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How to Co-work beautifully

Co-working and office hubs are now the norm as more people freelance and larger companies realise the potential health in flexi-time. However, beautiful, design-led spaces are few and far between. Read the article to find out how you could win free co-working membership for a year with The Office Group. YES PLEASE!

the office group

The Office Group is a leading provider of design-led and flexible offices, meeting rooms and co-working spaces for start-ups, small businesses and, increasingly, larger companies. Those who have chosen to work for themselves do not necessarily want to work by themselves. Members of The Office Group form part of a community and the design of the buildings creates an environment where businesses, ideas and relationships can develop.

the office group

Exceptional design and the inclusion of communal spaces such as libraries, screening rooms and gardens highlights the focus on inspirational workplaces that increase productivity and create a genuine sense of community.

the office group

During October, The Office Group are opening an innovative pop-up co-working space at Old Street tube station. Replicating their design-led co-working offering, TOG is offering free access to this workspace to anyone who needs a place to work for a few hours or who wants to experience collaborative working.

the office spaceFrom 5 October until 30 October, TOG is inviting its members and the public to come and work from the pop-up workspace at Old Street station – which will be open Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 7pm – at no cost, so that they can experience what it’s like to be part of a coworking community.  TOG will also be running a competition to win a lifetime’s membership to the newest Shoreditch workspace.

the office group

Albert House offers flexible workspace, meeting rooms and co-working spaces, as well as a café/bar, fitness studio and screening room. TOG has worked with Ben Adams Architects to restore the original character of the 1930s warehouse and give a speakeasy feel to the building. To enter the competition pop into the pop-up at Old Street. @TheOfficeGroup #popupcoworking.


Bookcases from Poltrona Frau

We’re pretty mad on books at Despoke. Living in a small London flat however, means our books are in piles around the bed- making perfect small tables for glasses of wine and water. If we did find ourselves with a massive abode suddenly thrust upon us, we’re pretty sure we would want something like Poltrona Frau’s Albero.

poltrona frau

After the huge success of the re-release of the freestanding Albero bookcase, a little-known yet very fascinating and masterful piece created by Gianfranco Frattini in the late 1950s, Poltrona Frau is launching the Albero Limited Edition in olive wood.


Who can spot the mini armchair? Given the English weather’s preference for rain, this might not be so practical, but when we finally own an olive grove, this will be making an appearance….


From the same parent company comes the gorgeous Drop bookcase- almost Scandi in its minimalism, but with the Italian fun found in the precarious cube on top. Nendo-designed, he used his native Japan as a colour-way- the grey of the brooks and the pink of the cherry blossom.


For more information on both styles, head here for Cappellini and here for Poltrona Frau.


Artek’s 80th Birthday


Yesterday we celebrated Artek’s 80th birthday in the Vitra showrrom, Clerkenwwll. Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Today Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, creating new paths at the intersection of design, architecture and art.


Here are just a few of the pieces from the Kaari collection by the Bourroullec brothers for the brand.


The brothers wanted to create a collection that was unique and functional as well as a table network that could be multi-functional- unusual for a table, unlike it’s close cousin the chair! Wood and steel have been used to keep the pieces as simple as possible. The ‘kaari’ collection is comprised of rectangular and round tables in two sizes each, in addition to a desk, a wall console, small round shelf and larger wall-mounted shelving.


Artek presents Alvar Aalto’s iconic Tea Trolley 901 reinterpreted by Dutch designer and colour expert Hella Jongerius. Get planning a cocktail evening to enjoy these iconic designs. For more information click here.

Driade top picks

Italian powerhouse Driade have sent us over some of their latest work and it’s amazing. Working with some of the world’s top designers including Nendo and Konstantin Grcic, we were lucky enough to see new creative director David Chipperfield speak a few weeks ago. Below we have picked some of our top products. To see more, head to the Driade website.


Nendo- Astrology- Clock in Clock


Gear by Philippe Bestenheider

Oyster by Marco Zanuso Jr.

Oyster by Marco Zanuso Jr.

