Future Icons at the forthcoming Midcentury Modern Fair

This Sunday, Future Icons will be showcasing 6 clients at the Midcentury Modern Fair in Dulwich, South London. The bi-annual event showcases the very best mid-century modern antique dealers alongside contemporary design and craft to an audience of interior designers and design lovers.

Located in the contemporary hall, we will have select collections for sale from 

Claire ColesIkuko IwamotoJo Davies CeramicsKevin StamperMyia Bonner & Paper Tango

Read on for more information on tickets, travel and opening times. We hope to see you there this Sunday.

Click images to enlarge

Is there a place for craft at the London Design Festival?

London, my home town. My career started from the result of interning and showcasing work at New Designers Selection for the London Design Festival 2004 – needless to say this festival has a very special place in my heart.

With clients and shows sprawled across every zone in London, my week started off on Sunday, at the opening day of Decorex. Based at Syon Park, this fair for luxury interior brands is like attending a society event. With Chelsea tractors and ladies sipping gin or bubbles at 10:30am (it’s 5pm somewhere in the world, right?), this show attracts the great and good of luxury residential interior designers.

The annual highlight of Decorex is Future Heritage, curated by Corinne Julius with her wealth of knowledge and her brilliant eye for talent and trend. It’s no secret that this feature has helped attract some much-needed new brands and visitors to the event, but more importantly, it places craftmanship on a pedestal. A highlight for me was Jie Wu’s collection of resin and rosewood boxes. A recent graduate form the RCA’s Textiles programme, Wu’s project explores society’s relationship with natural and manmade materials, and in particular the perceived values of those materials. The result, a beautifully crafted collection of ornate colourful boxes, to be treasured and handed down from generation to generation.

With a focus on luxury and craftmanship, Decorex launched; CraftWork. This area invited 9 small businesses who produce premium interior furnishings, lighting, artworks and objects to exhibit for the first time. I’m proud to say, I had 6 clients showcase (David Pringle, Kevin Stamper, Louis Jobst, RHMB, PIPET & Zuzana Lalikova) in this new area and am even more delighted to say that they all had a positive first show. The organisers have the foundations for something special here:- the showcase offers the opportunity for these small businesses to elevate to the next level because Decorex visitors are avidly looking to invest in the bespoke, unique and handmade. This enables these brands to grow at a comfortable level, whereas other shows are geared to the contract market and expect 50 of the same products delivered within 8-10 weeks. Not all businesses (certainly my clients) want to work like this, it’s about creating the life you want, not following the herd. I look forward to seeing how this develops at Olympia in October 2019.

With my visit to Decorex completed, I used the London Design Festival guide to plan my week ahead. The first new development I discovered was the lack of a map to the guide, it’s lucky I carry two spare battery packs and a plug socket with me at all times, but what about the people who don’t? I feel this was a big oversight by the festival team.

Moan over, here are a few of my highlights:

Paste x The Department Store, Brixton Design District

The new-ish ‘The Department Store’ by architects Squire & Partners has quickly established itself as a decadent platform for artists, craft practitioners and designers alike to use as a platform. This year, ceramicist Christopher Riggio installed his new collection; Paste. Christopher’s delicate ceramics adorned with gemstones and glass inlay evoked a sense of 1920’s French nostalgia.

TRANS-FORM by Mint, Brompton Design District

Celebrating 20 years, Mint’s founder and curator Lina Kanafani selected over 60 material-forward designers focusing on altering the state of matter through the design process, including Future Icons’ Judy McKenzie. Lina’s eye and curation is, in my opinion, stronger than the fabulous Rossana Orlandi in Milan. There are too many good artists to mention here, thankfully the gallery is open all year round. I highly recommend you pop this on your to-visit list.

Polygon Glassware by OAO Works, Shoreditch Design Triangle

If it wasn’t for the mass of colour beaming from the windows of this unassuming shop front, I could have easily missed. Following on from their launch in Milan, OAO Works presented several installations of 31 individual glass elements designed to be arranged into a multiplicity of compositions. Individually, each object has been delicately coloured, but when positioned together the objects created an intense landscape of light and colour.

