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Maria Volokhova’s customized ceramic set certainly caught our eye. Her works consist of  updating unloved ceramic pieces by hand-printing new designs on their original motifs. The result is a jumbled, yet intriguing aesthetic.

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Designer Kim Sooji creates quirky bows from unloved ties. His project, ‘Re;born Tie’ is a gentlemen’s accessory that boasts a classic look with a twist.

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Consisting of Goldsmiths University graduates, JAILmake designs furniture pieces that interact with nature. Ideally for growing food and eating on it, the table ‘Plantable’ brings the outdoors in.

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Korean design sure made a splash at this year’s Designersblock. By recycling thousands of colorful matches, Sang Hee Hyun and Ju Ran Hwang put Korea on the ‘must-see’ design list. A graduate duo fresh from Sangmyung University, they created a pixelated seat that can be left to bio-degrade or be recycled.

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The ‘Plastic Girl’ chair by Yeo Na Ha, Hye Jeong and Min Kyung Lee is both recyclable and long lasting. Made from Poly methyl methacrylate (a.k.a. plexiglas or acrylic glass), this transparent seat looks like many chairs fused into one!


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Sujeong Lee and Gyeongran Oh, two recent graduates from Korean Yeungnam University, created ‘Slow Slew’. Inspired by traditional sliding doors, this lamp is made from Merbau wood and rice paper and allows users to regulate the LED light intensity by slowly moving it shades.

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Another project we enjoyed from the same university is Myeongseok Oh’s ‘Seecret’ bean bags. They are not filled with beans, but instead they are full of buckwheat and rice hulls!

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Mixing design with science inside Cambridge University’s labs can have magnificent outcomes. This ‘Moss Table’ by Dr. James Moultrie, Carlos Peralta and Alex Driver is a working example of an emerging technology called Bio photovoltaic (BPV). BPV uses the natural process of photosynthesis from living organisms to generate electrical energy.

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Balzari & Gilmour produce cozy and colorful clothes, lamps, hats and scarfs made from hand-made felted wool. Based in Italy, the couple uses cashmere, black wool from Orkney Islands’ sheep, nuno felt and soya for their fantastic creations.

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Made from pinewood and British knits, these low stools by Claire-Anne O’Brien are soft and have great tactile forms. Manufactured using lamb and sheep wool, they playfully mix hand and machine knit stitches to create wooly structures to sit on.


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Donna Walker’s recycled unloved lamps are hanging at Designersblock. With a concurrent exhibition being held at The Residence Gallery, the designer creates these fantastic skeleton-like lamps and other pieces by stripping the old fabric of retro luminaires.

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‘Finger Light’ is a game that allows you to create changing lights and patterns by pushing the dots. Designed by TaeKwang ParkJa, Yeong and JiHyen Kim, the cubic lamps are made from local (Korean) Mulberry trees and are inspired by traditional doors and window frames.

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Swedish designer Karin Auran Frankenstein creates curious furniture from all sorts of local and biodegradable materials. Working with sand, peat, straw, potato flour, chalk and even poo, his quirky designs surprise us with their rough and bizarre aesthetic.

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Also from the Nordic landscape comes Lies-Marie Hoffman’s ‘Homage to the Elm trees’. Using chunky tree trunks sourced from local, sick trees, the Swedish designer created a series of seats to rest upon and enjoy Stockholm’s fresh air.


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‘The Melonia Shoe’ project by Souzan Youssouf is the sculptural outcome of a self-sustained system. These fantastic high-heels are 3D printed using a factory’s organic waste.

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‘Spring Collection’ is a series of furniture pieces by Karl-Johan Hjerling, Susanne Von Ajkay and Therese Broberg. Exhibiting a curly plywood table at this year’s Designersblock, their creations are inspired by the limitations of common materials.

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Functioning as a space for design bidding and an exhibition at the same time, the warehouse had lots of recycled chairs, a patchwork table, and even a bidding table. The barter-auction will take place this Sunday the 25th, and visitors have been advised to place a bid on their favorite piece and to be imaginative, as monetary offers will not be accepted.

+ Designersblock

+ London Design Festival 2011

Photos © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat