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Material Matters set to make its debut at the London Design Festival 2022
Material Matters 2022 will make its debut at LDF 2022
Image: Courtesy of Zena Holloway

Material Matters set to make its debut at the London Design Festival 2022

The anticipated design fair will showcase talks and events addressing circular design, materials and their significance in a sustainable future.

by Anushka Sharma
Published on : Sep 07, 2022

The highly anticipated London Design Festival 2022 sets the stage for a wide array of events, showcases, and discussions that collectively celebrate contemporary global design while meditating on its future. This year, a new fixture finds its place on London’s design calendar. Set to make its first appearance during the design festival in September, the inaugural edition of Material Matters 2022 is based on Grant Gibson’s critically acclaimed podcast of the same name. The event will unfold at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, from September 22 to September 25, 2022. The design event champions 40 leading brands, designers, makers, and organisations to celebrate the significance that materials hold in our lives. "There is a clear impetus in the design and architecture industries to move towards more sustainable practices and help the drive to net zero. Materials play an intrinsic role in this," explains William Knight, co-founder of Material Matters 2022. "While it was obvious to us to develop the highly successful Material Matters podcast into a fair, neither of us wanted to follow standard exhibition tropes and do something in a conventional venue, so Bargehouse is the perfect place to start," he says.

Spread across themes of circularity, craft, workplace, and textiles, the design fair aims to be an inspirational platform for architects, designers, interior design professionals, and global audiences. STIR presents a preview of what is in store for this awaited debut.


The design showcases at Material Matters 2022 will be complemented by an eclectic programme of talks curated by Grant Gibson. The extensive programme will feature some of the most influential names in architecture, design and craft, including LAYER founder Benjamin Hubert, Bethan Laura Wood, Nigel Coates, Adam Nathaniel Furman, curator and future researcher Caroline Till, Naomi Cleaver, Ella Doran, and Michael Marriott.

‘Reclaim’ by Ruup & Form

Beatrice Mayfield for Ruup & Form Image:Courtesy of Tas Kyprianou

Leading art gallery Ruup & Form will turn the bare but brilliant factory setting of Bargehouse into an exhibition space for its site-specific installation dubbed ‘Reclaim’. To be unveiled on the ground floor of the building, the immersive installation is a levitating assembly composed of hanging textile panels that interact with the coexisting decay and beauty of the historic building. ‘Reclaim’ features work by Beatrice Mayfield, a London-based contemporary textile artist who specialises in hand embroidery techniques, alongside other multidisciplinary contemporary artists, innovators and experimentalists. The collective of panels by artists who practise the use of unique, cutting-edge materials that are sewn together by a common thread of sustainability.

Orange peel products by Alkesh Parmar

Orange peel products by Alkesh Parmar Image:Courtesy of Alejandro Olaya
Waste orange peels are collected and reintroduced into the material life cycle Image:Courtesy of Alejandro Olaya

Designer and researcher Alkesh Parmar carries forward an approach that fosters an open dialogue between craft and design. His ‘craft-based’ methodology engages with materials and generates ideas, while the ‘design-based’ approach breathes life into these ideas to create products and objects. For over a decade, Parmar has spearheaded the use of local waste materials, working with materials such as orange peel for more than 15 years. For Material Matters 2022 he uses orange peel as the primary raw material for his products. Dependency on alternative binding agents strain on other resources is reduced while the innate properties of the materials are allowed to shine. By taking what was once waste and reintroducing it into the material life cycle, the products epitomise circular design, an intrinsic theme of the design event.

Exhibition by Fora Form

Furniture design by Fora Form for Material Matters 2022 Image:Courtesy of Material Matters
Fora Form’s designs shed light on the importance of material intelligence Image:Courtesy of Material Matters

Leading Scandinavian furniture design company Fora Form will contribute to the ‘workspace’ theme of Material Matters 2022 with an exhibition located on the third floor of Bargehouse. With their continuing vision to enhance interaction in public and community spaces, the studio used design as a strategic tool to craft good meeting places in public environments. The exhibition will encompass a wide roster of furniture from previous collections as well as more recent additions to the array of chair designs. Through the curated designs, the company will shed light on the reasons why material intelligence stands at the forefront of the present design scene while shaping the future in tandem.

Installation by Stuart Haygarth

Stuart Haygarth to turn waste into a striking installation during the fair Image:Courtesy of Material Matters

Designer and artist Stuart Haygarth, renowned for his work with waste, will unveil a lighting installation on the fourth floor of Bargehouse. Giving a new life to discarded objects is a core tenet of Haygarth’s practice. His exquisite lighting design and installation work have made use of waste ranging from human-made debris washed up on the beach to numerous salvaged prescription spectacles. The process of collecting and collating materials is deemed as important as adding value and beauty to these materials. By creating order out of randomness and waste, his work allows the banal to exist with renewed significance. His work revolves around everyday objects, often collected in large quantities, categorised and presented in such a way that they are given new meaning.

Rootful by Zena Holloway

Rootfull by Zena Holloway Image:Courtesy of Zena Holloway
Holloway grows textiles and sculptures from grass root Image:Courtesy of Zena Holloway

British underwater photographer, maker and material innovator Zena Holloway is set to partake in Material Matters 2022 with Rootfull. In this project, which tells the stories of our oceans and challenges preconceived notions of materiality, sustainable fashion and sculpture emerge from the ground up. Rootfull imagines the alternatives to conventional raw materials employed in the fashion industry, a major contributor to global carbon emissions. In close partnership with nature, she grows grass roots into wearable art and makes the audience ponder the possibilities of root-grown textiles. The designer embarks on a journey to design and grow root textiles without harming the planet and envisions a future with sustainable and compostable fashion.

Wood Awards

The Wood Awards are the United Kingdom’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in wood. Since its inception in 1971, the Wood Awards have acknowledged, encouraged, and promoted exemplary wood design, craftsmanship, and installation. The Wood Awards’ elite judging panel not only examines all submitted entries but also visits the shortlisted projects in person, making the awards a unique and rigorous competition. The awards are split into two primary categories: Buildings and Furniture & Product while the Gold Award is given to the project that, according to the jury's commendation, stands out amidst all the winning entries.

Everything you need to know about London Design Festival 2022. Celebrating its 20th year, the festival takes over the city of London with installations, exhibitions, and talks from major design districts such as Brompton, Shoreditch Design Triangle, Greenwich Peninsula, Design London, Clerkenwell Design Trail, Park Royal, Mayfair, Bankside, King's Cross, William Morris Line, and Islington.

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