London Design Festival 2016

London Design Festival 2016: Monday


20 September 2016

Pleats, sand casts, jacquard and knits – the Disegno team examines a number of London Design Festival (LDF) projects that gesture towards interdisciplinary practice.

The concurrence of LDF with London Fashion Week has presented an opportunity for a number of projects exploring the interstices of fashion, architecture and design. At the London boutique of Japanese fashion label Yohji Yamamoto, artist Pietro Seminelli - who also trained as an architect - has created a series of six pleated forms that explore the concept of a defensive, armour-like second skin. The six forms are created out of pleated linen and paper and hang in custom-made wooden frames positioned throughout the showroom.

Elsewhere, Burberry launched its first see-now, buy-now collection at a presentation staged in the former Foyles bookshop in Soho, London. The catwalk was followed by the opening of Makers House, a temporary pop-up space that will house a week-long programme of events in collaboration with The New Craftsmen, a London-based shop and online store that specialises in British craft. The programme is dedicated to live demonstrations – sculpting, sand casting, military embellishment and patchworking are just some of the crafts on display – and is designed to “bring the [Burberry] collection’s inspiration to life.” Makers House is open to the public and will display the Burberry collection on the top floor while the live events will take place a floor below.

Further evidence of an interdisciplinary approach was on display in Pilotis, an installation created by Doshi Levien to mark the launch of four new textiles for Kvadrat: Rocket, Fiction, Utopia and Lake. The pilotis within the installation (columns that raise a building above the ground) are formed from draped sheets of the fabric and succeed in evoking the work of Le Corbusier – an inspiration for the collection – on multiple levels. Pilotis were a major part of Le Corbusier’s architecture, yet Doshi Levien’s take on the column also evokes the sinuous, fluid forms present in his tapestries.

The Pilotis installation is a platform for exhibiting the drapery of Doshi Levien’s textiles and proves an able showcase for their material qualities: the technical knit of Rocket that acts as a mesh to allow for layering of textiles; the iridescent twill of Lake; the complex patterning of the Utopia jacquard that recalls building materials; and the depth of colour present in Fiction. The Pilotis fabrics are intended to be used as architectural elements, continuing Doshi Levien’s ongoing exploration of space-creation, but they also act as a compelling primer for anyone interested in Le Corbusier’s practice – in their colour and subtlety of form, the Pilotis textiles provide a compelling counter to the temptation to view Corbusier’s architecture as straightforwardly mechanistic or coldly modernist.