Wishing on a design star


What have you always wanted in your home, but never been able to find?This was the question behind Terence Conran’s recent collaborative project as part of London Design Festival. Conran asked a selection of ten designers and architects the all important question, the answers making up a collection named “The Wish List”.

Star names including Zaha Hadid, Paul Smith, Norman Foster and Conran himself set the brief, which was answered by 10 emerging designers. Their responses are presented as a range of objects which display craft, imaginative functionality and simple beauty, despite being constrained to a single material and only one week in which to complete the collaboration. Products created range from the large (a shed and workspace) to the small and considered (a collection of pencil sharpeners). We were particularly taken by the shed designed byNathalie de Leval as requested by Paul Smith, made from thermally modified ash contrasted with a glass facade; wooden and natural but with a flash of Paul Smith signature colour as you enter the door. It was also created to the dimensions of 3m by 3m, the size of Paul Smith’s infamously small first-ever shop.

Another Conran has caught our attention recently: grandson Felix and his studio, Clam Collective. The young four-piece design group, founded in 2014, have created a lightweight LED lamp named LIGHTLY, which was displayed at London Design Festival. Across all of these projects, it is exciting to see a love of craft and inventiveness across many generations, making an impact on our design scene today.