By Dieneke Ferguson
Thirteen stunning pieces from six East London designers have been placed in selected foyers of East Village, the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village. Some of those have been specially commissioned and others have not been shown in East London before. They will be rotated among the foyers twice over the coming year. Their work featured alongside art works from established and emerging East London artists.
The six designers are Ella Doran, Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers, Julian Mayor, JIB Design Studio, Urban Upholstery and Wawa
Born in London and raised in a creative community on a hill overlooking Bristol, Ella set up her studio in East London in the late 1990s after graduating from Middlesex University with a first class honours in Textiles. She pioneered the application of photography-based images and patterns on functional everyday products, when digital technologies first became available and has won numerous awards for her creative work. Besides making new products for everyday living, Ella works to commission for private, charitable and commercial clients. She increasingly reuses and upcycles materials in her work. As a fellow of the RSA (Royal Society of Arts), Ella supports the work of the Great Recovery, a project that promotes society’s shift toward a circular economy.
For the East Village foyers, Ella presents two pieces from her new creative furniture range, the Chaise London and the Formica Side Table in Bikes of Hackney Series 1. The Chaise London is a one-off piece, made from an original Victorian chaise longue, with bespoke fabric and matching hand-crocheted leg warmers. The Formica Side Table is a refurbished 1950s James Leonard school desk and can be ordered in a range of designs directly from Ella Doran Design.
Woh&Co is a London based design practice created by independent designer Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers in April 2009, specializing in furniture and accessories for the high-end market. Trained as an industrial designer and with 15 years of consistent work experience designing and making furniture.
The concepts behind Woh&Co designs are functionality, aesthetics and surprise factor. Valentina’s design fuses conceptual thinking, artistic approach and usability. What is unique about her work is its originality, boldness, narrative and outstanding quality.
Woh&Co offers furniture and accessories created in the line of emotional design: pieces made to last, to grow older with their owners, becoming into much more than just a material possession to them. The creations are not based in disposable transit trends.
This particular take in furniture and accessories invites the user to interact with it, to play, to question, to surprise, to enjoy. Not only Woh&Co offers a fresh new approach to a typical designed product through its knowledge of materials, quality and experimental working methods, but also proposes a new look into the area of conceptual furniture: a combination of great design and contemporary approach without compromising true functionality.
She will be presenting:
The Wild Bodged Chair
The Ghost of a Chair, Lady Style
The Ghost of a Chair, Gentleman Style
I am presenting four pieces, two Glenda chairs, a General Dynamic chair and the Lunar Bench, which was specially commissioned, it is completely new. All the work has never been seen in East London before.
I like to think that all the people who buy my work are interesting, but as far as famous people, the actress Kate Hudson bought two of my Impression chairs for her house in LA, and Lady Rothschild owns an Empress chair.
I am very excited about the Lunar Bench, its always great to work on something brand new.
About myself, I am an artist and designer based in Upton Park, in Newham which is quite close to Stratford, but my workshop is in the North of England, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. I spend my time about evenly split between the two places. My work is inspired by the sculptural possibilities of computers combined with industrial and craft making processes. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2000 I worked in California as a designer for IDEO design consultancy. On returning to London in 2002 I worked for Pentagram and other design studios before teaching 3D modelling at the London College of Communication and starting to exhibit my own work. My designs have been shown at the V&A London, the Museum of Art and Design New York, the Pushkin Moscow and Bagatti Valsecchi Milan. I have also installed a permanent series of sculptural benches in a park behind the Tate Britain in Pimlico, London.
You can see my work online at www.julianmayor.com
JIB Design Studio
JiB design studio was founded in 2012 by Je-Uk Kim, a London-based Korean designer. The studio works on a broad range of project types and scales ranging from architectural projects to furniture, products, curating and exhibition design. Je-Uk has worked at architectural practices in New York, Copenhagen and London after studying architecture at the University of Michigan.
The ethos of the studio is to operate at different scales of spatial design and exploration with a design approach rooted in architecture. JiB studio’s principal interest is space. Composition, proportion, materiality and relationship to context are important elements in creating timeless works.
JiB is a device used in cinematography to enable the camera to capture visuals not reachable by hand. Additionally JiB also means home/house in Hangul (Korean). Metaphorically, ‘architecture’ is used as the device to extend to the outer realm of architecture.
Originally stemming from Credenza O as a part of the O series, Console O is being presented for the first time in East London. Je-Uk’s work has been exhibited at the Design Museum, The Geffrye: Museum of the Home, Aram Gallery, London Design Festival and IMM Cologne.
Je-Uk currently splits his time between working in his studio in Stoke Newington and Nottingham Trent University as a lecturer in Architecture
Established in 2007, Urban Upholstery is a design led upholstery company that creates unique pieces recycling existing furniture.
“Upholstery is an art that allows us to interpret the potential in every day life. We love the challenge of looking at any unwanted furniture and thinking of something amazing to make with it!”
The partnership includes Andrea Simonutti, upholsterer and Patrizia Sottile, architect and artist.Their work explores the multiple aspects of upholstery materials and techniques. They are using remnants of fabrics as well as collaborating with textile designers to create sculptural and vibrant pieces for a big variety of clients in UK.
They will be presenting the Josephine B. Chair and the GooDGame
Richard Ward originally trained as a sculptor and after working in the film industry for a number of years set up as a bespoke furniture designer in a converted Victorian warehouse in the heart of Shoreditch, the traditional furniture-making area of London, in the late eighties.
In 1990 he designed his first sofa and by 2000 his workshop had become WAWA studio & showroom where he designs exclusively sofas and armchairs, each one uniquely tailored to complement his clients’ individual style and flair.
Richard is now a well known East London designer, living and working in the area.
Wawa will be presenting the Jacqui Armchair.
The Foyer Art is part of a new cultural programme by Get Living London, designed to integrate the creativity and innovation of the surrounding area into London’s newest neighbourhoods. The initiative has been brought about through a close partnership with local East London organisations which in addition to Hidden Art includes Hackney Wick Fish Island Cultural Interest Group, Stratford Rising and Hackney Wicked. Get London Living manages 1,439 private rental homes in East Village. www.getlondonliving.com