The Festival's expansion ever eastwards continued, with the new London Fields Design District joining a variety of offbeat locations. Highlights included Dominic Wilcox's solo show at KK Outlet and Gallery Fumi's Prostheses and Innesti exhibition of work by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan and his Studio MK27. Echoing Enzo Mari's interest in the anonymously authored furniture of Italy's workshops, they collected furniture from construction sites and modified these with luxurious artisanal interventions, including Murano glass, Como silk and gold-dipped nails.
Worker chic was also on show at Studio Toogood's canal-side space. Alongside a wall of Faye Toogood's Shaker style Batch furniture collection were utilitarian overcoats, shoes made out of felt blankets and even food for hungry workers in the shape of the M25 Lunch , a collaboration with Italian food designers Arabeschi di Latte . Using ingredients gathered within the motorway that encircles London, this was one of a number of projects showing design's current love affair with food, for both social and sustainable ends.
As with several designers, Arabeschi di Latte popped up in more than one place this year. They had also set up shop in 4 Cromwell Place, the flagship new venue in South Kensington's upmarket Brompton Design District. They were joined by Design Marketo and Haptic Thought's Kopiaste food project as well as several other exhibits that reflected the diversity of this year's Festival, ranging from Peter Marigold's collaboration with cashmere firm Oyuna to Out of Print's examination of digital media.
There is no denying the energy and creativity on show even if, as with every design festival, I felt the need for even more engagement with social issues and non-design audiences. Yet, as the organisers are quick to recognize, commerce is the festival’s beating heart