PearsonLloyd: Reflective design 22.10.13

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While many designers strive to develop an immediately identifiable aesthetic, British designers and co-founders of PearsonLloyd, Tom Lloyd and Luke Pearson, have taken a different path. "We have always wanted design to be the servant of the brand," Lloyd says. "Some designers have a very strong hand and a company will go to that designer to have a bit of them. We have always worked in the opposite way – we have wanted to be as silent as possible and let the brand express itself through the work."

Since launching in 1997, the studio has worked on design for manufacture, and strategic and brand development across the diverse fields of furniture, products, transport and the public realm. Each project is, as Lloyd and Pearson say, more identifiable as belonging to the client's brand than to PearsonLloyd.
An exhibition launching at Great Western Studios during London Design Festival, however, gives the studio an opportunity to reflect on its practice and gain an insight into the ideas that unite its work.

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Titled 1:1, the exhibition, sponsored by Bene and Kvadrat, is in three sections. The first is a large-scale, dynamic installation, also titled 1:1 and specifically designed for the exhibition. It comprises a series of 3m-long plywood boxes that can be configured in multiple ways. Each day, the space will be re-configured, challenging the way people use it. "We want to see how much influence a single piece of furniture can have on the way people use space," Lloyd says. "We also wanted the exhibition to be something you couldn't experience online, where the expression would be very much a physical thing."
For the second part of the exhibition, Lloyd and Pearson have chosen a dozen objects they had designed for sitting – from office chairs to rocking horses and even a commode – and paired them together, seemingly in conversation or in a one-to-one, for a series of photographic portraits by John Ross. In keeping with the 1:1 concept, the photographs will be printed at full-scale and displayed alongside the actual furniture pieces, allowing visitors to understand the work in two different formats and appreciate them as objects crafted from industrial processes. "By looking at them as groups of objects, you begin to get an idea of the hand we have as a studio and the way we approach problems, materials and technology," Lloyd says.

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The third aspect of the show is a digital representation of the studio's work in the public realm – from the new business class interior for Lufthansa to urban design in Bath and a wayfinding system for emergency wards in the UK designed to reduce violence and aggression. "We are interested in the idea of the shared experience and public space," Lloyd says. "There is an opportunity for designers to contribute to the way in which we live our lives fruitfully in the public domain."

Through 1:1, PearsonLloyd will, for the first time, present some of the themes that drive its work. "It is as interesting for us as it hopefully will be for the audience," Lloyd says. "It is not a client experience. It is a PearsonLloyd one."

 

Image

Mark Cocksedge

 

Words

Mandi Keighran

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Gives the studio an opportunity to reflect on its practice and gain an insight into the ideas that unite its work

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