Green with Opera North has created a “Christmas tree with sound.”

Long live the Christmas tree! It is at Harewood House, Leeds, LS17 9LG until 2nd January 2023, for more information and tickets visit the website.

Talk: Still Life at V&A Dundee Plastic Lab

Located in the V&A Dundee Plastics Lab, there is a talk by founders Aaron Ziggy and Will Jenkinson of Glasgow-based design workshop Still Life, which explores methods of making furniture and objects from recycled plastic and Scottish hardwood from local origin.

Still Life built their own plastic recycling machines using open source designs from Precious Plastic. In the talk, the pair will present their processes and techniques, starting with collecting plastic and progressing through sorting, designing, melting and finishing.

The molds used during the melting and forming and a variety of prototypes from different stages will be on hand to view, while Dundee-based designer and furniture maker Camilo Feuchter will conduct a question and answer session.

The talk is free and will take place from 1pm-2pm on 7 December at Plastic Lab, V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee DD1 4EZ.

Temporary Shop: Yinka Ilori

For her first pop-up, conceived during the pandemic, designer Yinka Ilori brings an immersive retail experience inspired by West African architecture to Club Row in East London. The store presents designs from her latest collections as well as new launches with products aimed at the whole family. Ilori’s British-Nigerian heritage and the local London landscape are referenced in her tableware and boldly colored textiles, while a selection of homewares and lifestyle items seek to encourage play.

Says the designer: “High Street plays such an important role in our communities, but in recent years we have experienced a steep decline with many independent businesses struggling. With this pop-up, I wanted to bring back retail and design a fun, engaging space that told a story. I want to start a conversation about the future of our stores, how we curate these spaces, and what experiences we can create to forge deeper, more meaningful connections.”

A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the homeless charity Shelter, in consideration of the increasing pressure of the cost of living crisis on families this Christmas.

The pop-up shop will be located at 9 Club Row, London E1 6JX until 3 January 2023.

Podcast: Emergency Design

Design curator Paola Antonelli and design critic Alice Rawsthorn have launched a podcast series “to explore the potential of design to help us build a better future”, following the publication of their book of the same title, published by Phaidon a early this year.

Launched on November 23, 2022, the podcast’s first guest is Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye. Speaking with Rawsthorn, he discusses the challenges of designing responsibly on “the vast, complex, and intensely eclectic continent of Africa,” tracing his practice from designing friends’ houses to culturally significant spaces, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC and current commissions the National Cathedral of Ghana and the Edo Museum of West African Art in Benin City.

The rest of the series, say Antonelli and Rawsthorn, will “introduce you to the inspiring and inventive designers whose success in tackling major challenges, from the climate emergency and the refugee crisis, to ensuring that new technologies affect us positively, not negatively, it gives us hope for the future.

Design Emergency is hosted by Acast and is available on Apple, Spotify, and other podcast platforms.

Header Image: Minelgaite Studios, RCA presentation.

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