6 days and over 100 events involving more than 600 international brands. These are the figures for Focus16, an event that brings Chelsea Harbour’s Design Centre to life. An interactive platform that offers designers, architects and style-seekers a place to meet and exchange ideas.
From 18 to 23 September, the Design Centre – normally home to 120 showrooms – expands its mission by providing spaces and prestigious contacts in order to organize demonstrations, workshops, design tours, talks and conferences.
Different expressive and artistic forms in one big design arena, which aims to simultaneously inspire and influence.
The Meet the Designers talks remain the focal point of the event, involving, among others, the following designers: Clarissa Hulse for Harlequin, Alexander Hamilton for Lewis & Wood, Stefano Bigi for Porada and Patrick Frey for the Pierre Frey Group.
These talks are accompanied by the Conversations in Design, a plunge into the creativity of renowned names in the industry, who share their experience with directors of international design magazines. Today’s event (21 September) with Patrizia Moroso, Art Director of Moroso, the interior designer Alidad and Dina De Luca Chartouni, co-owner and Design Director of The Lowell Hotel, is definitely worth attending.
Products as well as people: at all times, the Access all areas initiative allows you to access the numerous stores in the Design Centre and discover not only the talents behind the collections, but also the new innovations, techniques and materials that make up the infinite variety of products on display in the Chelsea arena.
From a practical perspective, the Artisan&Design Workshop, conducted in collaboration with the KLC School of Design, is certainly of interest, offering a direct approach to interior design.
New for 2016 is the Art&Interiors at Focus16 initiative, curated by Sophie Hastings (art writer and contributor to GQ): it demonstrates the ever deeper connection between art and design, with 30 selected designers who each identify a work (painting, photography or sculpture) that has a particular significance to them and these become the stars of an on-site installation at the Design Centre.
The Chelsea area is also hosting another major landmark at this festival: The Smile installation. Designed by Alison Brooks Architects along with engineers from Arup for the American Hardwood Export Council, is the first American hardwood “mega-tube” in the world. The spectacular curved structure made from cross-laminated timber is 3.5 m tall, 4.5 m wide and 34 m long. Like a wheel, it touches the ground at just one point. Worth visiting and experiencing.