London Design Festival is over and what a week it was… a lot of the time was spent traversing the city with my jet lag weary buddy trying to make the most of what the city had to offer us aesthetically. My first Sunday afternoon of the London Design Festival was spent canal-side soaking up the brains and beauty of BATCH at The Back Room by BDWA favourite interdisciplinary creative Faye Toogood….so good infact I had to drag myself away. I’ve blogged about Faye at LDF before and as one of the most inspiring women in design in my mind, the build up to her showing her first collection of furniture was major for me, in hindsight it was my best LDF experience once again.
The Back Room was a behind the scenes look at what Studio Toogood has been up to of late: a batch production of furniture pieces only previously available as one-offs, in Toogood terms the event was also a celebration of the “post-industrialist” era. That is, the resurgence of individuals and small collectives applying their own skills within the urban city to produce, make, manufacture and sell direct. In support of this theory were a series of week-long events to celebrate the resurgence of traditional crafts and production techniques among urban designers.
Alongside the beautifully handcrafted collection, constructed from solid ash and made in the UK – all of which I would be more than happy to have in the home, were workshops on leather tooling, bread making, life drawing classes and a literary salon for budding poets and writers…but wait there’s more. Also on offer was a salmon-smoking workshop and a locally sourced luncheon entitled the M25 by fabulous food designers and longtime Toogood collaborators, Arabeshchi di Latte. My date for the day, PRGirlLondon and I devoured ours while taking in all the goodness that is Toogood, which took up all of our lazy afternoon. Yet again Faye Toogood’s skills give a more than wonderful experiential understanding of her brand and the values behind it, these will undoubtedly sustain it into a future that looks bountiful and bright. BATCH is best.
I had a chance to speak with Faye on the day, congratulating her on the collection and reminding her of some fabulous pieces she had picked up from BlackDot World Archive’s Portobello stall previously. What a dream it would be to collaborate with this super inspiring lady one day….
Offerings from Arabeschi di Latte included a 19th century tradition of burnt water – burnt bread soaked in water, which was wonderful in the flesh. Multiple versions of the M25 were eaten with utility cutlery off offcuts of rubber and leather, a perfect pairing.
The element table – my favourite piece from the collection as seen below, would be perfect for sitting on the floor and feasting from. The tinted glass almost floats above three elements – a white cube, a pure coloured sphere and a cylinder of textured wood.