Root by Giorgio Bonaguro

Root by Giorgio Bonaguro

Zigzag by Konstantin Grcic, driade

Zigzag by Konstantin Grcic

Archipelago by Fredrikson Stallard, driade

Archipelago by Fredrikson Stallard

Meridiana by Christophe Pillet, driade

Meridiana by Christophe Pillet

5 minutes with Gilda Bojardi

gilda1Despoke managed to grab 5 minutes with the Italian design influencer and Interni editor, Gilda Bojardi, during LDF and the successful Interni Aperitivo talks.

interniThe Interni website is beautiful as well as easy to navigate. Do you think the design world works better online than in print and if so why?

INTERNI was born 60 years ago as one of the first magazines of architecture and interior design. Over the years it has evolved and updated, living up to its ethos: to inform its readers of everything going on in the world of design. Obviously the website, since the magazine is a monthly publication, is the fast version. An interface that collects content day by day from the world of design and architecture. I think they are both important and complement each other: INTERNI is in fact ‘a system’ that comprises many forms of communication, that need the magazine as much as its online presence. I believe that it is up to our readers to choose which medium they want to read, depending on the need for topical or more detailed information.

interni, patricia urquiola

Photo by Alessandro Paderni/Eye Studio- Patricia Urquiola’s home studio


You have been at the helm of Interni for over 20 years. How has the general public’s attitude to design changed across those decades especially given the rise in online funding campaigns and the resurgence in craft? Does everyone now think they know what good design is and that they can be a designer?

Certainly being able to get online has helped spread a design culture that today is becoming more  widely followed. The return of craftsmanship in this industry is certainly a value, even if Italian design, especially furniture design, has always had an artisanal aspect, in the creation, finishes, choice of materials and quality of workmanship. This was always the added value of the ‘Made in Italy’ stamp. Nevertheless, I do not think that the concept of good design is so widespread. Personally, I do not think that just anyone can become a designer: it takes talent, a good education, and a lot of energy in defending their ideas. It’s not for everyone.


Last year you said that Italy’s design output wasn’t in decline and that ‘Milan is still the capital of design’ (dezeen 19/9/2014). Given that Milan is also considered the capital of fashion, what is it about this city that makes it such a force for creativity? Has it always been this way? 

Furniture design was born in Milan in the immediate post-war period. In those years, some companies were beginning to work with the architects who convinced them to abandon the traditional style of furniture production in favour of contemporary furniture and mass production

Then, Salone del Mobile and FuoriSalone together became a catalyst force for the international creative energies, transforming central Milan into the international capital of both project and design. It has certainly been FuoriSalone who has sanctioned the ‘Milan model’: a format that has grown over the years that INTERNI created and nurtured, making Milan Design Week a unique experience. As for fashion, Milan became one of the international capitals of fashion in the sixties and seventies with the emergence of the ready-to-wear and the arrival in town of designers such as Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferré and Krizia. They invented the Milan fashion that is still appreciated around the world.

These two industries, that sometimes intersect, make the city a unique hotbed of creative proposals and ideas. Today, this focus has further expanded and established itself thanks to the Expo’ – Universal Exhibition in Milan (May 1 to October 31 2015). This extraordinary event, of which INTERNI is also a partner, which has already attracted over 15 million visitors, a tremendous opportunity to spread the culture of Milan around the world.

ron arad, big easy chair

Ron Arad, Big easy Chair, Moroso

London is also considered a creative capital, the world leader some might say. What does London do right and what does it do wrong for designers and creatives? 

London has certainly had and continues to have excellent creatives, and many factors contributes to maintain it like that, in particular the ‘ education factor ‘, stemming from the number and quality of schools in the city, and from an attitude to self-production typical of young professionals just out of school.

The ‘Brit Style’ is a phenomenon now known internationally. However, London doesn’t have the same level of manufacturers and industrial makers in design, and it is not able to provide the same industrial milieu that is present in Milan, and Italy. A great majority of British designers have become acclaimed designers, only after having been supported and launched by Italian companies who understood and appreciate British creativity: from Ron Arad, Ross Lovegrove, Jasper Morrison, to Tom Dixon and Michael Young, and many others. Now even the great architects like Zaha Hadid or David Chipperfield – and I quote just a few names – realise and produce their ideas in collaboration with Italian companies. Designer furniture is, above all, made in Italy.

gilda bojardi


If you could have had any other career- what would you have done? Why? 

