If you’re London-based and design-inclined then the autumn months are something of a treat: Frieze is just around the corner and we’re still basking in the inspirational afterglow of London Design Festival. It feels like LDF, which runs towards the tail end of September, offers something more incredible with every passing year.
This year, one installation in particular captured the collective Floom imagination in particular, with its prominent use of plant life. Entitled Forests, it is the latest project from architect-extraordinaire Asif Khan - a young yet internationally renowned local who has just been commissioned to design the new Museum Of London at Smithfield Market.
Forests was an altogether more intimate proposition: three temporary spaces created with the aim of disrupting the passive flow of life around the Old Street area. Each was constructed from rippling polycarbonate sheets and stuffed full of wondrous flora courtesy of one of our favourite plant shops, Conservatory Archives on Hackney Road. Each was also designed with a different use in mind - to ‘Connect’, ‘Create’ and ‘Relax’ - but all with the overarching intention to bring the local communities together. Whilst the people that occupy this part of London might be diverse, they live side by side without hardly ever “overlapping” as Asif has put it. Shielded from the hustle and bustle of the everyday environment they usually drift through, businesspeople, Shoreditch hipsters and bemused locals alike were able to step away for a moment from their tunnel vision commutes. A brief moment, shared and together, amidst the transcendent joys of a vibrant ‘forest’. It is exactly the type of space that the ever-expanding, increasingly dense area needed, and left you longing for more permanent solutions along a similar line of thinking.