LDF: Icon Events 28.02.12

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London Design Festival was a particularly important event in Icon's calendar this year. The festival coincided with the publication of our 100th issue, so to mark this special occasion, we held a birthday party for ourselves at Shoreditch Underground. Over the course of the evening,the former tube station hosted more than 800 well-wishers from the world of architecture and design.

Many of the partygoers rose to the challenge of the Icon wall with blank covers ready for people to decorate with artwork of their own. Our guests soon cast shyness aside and picked up pencils, marker pens and poster paints to show off their skills – and show off to each other. By the end of the evening, there wasn't a blank spot left.

Upstairs, away from the crowd, there were quieter spaces for installations by two British artists: David Ogle and Sarah Wiestner. Ogle's piece "08009" was an eerie, glow-in-the-dark kinetic sculpture consisting of ultraviolet light aimed at a 3D arrangement of fluorescent fishing line. Following on from her displays at Clerkenwell Design Week earlier this year, Wiestner's "Fill the Void" featured rolled-up pages of Icon multiplied by an arrangement of mirrors.

Lucky attendees took home sets of Lego's series of architectural classics in their party bags. We witnessed some bartering at the exit, with instance of guests trying to swap the Empire State Building for the Seattle Space Needle – though we're not sure what to make of the person who was seen staggering out under the weight of five sets.

We could have pointed them in the direction of our Lego Build Off in Covent Garden. In Renzo Piano's Central St Giles there was an exhibition of the Lego models of classic buildings remade by leading British architects (Icon 098).

As well as inviting people to view these miniature masterpieces by Foster & Partners, Adjaye Associates, Make and other firms, we challenged them to come up with their own versions, and put those on display, too. Visitors showed an unexpected level of dedication and competitiveness. After a quick visit during the week, one group came back and spent all of Saturday there. What we didn't think of, though, was to ask independent observers whether they preferred the professional or amateur attempts.

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Image

Icon

 

Words

Fatema Ahmed

 

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