I am very glad to have chosen my career because my education was of an entirely different nature- I am a lawyer! But I have ‘betrayed’ my education when I was still a university student, therefore I can say I chose this career really early on. If I were to do something else, I would say that I like decorating my houses, and giving advice to my friends. So I’m probably a failed architect!


Chock- Kickstarter campaign

We rather like this new way of stacking! Chock is a simple elegant solution to stacking your bottles or cans, no matter what size they are. The triangular design creates a wedge that works in both directions. The cork form works together with micro-suction foam so that Chock can be used on any smooth polished surface, not just in your fridge.

chock, stacking

Chock works on any smooth surface that is clean and dry. Glass or any similarly smooth surface works best. You can use any number of Chocks together, creating different stacks of bottles. The image below shows how you might also use a Chock when not stacking bottles or cans. You might find other great uses!

chock, design, stacking

Launched on Kickstarter, Chock needs your help- pledge here to show your support and if Cjcok meets its target we might have a couple to give away!

chock, stacking

100% Design welcomes the Chinese Pavilion

100% Design is known for its international pavilions, bringing designers the world over together in one place during LDF. This year they welcome back the China Pavilion. china, 100% design

The China Pavilion, organised by Shenzhen Industrial Design Professional Design Association (SIDA) showcases design products from 50 major Chinese cities, promising an exciting design feast. Visitors will not only appreciate the contemporary design elements, but also those derived from a more recognisable and traditional Chinese style.

china pavilion, 100% design

A ‘China Design Day’ event will be held to encourage new partnerships between designers and merchants, both at home and abroad.

china, 100% design

Click here to find out more.

Get ready for London Design Festival

ldf, graphics,

LDF kicks off 19-20 September with a weekend dedicated to graphic design.

Design Week will host six keynote talks over two days, including the founders of design consultancy Europa; followed by illustrator Johanna Basford in a Q&A session by Creative Review editor Patrick Burgoyne; Tom Sharp and Ben Haworth, co-founders and creative directors of The Beautiful Meme; Tony Brook, co-founder of design studio ‘Spin’ with Adrian Shaughnessy, and Craig Oldham. On Sunday, there’s a lunchtime talk with Pentagram partner Harry Pearce, and an afternoon masterclass with award-winning designer Morag Myerscough as part of the Global Design Forum 2015.

v&a, ldf

On Monday, investigate the future of luxury across different fields: Materials, Skills, Environment, and Premiumisation, with Swarovski designers of the future studio Swine and Kim Thome?, designer of Zotem. They will talk to Suzanne Trocme? about challenges with creating innovative and memorable designs in crystal., ldf

On Wednesday, hear a panel discussion on the way digital technologies are transforming mainstream design, both in creation and consumption. Chaired by Michelle Ogundehin, Editor in Chief of ELLE Decoration UK, with Ruth Wassermann, head of design at MADE.COM plus special guests.

Make sure to find out more about the entire LDF schedule here:

Reclaimed Flooring Co in Design & Build

Back once again, The Reclaimed Flooring Company take over an area in the Design and Build section of 100% Design.

reclaimed, flooring, 100% design

Famed for sourcing flooring and re-usable product from sites and countries across the world , this year they ask visitors to Look Closer. Through the Look Closer campaign they will not only challenge the way you view wood but inspire you to respect and admire this material in an entirely new light. The Reclaimed Flooring Company believes there is no superior product in the market and encourage anyone to stop by and take a Look Closer.

reclaimed, flooring,. design

This year has also seen the arrival of The Reclaimed Flooring Company’s new line Industrial Chic which uses the finest European solid oak boards that have been finely calibrated to display industrial style surface undulation. This high-end line offers natural yet modern tones that combine the texture of softly brushed oak with luxurious finishes, bridging city prestige and provincial charm.

reclaimed, flooring, design

See them at 100% Design register for free here:

