Design meets functionality at Hackney’s newest exhibition, Useful and Beautiful

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. The infamous quote from master craftsman William Morris is the foundation of a brand new exhibition at Hackney’s Geffrye Museum.

The exhibition – Useful and Beautiful – examines how design influences the look and functionality of our homes. On display is a greatly varied and innovative selection of recent works, largely from East London based designers. From 3D wallpaper to flat furnishings and exploration of new craft techniques, there’s certainly a glimpse into what the future may hold for the modern home.

Compared with the rest of the museum, which houses 400 years of home design history, the exhibition is refreshingly modern in it’s visual displays. Untreated wooden and industrial orange scaffolding showcases four central room sets and larger items of furniture throughout.

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These were our highlights of the exhibition:
The Rising Chair: Robert Van Embricqs

Dutch designer Robert Van Embricqs is fascinated by creating flexible products that are also aesthetically pleasing. Throughout his work he questions “To what degree is the object you’re creating capable of dictating it’s own design?”

The rising chair starts as a flat, easily stored wooden piece, which then seams to emerge out of nowhere as it is pushed into position.

Read more about his work, here.
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As we mentioned, there were a number of incredibly creative new processes shown. One of which was this textile moulded glass from Silo Studio, formed by blowing the glass into fire proof moulds. The result is a completely new look for these everyday items.
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In House Tablewear: David Steiner

Simplistic in appearance, this collection was created by Steiner at home, by mimicking factory processes utilising everyday domestic items. Most inventive of which was the bowl, rotational cast in a washing machine with the aid of an embroidery hoop, notice board frame and polyproplene mould.
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One of our absolute favourite pieces, which was set outside the main exhibition, was this felt napping pod. It might just be the perfect solution for long days in the studio…
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These were just some of our highlights, see the full exhibition for yourself at The Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road.

Useful and Beautiful opened just last week and continues until 25th August.

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