En Plein Air, Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Mayfair Design District

A solo gallery exhibition of works by Italian Architect and Designer Vincenzo de Cotiis. Located on the first floor of a building in Albermarle Street in Mayfair, my first thought was how on earth did the installation team get these pieces up the stairs? 20 furniture-sculptures handmade by Italian artisans from cast brass, semiprecious stone, Murano glass and cast resin. An absolute showstopper of craftmanship and design, these works are the epitome of the DesignArt movement of today.

Sugarhouse Studios, Bermondsey

I’m a very nosey person by nature, so when I see there is an open studio welcoming the public in then I’m usually one of the first through the door. The showcase of the 20 residing businesses’ work within the reception space was a lovely glimpse into what is produced at this former swimming pool and dance studio. A highlight was meeting architect and designer Mauro Dell’Orco. A designer, architect and co-director of WorkshopEast. This gentleman is designing sculptural-furniture pieces heavily influenced from his training in architecture. I’m shocked I haven’t come across his collection sooner.

Having covered central, east, south and west London (sorry north London – must try harder next year), my next stop was The London Design Fair, formally Tent London.

I have to admit, The London Design Fair was my favourite show last year, it somehow pulled together the most interesting collections from new and established small brands so I was excited to see what his year had in store for us.

When I entered, I made bee-line for The British Craft Pavilion, curated by Hole & Corner. I was sad to see it had moved from it’s ground floor presence onto an upper level, I was even sadder to learn that the exhibitors were promised ‘an architecturally designed space to exhibit in’. It wasn’t, it was a dusty concrete room with white walls in it. Thankfully, disappointing venue aside, the quality of the selected exhibitors was overall good.

My clients (Jo Davies Ceramics & Christabel Balfour) both released new installations that pushed the boundaries of their usual and established aesthetic, both gaining excellent feedback.

Other British Craft Pavilion highlights include (all pictured):

·        Richard McVetis: Exquisite micro-embroidered artworks and sculptures, these should be hung in museums.

·        Olivia Walker: Delicate ceramic sculptures and vessels, I particular like the terracotta forms.

·        Joel Parkes: Wood and kintsugi artworks, loving the introduction of bold colours.

·        Alex O’Conner: Mixes her education of sculpture and metalsmithing to produce the finest installations of silver vessels.

I found the rest of the fair extremely difficult to navigate and really only spotted a few other small brands that really peaked my interest. One stand-out designer/ artist from Austria (currently living in The Netherlands) was Laurids Gallée. Laurids exhibited 3 projects, all of which I consider tick the boxes to be described as DesignArt. His stand out piece for me was his large circular topped wooden screen that simulated coloured marquetry. It’s a piece to design a room around - it stands that proud. I look forward to viewing further collections as his practice develops.

This concludes my craft journey for LDF ’18. Of course, I visited designjunction & 100% Design, but alas these platforms focus on showing mass-production brands. It’s good to see that the big events are starting to focus on showcasing a particular area of the market rather than trying to be a one stop shop for all. It’s about time, making for a much happier visitor experience and I hope the sales teams can now concentrate on attracting the very best from their desired sector to make for four ‘must see shows’. As the saying goes ‘Jack of all trades…….’

To answer my title question, Is there a place for craft at the London Design Festival? My answer is, seemingly less so. Reflecting back to my ‘Jack of all trades’ comment, the LDF is so big now, I feel the content across the city is somewhat diluted. Of course, it’s lovely to see one off, insanely expensive artworks amongst the mass-produced collections. Quite often this is a treat for the eyes, but I question if this is the right audience for premium craftmanship. Guy Salter, Chairman of London Craft Week noticed this circa 7 years ago and as a result founded London Craft Week, now coming into it’s 6th year. We also all received news that Decorex will no longer participate in LDF and has made the bold decision to move into October, the same week as PAD London & The Frieze Art Fair.

