London Design Festival draws mixed emotions from me – part of me is overawed and excited at the scale of the event on my doorstep, the other resigned after 30 minutes of seeing nothing but new chairs.
Don’t get me wrong – I like furniture – but to encapsulate design as simply ‘overpriced domestic furnishings’ is a bit soft: London has a lot more to offer.
So I was delighted to stumble across The Saturday Market project on Leonard Street, where among various homeward designs (which were lovely) were bits about making things; not in a twee, crafty way, but solidly, with a hint of industrialism.
On the day we slinked in to its cheese, bread and beer open night, we were highly delighted to speak with the talented lads from Ernest Wright & Son, Sheffield scissor makers in the classic fashion.
Using a monumental industrial beast of a drop forge to make the component parts, the final pairs are delicately hand fixed together with squishy pink fingers.
During this week Bare Conductive has been on hand to explain its liquid circuitry; screen printing and pencil making workshops have been covered; FormLabs chipped in with a now ubiquitous 3D printing demo.
Later this week the brilliant Fixperts is due to pop by to talk about its projects designing odd bits and pieces for a variety of people who have problems that they can’t solve by themselves.
Overall, The Saturday Market Project is a great mixture of craft and industrial, personal and helping others – all of what design is about.
Yes there were some newly designed fancy chairs there to be shown off, but nobody was precious enough to stop you from sitting on them.
The Saturday Market Project runs through until Sunday, so take a look if you get into the Capital.