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LDF 2018 Preview: The Central Saint Martins Grad Reinventing Plastic

The London Design Fair’s Material of the Year spotlight is reminding me of The Graduate, considering it can be summed up in one word: plastics. For this second annual exhibition (the first focused on Jesmonite) the fair has invited four design studios — Charlotte Kidger, Weez & Merl, Kodai Iwamoto Design, and Dirk Vander Kooii — to exhibit their experimental approach to this highly talked about yet highly detested material. “The initial urge to work with waste plastic was driven by the instinctive need to find alternative ways of using waste in general,” says Kidger, a London-based material designer and recent graduate of the Material Futures program at Central Saint Martins. Her debut furniture collection is our favorite of the group, combining as it does lightweight polyurethane foam dust — a by-product of the CNC milling process — with bright teal, green, and yellow pigments and resin to make ridged and curving forms. The series of molded vessels and two large tables push the boundaries of the much-maligned material to create alluring yet functional objects. Kidger explores the curiosity of working with the unknown, which results in unique moments and compositions — also known as defects — which, she says, “I now consider the best parts of the design.” On view from September 20-23.

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