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Walking down the affluent Lambs Conduit Street in west London one store shouts out for your undivided attention from across the street with it’s sweet, candy coloured, saccharine, graphic, bold products. For the London Design Festival, Darkroom has gone “So Sottsass” with its homage to the postmodernist 80s Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass and the work he did with the Memphis group.

Contributing collaborators Spotti Edizione, Jamie Julien-Brown, Studiopepe, Zuzunaga, Stone Theatre and Elke Kramer all turn their hand at emulating and celebrating the work that Sottsass created.

Glass and ceramic totem lights by Jamie Julien-Brown stand proudly in the window bearing strong decorative, ornamental inspirations with their dynamic shapes and bold primary colours demanding customer’s attention from across the street. Inside the Darkroom store, the reference to ethnicity and bold colours continues. An exclusive print consisting of multiple pills on a tonal background adorns the monochrome walls. Plates, wrapping paper, cushions, pillows and vases are plastered in the alternating monochrome pill print.

Away from the primary palette of black and white, bright and loud colours are also included within the capsule collection. Shocking jolts of electric blue, tomato red, dandelion yellow, bright orange, mint green and fuchsia pink bring life to abstract wall pieces, marble plates and stationary objects. In a world where everything consists of ‘black and white’, Sottsass and his work with the Memphis group managed to encapsulate and reproduce the world we live into a playful, colourful and graphic reality for the here and now.

WORDS
STEPHEN GEORGE

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