So, the LDF may not be the perfect platform to benefit collectors of craft, but who knows how our client collections will develop in time? l enjoy the fact that we have various showcase options in London and we can tailor them accordingly.

Written by Future Icons Founder, Louisa Pacifico. Images courtesy of brands - click to enlarge

September '18 Newsletter

An abundance of new collections from Future Icons

Hello, it's been a while! We hope you enjoyed the summer, we certainly did. Clients of Future Icons have been busy in their workshops designing and making brand new collections to showcase across the country for the annual London Design Festival. We have clients showcasing at Decorex, London Design Fair, Design Junction and the beautiful Mint Gallery. Read on to see a sneak peek of what will be released and how to get tickets for the respective shows.

Looks like we're all in for a busy month ahead - we hope to see you around London town. As ever, if you need information on any of our clients or would like to book an appointment to meet them please contact louisa@futureicons.co.uk 

Decorex 2018 // CraftWork

Decorex has established itself as Europe’s leading interior design event, offering the finest furniture, lighting, textiles, craft and accessories from emerging and established names alike. The centrepiece of London Design Festival, Decorex provides an unparalleled opportunity for interior design professionals to discover exquisite creations from more than 400 international exhibitors.

New for 2018, CraftWork is a platform for the next generation of designers from across disciplines, each displaying products with the highest level of artisanal craftsmanship. This is a space to reconnect with the niche technique that goes into crafting one-of-a-kind pieces and meet the makers behind them.

Future Icons is pleased to announce that 6 of our clients have been selected to exhibit within the CraftWork feature at Decorex. Featuring: 

David Pringle (Sculptural lighting and furniture)  // PIPET (New interior fabrics range) // Kevin Stamper (Artworks and Furniture)  //Louis Jobst (Lighting )  // RHMB (Furniture)  // Zuzana Lalikova (Embroidered Artworks)

Decorex 2018
16-19 September 2018, Syon Park
Visit stands CW3 - CW9 to view collections
here for further information and tickets to the show

designjunction // Doon Street

designjunction is a curated exhibition of cutting-edge design. Set across three exciting venues on the South Bank, expect to discover 200 international brands and boutique shops, hundreds of product launches, outdoor installations, major brands as well as delicious pop-up eateries and bars.

The Doon Street site will feature the best in contemporary furniture as well as accessories and materials from leading international design brands alongside a selection of emerging designers. It will also house temporary pop-up shops offering a vast array of products from fashion accessories, homeware pieces, textiles and stationery attracting both retail buyers and design-savvy consumers. 

Future Icons is pleased to announce that Kei Tominaga (stand c35) will return to designjunction within the new Doon Street site on London's Iconic South Bank. 

20-23 September 2018, 3 venues across the South Bank, SE1
here for further information and tickets to the show

London Design Fair // British Craft Pavilion

Located in the creative heart of East London, the London Design Fair is a four-day industry event that brings together 550 exhibitors from 36 countries, including; independent designers, established brands, international country pavilions, features and exhibitions.

For 2018 the British Craft Pavilion returns with an exciting new project on an even larger scale. Partnering with Hole and Corner, 40 makers will be selected to take part in an outstanding display of British craftsmanship.

Future Icons is pleased to announce that Jo Davies  (stand 5.22) has been selected to exhibit within the British Craft Pavilion  this year. 

London Design Fair
20-23 September 2018, Old Truman Brewery, EC1
here for further information and tickets to the show

Introducing Future Icon's newest client:

Judy McKenzie MA RCA

A recent graduate from the Royal College of Art's Ceramics and Glass programme, Judy McKenzie's postgraduate collection focuses on celebrating the Japanese ceramic processes of Nerikomi and Kintsugi. Her hand built artworks have led her to win international awards and the attention of numerous galleries and press alike.

Judy McKenzie can be found in two major showcases over the next two months:

During the London Design Festival:

17-24 September (closed Monday)
Mint Luminates 
Mint, 2 North Terrace, SW3 2BA
www.mintshop.co.uk & LDF listing 

In October:

Thrown Contemporary Graduate Show 2018
5-17 October 2018

26 Highgate High Street, London, N6 5JG

Looking to introduce new collections?

