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Yolk Puzzle Rug by Studio Proba
21st August 2017

Assembly: What to Expect

This London Design Festival, 14 US-based design studios will stride across the pond (albeit on and off of a plane) and make their collective debut at London Design Fair. Curated by Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov, Assembly marks the first time that the US has had a group presence at the sprawling trade fair. Needless to say, we’re pretty damn excited!  

Assembly will comprise an almighty concoction of furniture, lighting, textiles and sculpture crafted by an assortment of designers that are based all over America. The curation of the exhibition was not lead by a common theme, material or typology, but rather a shared desire to push the boundaries of creative possibility.

RBS Vessel by Stephen Haulenbeek.

As a result, the works on display are wildly diverse. Chicago-based designer Steven Haulenbeek, for example, is bringing five works from his RBS Series to Assembly; four blown-glass lamps and a vessel, all made with resin-bonded sand. The pieces are formed following a lengthy and painstaking process of carving and resin-soaking with no two pieces being the same. Elsewhere, Studio Proba will present three pieces for the exhibition: Yolk, a two-colour rug with a removable centre part that can be used independently; Day 1321, a rug taken from the studio’s Poster A Day project; and a multimedia art piece created in collaboration with designer Thomas Pregiato.

Double Float Light by Ladies & Gentlemen
Assembly will also see the exclusive launch of several new products. Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, a practice founded by Dylan Davis & Jean Lee in 2010, will debut its Double Float light. An extension of the studio’s Single Float light, the Double Float light, will comprise a brass fitting housing LED bulbs and two suspended discs.  Also new for Assembly is Drapes by Indiana-based artist and designer Christopher Stuart. The furniture series is made using CAD to digitally drape fabric over basic furniture forms and in doing so introduces unpredictable elements. The resultant designs are realised in fibreglass and pigmented rubber.  
Drapes Series by Christoper Stuart

The exhibition marks the second iteration of London Design Fair’s Guest Country Pavilion, an initiative introduced in 2016 to expand its, already broad, international scope. “A Guest Country Pavilion exhibition usually emerges from our lack of understanding of what is going on in a country,” says London Design Fair founder and director Jimmy McDonald. “It’s about exploring what is going on and then finding the lead protagonist in that story and assembling a show from that. It is truly an assembly of all of those things.” No pun intended.

Arch Mirror by Bower

Rather than attempt the somewhat impossible task of representing the US design scene as an almighty whole, instead Assembly takes a more focused approach. “We are representing what is designed for the US metropolises and the market in which that supports,” says Jimmy. “The exhibitors all work at the luxury-end of the market and their products have all been made using very expensive production techniques. It is exquisite content but it also comes with an exquisite price tag. The pieces being shown are very much of gallery standard.

Although an exhibition exclusively dedicated to American design is new territory for London Design Fair, Assembly’s curatorial approach was evident from the start.  “I always knew that I was going to source luxury design for the US pavilion because that is where it is strongest,” says Jimmy. “There is very little mid-level design in the US. That will be the defining description of the Assembly exhibition: super luxury. The designers don’t care what they use materials-wise: everything is really big and they use whatever materials they like.”

Galatea Small Light by Iacoli and McAllister
For more information on 2017's Assembly please contact Jodi on jodi@zetteler.co.uk.

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