A SECOND LIFE
Matter of Stuff Open the Conversation Toward Sustainable Design during LDF19
A Second Life is a much needed attempt to highlight the need for sustainability through elevated forms, presented by contemporary design and research gallery Matter of Stuff through a site-specific exhibition at sketch for the London Design Festival 2019. Commissioning one architect and three design studios to create new works from a single raw material, each repurposing 5000 cylindrical pine dowels.
Our first introduction to the exhibition is through PiM.studio graphic patterned temporary walls lining the hallway of the entrance to the 18th century building sketch has restored – previously housing notable occupants such as RIBA, and the London Atelier of Christian Dior. Both work together to create a juxtaposed visual narrative that in some way shares common ground when defining sustainable timeless design. A party is happening in the adjacent rooms serving Japanese whisky cocktails for the exhibition’s partner, The House of Suntory.
London-based Australian designer Brodie Neill used the dowel to construct an elegant lattice-like sculptural bench leaning into a traditional Japanese bamboo construction technique which demanded closer inspection to fully appreciate its intricacy. Neill’s ‘Latitude bench’ will also be auctioned together with the other pieces in the show at the end of October, with all profits going to reforestation charities. Further in the exhibition, Matteo Fogale has collaborated with costume designer Emma Archer, taking inspiration from traditional tailoring techniques to create screens from left over fabrics donated from Kvadrat to dress the dowels fanning elegantly across one another.
In presenting this body of work I hope it furthers the conversations needed regarding sustainability, and finds its way into the public realm reaching a much larger audience. Championing and discussing work of this nature, connecting with it, and acting upon it is important but the reality is unfortunately we are much too late.
Let’s hope fashionably so, in that we may still enter into the debate and make a lasting impact. Showings like this must act as a call to arms in the battle against ignorance on climate change. For the conversation to travel no further than the beautifully preserved walls of sketch would be a luxury disservice that we can no longer afford.
sketch | 9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG
A Second Life ends on November 13, 2019
Words Mark Ringrose | Images as credited