Benjamin Moore Paint

Already a well-loved brand in America, Benjamin Moore launch in the UK. From September 2015, the outstanding quality paint products offered by Benjamin Moore will be available to purchase. Combining aesthetic beauty with true high quality and performance benefits, the vast colour palette of more than 3,500 shades is full of inspirational hues, from the dramatically deep to the perfectly pale.

paint, colour, benjamin moore

The unique rich resin formulation also delivers phenomenal coverage, so users will be able to cover in just two coats, even in the darkest shade.

paint, colour, benjamin moore

Founded in 1883, Benjamin Moore is North America’s favourite paint, colour and coatings brand- a brand already much loved by designers the world over.

benjamin moore, paint, colour

Stig Lindberg for Skandium

skandium, launch, stig lindberg

Skandium is launching a series of kitchenware products with illustrations by Stig Lindberg from the children’s book Daniel Doppsko (Daniel Tip Your Toe) from 1959, telling the tale on how Daniel discovers a city and life under the water. Working with the Lindberg estate, we have transferred Lindberg’s work to mugs, bowls, tea towels and trays.

skandium, stig lindberg

Stig Lindberg (1916 – 1982). Born in Umeå, northern Sweden in 1916 as the youngest child of five, Lindberg’s classmates remember him being so skinny, they would call him ’Stickan’ (the stick).

In 1942 Stig Lindberg made himself a name amongst the Arts and Crafts community in Sweden with his now legendary exhibition ‘Faience in Spring’ at the Gustavsberg shop in Stockholm.

The exhibition was a huge success with enthusiastic reviews, hailing the new talent. Stig Lindberg with his vivid imagination and lighthearted playfulness had created a new ‘ceramic language’ for Sweden.

skandium, stig lindberg

With his light hand, originality and humour, Stig Lindberg won the hearts and minds of the Swedish public and is still today regarded as one of the most influential and loved artists in Scandinavian design history. Welcome to taste some of the talent and wit of Stig Lindberg through his Skandium products.

Icon September Issue

Looking at all things sinful- from sex toys to greedy development, Icon Magazine’s September issue is now on sale. mirror icon

The issue also looks at Herzog and de Meuron, Vienna and the iconic VW Camper van.


Subscribe and read now

Lassen’s AW2015

by Lassen is a Danish design company. They work with various designers, including two of Denmark’s greatest architects: Mogens Lassen and Flemming Lassen. The Lassen brothers were extremely talented and were honoured with many awards and grants for their unique designs and iconic architecture. by Lassen’s mission is to continue the tradition of good design. For A/W2015 they launch 2 new products at Maison & Objet in Paris- Kubus collection in brass + Matchbox Cover & Matchbox.matchbox

Matchbox Cover is a tribute to cosiness, aesthetics and small everyday details. It is available in three simple versions: powder-coated black, powder-coated white and brass-plated.

brass, candles, by lassen

Kubus with its distinctive square shape is an international design icon cherished by connoisseurs the world over. Mogens Lassen was a consummate perfectionist and he explored life through ideal proportions, of which Kubus is an outstanding example. Brass is a classic, exclusive material that will eventually develop a rich, natural patina and only achieve even more character with time. The brass-plated Kubus and Kubus Bowl are timeless and compliment the rest of the collection, which currently consists of copper, black and white lacquered steel and a hand-polished nickel-plated version



All the Fruits new patterns


SWING SUSPENSION- Italian based design company All the Fruits  were asked by Metrocuadro Design to design a pattern for the inner surface of their new suspension lamp, called Swing.


Swing is made from Tyvek and derives from a research made into foldings and colour theory. The concept was to create a lamp that is attractive both day and night. Swing-10_900


Exhibitor Alert: Laura Callaghan at Pick Me Up Festival 2015


Laura Callaghan’s distinct hand drawn illustrations couldn’t be more relevant as the appetite for 1980s grows. Catch her new body of work at Pick Me Up until the 4th of May.


Above: Illustration for Hunger Magazine to celebrate the opening of Pick Me Up London.

Pick Me Up / Laura Callaghan / Hunger Magazine

Somerset House

23rd April to the 4th May.


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