It may seem like centuries ago, but there was life before lockdown, and, at London Design Week 2020, the industry’s spirit of togetherness was never on better form. That sense of community ensures, despite physical distancing, so Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour asked some leading figures from the design world about their recollections of the show, as a way of keeping in touch with those memories, and one another.
“It would have to be our event with Edward Bulmer and McKinney & Co.” says Geoff Collier, managing director of Collier Webb. “Seeing our showroom full of people is exactly what we envisaged when we designed the space last year. It’s heartening to know that there is a real interest in the craft behind beautiful interior pieces and the importance of keeping these crafts alive.”
“My favourite memory was the talk that Dimonah Iksel gave,” says Sophia Salaman of The World of Interiors. “It was informative, descriptive and also an intimate group.”
“Taking part in one of the Conversations in Design with the fabulous Todhunter designers was the highlight for me,” says Mike Fisher, founder and creative director of Studio Indigo. “It was an honour to be asked and thrilling that the event was sold out. Sharing experiences both good and bad with fellow designers is an enormously useful tool and something we should all do more often.”
Original BTC’s Peter and Charlie Bowles were at the show to celebrate the ‘Hector’ light’s 30th birthday: the light was released in a limited-edition new look to mark the occasion. “We knew it was going to go down well but the response from people who have seen it in person has been fantastic,” says Charlie about the new product. Peter adds: “It was great to see such a good turnout of our existing customers but also many new customers too! The Design Centre is a fantastic place for interior designers and architects to discover brands they may have not used before.”
Dee Gibson, design director of Velvet Orange, gave a talk, hosted by the BIID, about a Sri Lankan hotel project she has completed, designed along principles of sustainability and local artisanship: “There is a huge appetite for this; provenance is so important and people like to know the story behind a scheme or design, especially in a hotel,” she says. The West One Bathrooms showroom, where the talk took place, “has the most incredible ranges of tiles. I was particularly taken by a jade green volcanic stone tile that reminded me of the jungle colours of Sri Lanka.
“There was an aesthetic throughout the Design Centre reminiscent of nature and our beautiful planet – a very sweet and ironic moment on a day that was my last in a large public space before lockdown occurred.”