Future Icons Buyer’s Showcase: 2-4 July 2018

Future Icons presents ‘Buyer’s Showcase’ client collections at 67 York Street, Marylebone. For this occasion, Future Icons has selected key pieces from client collections perfect for the retail and licensing opportunities.

Disciplines and designers on show:

·       Applique Art & Couture Wallpaper: Claire Coles

·       Ceramics: Helen Beard // Jo Davies

·       Furniture & Wooden Accessories: Kevin Stamper

·       Jewellery & Fashion: Myia Bonner // Pipét

·       Lighting: Jo Davies

·       Textiles & Metal Prints: Tania Johnson


Future Icons invites you to discover selected member collections at 67 York Street, Marylebone, W1H 1QB. All collections on display have been selected for retail consideration with many clients open to discussing licensing opportunities too.

Strictly by appointment between 2-4 July, 10am-6pm daily. Future Icons welcomes retail buying, interior stylists and press for brunch, lunch or afternoon aperitif. To book an appointment email: louisa@futureicons.co.uk or call +44 (0) 7838102031

Does craft exist at Milan Design Week?

Does craft exist at Milan Design Week?

For the last 12 years, I’ve made the pilgrimage to the annual Salone del Mobile otherwise known as Milan Design Week. The city welcomes 300,000+ international visitors to view the latest designs and trends from across the world. For me, its all about seeking out undiscovered talent, new materials and processes as well reconnecting with the great and good of the industry.  

This year, I made the bold decision not to visit the main fair. Yes I missed out on Salone Satellite (the dedicated area for emerging brands) but with limited time and 1000’s of city showcases, I concentrated on analysing the new Ventura districts, the rising Vie5 area located in the old town, old favourites such as Rossana Orlandi and the new showcase Alcova in the north east of the city.

My first port of call was Zona Tortona. Tortona as an area is no longer the ‘go-to district of Milan’ (hay day was circa 2007) however, there are always some gems to be found and the buzz in the evenings is always electric. Future Icons member Vezzini and Chen (pictured) was invited by Esh Gallery to present a solo show of their glass and ceramic lighting, installations and home accessories. Presented across two levels, this was a chance for visitors to meet the design duo to discuss projects and view collections in a large open space.

Wednesday morning soon came and I made a journey to the new show; Alcova – a presentation of new design from studios and galleries largely from northern Europe. Hosted in a disused panettone factory, I knew immediately this show would be my Milan highlight for 2018. I wasn’t wrong – even if you didn’t like the work on show, the architecture and shadows thrown around venue from the roofless buildings and sunshine instantly made one smile. Stand out studios included Bloc Studio, Sophie Dries, Studio Minale-Maeda and Bohinc Studio (pictured).

In the afternoon, I popped along to a firm favourite gallery of mine; Rossana Orlandi. Lady Orlandi is an absolute hero of mine and she has impeccable taste from the building and courtyard she owns to the collections she selects to present year in year out. Every corner is drenched in clever, pretty design from new to established design studios. She’s also championed craft more than anyone else in Milan since she opened her doors in 2002. This year (I’m going to be controversial now) I wasn’t as impressed as previous showcases. Maybe its because I’ve been wowed time and time again over the years and this year – it was just a bit same old same old. I did however love meeting Nada Debs (pictured) , reconnected with Ochre, marvelled at Pet Lamp’s new installation and I wanted to lick the colourful tables by Dirk Vander Kooij (pictured).

The following day I was lost wondering around the street of Milan’s Old Town to discover the 5Vie district of MDW – shamefully this is the first time I’ve ventured to this district (its been running since 2014). 5Vie hosts a mix of artisanal studios, showrooms, galleries and presentations by international collectives. Although there are quite a few questionable collectives of handmade jewellery groups and baggy clothing brands, I’m glad I persisted as I met some designers and small companies focusing on some understated craftmanship and technology. My favourite was Austrilian designer Elliot Bastianon (pictured) who presented a collection of one off DesignArt pieces of copper sulphate crystals attached to oxidised steel furniture pieces. Other notable mentions from the area include Apparatus Studio, Giopato & Coombes and the impressive Palazzo Stamskin installation by Studio GGSV & Serge Ferrari (pictured).

