September 25, 2015

6 Designers at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch Challenge Transience


Most installations created for design festivals around the world aim to dazzle and delight for the duration of the event before being packed away and never seen again. In opposition to this profligate approach, the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch invited six designers to create everyday objects that are integrated into the fabric of the hotel and will be there long after this year’s London Design Festival concludes.

The hotel, which last year displayed collection of esoteric reinterpretations of everyday objects , asked Laura Houseley of Modern Design Review magazine to oversee the project and select designers capable of delivering functional products that fit its refined, contemporary interior scheme.

“They gave me a shopping list of really diverse objects that they needed and were on the cusp of buying themselves, off-the-shelf,” explained Houseley. Ranging in scale from a stratified Jesmonite sculpture by Hilda Hellström for the hotel’s restaurant, to Tomás Alonso’s pressed metal ashtrays positioned on outdoor tables, the pieces disappear into their surroundings but add a touch of sophistication that would be lacking in generic mass-produced alternatives.

London-based Canadian designer Philippe Malouin created a wooden stacking stool with wavy edges for use in the hotel’s public spaces, as well as a simple door handle with a hexagonal profile, while Studio Vit’s cast concrete lamps are positioned around the reception desk. Further items were produced to be sold in the hotel’s shop, including Marcin Rusak’s jewelry made from flower-infused resin, and pairs of spectacles manufactured from a single coiled wire by Parsha Gerayesh.

All the outcomes of the Ready Made Go project were displayed in a vitrine in the hotel’s foyer, and visitors were given a map to help them find the objects in context. According to Houseley, the designers relished the challenge of developing production-ready pieces and the hotel team was involved at every stage of the process to ensure practical considerations were met. “As a journalist I see a lot of speculative objects,” she added, “so what I enjoyed about this project was giving designers very specific commissions for pieces that are guaranteed to be on public display, hopefully for a long time.”

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