A trend for archive pieces has emerged at Clerkenwell Design Week, as industry stalwarts such as Vitra, Cassina and SCP unearth and update former successes and passed-over prototypes
Prouvé RAW Office Edition
This is the second time that G-Star RAW has collaborated with Vitra to trawl the archive of Jean Prouvé, drawing parallels between the utility and elegance of the French industrial designer’s work and the Dutch fashion label’s own output.
For 2015, the pair have adapted ten of Prouvé’s designs – two desks, a table, four chairs, a sideboard and two lights – created in the 1940s for the offices of several French industrial companies. The results will be on display at Vitra’s Clerkenwell showroom alongside a retrospective dedicated to the self-taught designer.
The greens of mid-century machinery inform the new colour palette, and Prouvé’s original pieces have been rethought for a digital landscape, with desks discreetly interrupted by cable gutters and power fittings.
30 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5PG, 19-21 May
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, SCP will re-issue pieces from the brand’s early history, including Konstantin Grcic’s Tom Tom and Tam Tam tables, Michael Marriot’s Missed Day Bed and James Irvine’s Archiver bookcase.
Designs were selected for their previous popularity or their unfulfilled potential, which SCP founder Sheridan Coakley attributes to both price and the conservatism of the market in the 1980s. “Perhaps some of the pieces were too avant-garde,” he adds.
Colours, sizes and processes have been tweaked: the frame of Jasper Morrison’s Side Table – his first ever production piece, from 1985 – was originally curved by hand, but is now formed using a programmable bending machine, improving accuracy and reducing cost.
SCP is exhibiting at Design Factory in the Farmiloe Building, 34 St John Street, EC1M 4AY, 19-21 May
On the anniversary of his passing and of the collection’s launch, the Italian manufacturer will present its LC50 collection at Poltrona Frau’s Clerkenwell showroom during the festival, with reissues and extensions of the original 1960s pieces.
Archival research carried out in close collaboration with the Le Corbusier Foundation (specifically looking at early models) has influenced an adapted colour palette for the collection’s trademark frames, which are now made from trivalent chrome rather than the more toxic hexavalent variety as part of a new eco-conscious push from the brand.
Poltrona Frau’s showroom is at 150 St John Street, EC1V 4UD