Following on from 5Vie, I ventured over (pun intended) to Ventura Future & Ventura Centrale. I’m not even going to comment on Ventura Future – my mother said if I do not have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all. However, Venture Centrale was on a completely different level – a wow after wow. A series of installations presented in a row of disused railway arches. From giant wooden puppets to a neon and marble diner experience – this was well worth the visit after long days of trekking around a hot busy city. The top three for me: Stephan Hürlemann with horgenglarus (pictured), Surface in collaboration with David Rockwell and 2x4 & Fabrica with Pierre Frey.

Final thoughts…

I could have delivered you the same old trend report - Coral is the new pink, cane and rattan seating is back from the 80’s and rugs have replaced hanging artworks – but I wanted future visitors to MDW to gain an insight of where to discover high end craft and batch production design. I hope you’ve found this useful. Until next year, ciao for now Milano. 

Written by Future Icons Founder, Louisa Pacifico. Images courtesy of brands - click to enlarge


Helen Beard for Jo Malone

Helen Beard completes first commission for Jo Malone

Launched in January 2018, Future Icon Helen Beard was commissioned by Jo Malone to incorporate her gorgeous illustrations for this limited edition set of hand creams. Make sure you pop into a Jo Malone boutique soon as these sets have already sold out online!

Click here for further information


Christabel Balfour's residency at The Barbican Shop

Christabel Balfour's residency at The Barbican Shop

From March 2018, The Barbican will host Make! A programme of talks, workshops and demonstrations from selected contemporary makers; those with a modern take on conventional crafts such as weaving, casting and bookbinding, and those redefining it entirely with groundbreaking processes and exciting new materials. 

Excitingly, Future Icon Christabel Balfour has been selected for this programme and will take up residency to demonstrate live weaving from the Barbican shop as well has host workshops on site too. Don't miss your chance too meet her and view samples from her collection too.

March - June 2018 (Various dates)
The Barbican Centre, London, UK

Click here for further information on Christabel's residency

Click here for further information on Christabel's workshop


Art Rooms Roma 2018

Kevin Stamper and Zuzana Lalikova selected to showcase at Art Rooms Roma 2018

Over 500 independent artists applied for the inaugural Art Rooms Roma and only 50 selected. We're delighted to learn that Future Icons Kevin Stamper and Zuzana Lalikova have been selected to showcase their collections in this stunning venue (pictured) located by the Vatican.

Expanding on the concept made famous by Artrooms London since 2015 - Artrooms Fair is the first international contemporary art fair offering free exhibition space to independent artists. Artrooms Fair Roma will host independent artists from all over the world exhibiting their artwork inside the Church Palace hotel Rooms that will be transformed into their own creative and intimate space. 

Art Rooms Roma
2 - 4 March 2018
Church Palace Hotel, Rome, IT

For further information & tickets: 


Porcelain³ at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London 

Porcelain³ at the Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London

Future Icon Jo Davies has been selected alongside Katharina Klug and Anja Lubach by the Contemporary Ceramics Centre to showcase three of the leading ceramicists specialising in porcelain.  

Jo Davies’ unique thrown and assembled forms will be shown alongside Anja Lubach’s delicate figurative details and the spontaneous graphic marks of Katharina Klug’s vessels. The exhibition will explore the breadth and limitations of working with porcelain, with each maker citing the material’s properties as integral to their work.

The Contemporary Ceramics Centre is a gallery exclusively exhibiting the work of UK studio ceramics and is a showcase for the highly regarded membership organisation The Craft Potters' Association. The CPA has a long history of vetting its membership to the highest standards and has long been seen as a mark of quality within the ceramics community.   

15 February - 10 March 2018

The Contemporary Ceramics Centre
63 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3B

For further information visit: www.cpaceramics.com/ccc/futureex