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Design Inspiration We Are Taking From London Design Week 2023

The UK’s top designers are dispensing their wisdom for a better world, and we’re taking cues from these divine designs

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By Kimberley Schoeman  | September 19, 2023 | Design

Each year, design festivals and expos around the globe showcase the best designs that literally shape our world. This September, we are turning to the UK for their London Design Fair for wonderfully designed spaces, creative experiential moments, and inspiration for unlocking new design frontiers back on South African soil. We are also looking at how other designers are approaching the design of our cities and how we can enjoy the unique beauty that exists within metropolis.

Celebrate the Spirit of Place

While placing colourful cork sculptures in the middle of a world class city like London is a visceral experience, it speaks to a larger notion of celebrating the essence that a place has. The ‘Spirit of Place’ exhibition by Simone Brewster represents the cork forests unique to Portugal, which like many naturally-beautiful landscapes globally, present their own visual language. We’re learning to take the time to listen and observe our own local visual languages of the spaces we find ourselves in, whether out and about or curating our own unique spirits at home.

The ‘Spirit of Place’ exhibition by Simone Brewster at London Design Week is five large scale sculptural vessels made of cork. Image: Ed Reeve

The Psychological Impact of Colour

Colour can play an integral role in how we feel in a certain space. Colour choices can impact our psychological wellbeing, and how designers use colour across products and spaces can influence how to interact with the product. We are constantly surrounded by different hues of different colours, but the intentions behind colour choices can be much more intentional than setting a mood, creating a colour palette, or simply using your favourite colour. For example, colour has the power to increase your happiness hormone by virtue of what is tagged, “Dopamine Decor”, which is the act of surrounding yourself with bold colours and patterns, plus objects that bring you joy.

Installation image of ‘Hana Mikoshi’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Image: Petre Kelleher

Transform ordinary objects into extraordinary visual beacons

When we introduce a new object into our homes, we don’t always think about the notion of brining the unknown. An ordinary objects like a small vessel, souvenir, box, bottle, or pan has the ability to remap the layout of our inner worlds and the power to tell stories. At London Design Week, The installation by the Travel Things Museum, ‘ReMapping New Worlds with Everyday Objects' creates maps using everyday objects that showcases the remarkable story a single object can project. By virtue of mapping these objects, the imagination of pieces’ creators are on full display as the communicate with the adjacent object.

Beran Table Lamp by Bert Frank, part of Material Matteres at London Design Week 2023. Image: supplied