28 June 2012
By Katie Birks
Pulse 2012 offers a great mix of new and current designers as well as exciting British designs. This year Pulse included over 600 exhibitors, of which 200 had exclusive lines. In addition to this it also featured Launchpad – which presented over 160 talents. Pulse is a well-established event for designers and gives new products a platform for the coming trade season.
Hidden Art enjoyed wandering the aisles and admiring the pool of talent from this year’s designers/makers, including recent graduates and many well-known brands. This year, ten designers on our Hidden Art E-Shop were exhibiting at Earl’s Court and it was great to catch up with them each individually. We were also lucky to catch the exclusive Mary Portas & House of Fraser’s live ‘Dragon’s Den’ show as they search for new and inspiring British designers.
RawXclusive’s Becky Winter has recently been very busy creating new additions for her ‘Rule’ collection – featuring Family Rules and Grandma Rules. The new lines look great and we’re looking forward to having them up on the E-Shop very soon. Her very popular ‘rule’ designs come in the form of mugs, cushions, aprons, tea towels and as prints – making for a very British 2012.
REthinkthings’ product Flo, new to the market, is an aesthetic, innovative design used as a walking and standing aid. It was recently the winning product on BBCs ‘Design for Life with Philippe Starck’. Ilsa Parry of REthinkthings was also recently featured with ‘confessions of a design geek’ blogger Katie Treggiden in Hearthomemag before exhibiting at Pulse.
Desinature (Etienne Esmenjaud) had his array of lampshades on show, which proved to be very popular over the whole three days. In addition to the lampshades, were his beautifully presented nest boxes – Mr Birdee and Mrs Birdee – great eco-friendly shelters for all types of birds.
Block (designer Tara Ashe) had a fantastic space to present their products in and used the area nicely to highlight their brand aim: to bring colour into your lifestyle. With their new product lines such as the clocks and photo frames, their ‘block’ coloured style has been very effective and successful. Make sure you check out the various ranges – there is something for everyone from gifts and jewellery to lighting and home accessories – all of which are available on our E-shop.
Tina Vlassopulos kept our Hidden Art visit to Pulse amusing and with a full stomach, with her ceramic dishes filled up with sweets and apples… a very good stand to visit at lunchtime if you needed a snack. Her wall-pieces are very popular – reflecting a clean, neat and effective style for the modern home.
Linda Bloomfield had some new lines on show at her stand, which we’re looking forward to having up on the E-shop very soon. She was also featuring her classic tactile dimpled cups and bowls. There is a very natural feel to her pottery work and we’re looking forward to seeing more soon. In addition to this, Linda has recently begun a more manufactured collection of work.
Bettina Nissen’s Blurbs Coathook range is inspiring – a fun and light-hearted collection. Bettina continues to create exciting new felt products we will shortly be seeing on our E-shop. This new line highlights her imaginative use of materials and the diverse functionality of her products, making them highly enjoyable pieces.
Takae Mizutani works outside the box on creating innovative ways to display her products with the use of garden pieces. This really brings her work to life, one of our favourite pieces being the Snail Cake Plate – what a great way to deliver cake! Another great piece is the Egg and Soldiers Cup, allowing the nostalgic and childhood inspired theme of her work to really come to life.
The following are good friends of Hidden Art so we dropped in to say hello and see their new ranges too.
Mary Portas & House of Fraser ‘Dragon’s Den’ Live
The live Dragon’s Den session with Mary Portas & House of Fraser featured Mary’s business partner Peter Cross. This was really exciting to see, it was interesting to watch how products get chosen and what the key points of discussion were depending on the type and style of a product. It was a great way for designers to quickly take a basic understanding of how to construct a desirable and easy-to-sell product on a more mass market scale – such as with the nationwide department store House of Fraser.
Confessions of a design geek
Katie Treggiden, famous for looking like she is always hiding behind a chair from her online blogging image, was in fact looking much more relaxed sitting at her Pulse stand surrounded by some cosy chairs, an array of her new limited edition book: ‘Interviews’ and lots to chat about. The COADG blogger is known for covering various areas of design on her popular blog, her new book looks at designers from furniture and product design to graphic design.
On COADG: “…She turns designers into real people. [She] allows designers to speak in the same words as the people who use what they’ve made. There is something very democratic about [that].” (Back cover of her book, ‘Interviews’)
All in all, what a super few days at Pulse this year, we enjoyed seeing the array of talent from promising designers and catching up with the current successful pool of Hidden Art E-Shop names. Already looking forward to next year…
For further information on any of designers mentioned above or their products, please go to http://www.hiddenartshop.com or follow the individual links to their pages.