Queues of eager visitors, no-nonsense security, colour-coded wristbands and towering black hoarding might have had you thinking Designjunction was more of an exclusive nightclub than a London Design Festival destination. But once through its carefully guarded doors, the show's three storeys of shops, cafés and design fare proved a welcoming and lively mix with something to please all.
Lighting had its own dedicated hub this year, in the form of Lightjunction, with some eye-catching stands by International Studio, Northern Lighting and Czech brand Brokis. Cumulus, a glass lamp by Made in Ratio, had us interested in its unusual looks, Atelier Areti impressed with its sculptural art lights and Berlin-based Western Trash compelled us with its story of recycling restaurant bottles into designer lights. Foldability made a solid debut with origami-like pendants of varying sizes and forms. Bigger brands were also out in force, including Artemide, Vibia and Örsjö.
Furniture highlights came in the way of Another Country’s Series Three, a continuation of the Dorset brand’s contemporary craft ethos, reflecting a strong undercurrent of heritage and craft -led designs at this year's show. Modus and new online brand Jointed+Jointed were worth a look as well as Chilean brother-sister partnership the Andes House. Elsewhere, the entire ground floor of New Oxford Street’s former mail sorting office was dedicated to retail, widening the focus of the show towards consumers as well as trade. Patternity’s stall was the undoubted highlight here – this year the research studio teamed up with Richard Brendon on a collection of striped bone china.
Flash Factories were a feature of this year’s Designjunction too, with a demonstration of Grow CNC, the first portable CNC router system drawing visitors’attention. Throughout the five days, Grow CNC routed out furniture designed by Michael Sodeau and SmithMatthias from layers of birch ply.
For more information on this year's show, see www.thedesignjunction.co.uk