The RCA Summer Show – the Great Exhibition 2007 – opened on Friday. Three of us went along to see this years’s design creations. For the first time the work is being shown in a tent in the park and the RCA college gardens, and we all agreed that the standard is incredibly high.
I particularly liked the work of product designer Jessica Nebel’s which is functional, innovative. I for one would go out and buy it! My favourite is the Fly In, a cute disposable bird house complete with bird feed. The Show runs until 28th June, admission is free.
I was fortunate enough to visit Skylon, the new restaurant at the recently reopened Royal Festival Hall. The London Design Festival is working closely with the RFH, which this year will host the opening reception as well as providing a Hub during the Festival. I met with the restaurant manager to look at ways for Skylon to become involved. The redesigned space is magnificent and makes the most of what has to be one of the most enviable views in London. The food is unfussy modern British and very seasonal. With a restaurant, bar or bistro, there is something for everyone and all are well worth a visit.
I went to the Gagosian Gallery in Kings Cross today to see the new Jeff Koons Exhibition. Titled Hulk Elvis it features 24 paintings and is his first display in this medium in almost four years. These large paintings burst with energy and precision yet mystify with their complex combinations of figurative and abstract elements. The incredible Hulk, and The Liberty Bell jostle against negative silhouettes, and underlying dot screens. I found myself looking at the same paintings and seeing different forms looming and receding with a blink on an eye – Amazing!
Geisha, 2007 Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery © Jeff Koons
London Met is located near Brick Lane in the heart of the East End. From the outside the building looks uninviting but as soon as you step through the doors there is an immediate feeling of serenity. With a cool white interior you could easily stay there absorbed in the wonderful creations for several hours. The standard of work in this year’s Summer Show was exceptional and I was particularly drawn to the jewellery design floor. The use of fair trade materials was evident and pieces ranged from delicate and intricate work to bold and theatrical designs.
John Maeda is a graphic designer, visual artist and computer scientist and is the founder of the Simplicity consortium at MIT. Riflemaker hosts Maeda’s first London show to coincide with his new book, ‘The Laws of Simplicity’.
In the book Maeda provides ‘10 laws of simplicity’ that can be used for everything from product design and technology to life – he offers a ‘how to’ sort your wardrobe and a summary of the success of iPods. The book is better than the show! Law No.1 Reduce, Law No.3 Time and law No.7 Trust