During the London Design Festival one of my favourite venues was 19 Greek Street. This brand new gallery established by Marc Péridis, Designer and Creative Director of the design studio Montage, aims to be London’s hub for craft, excellence and socially responsible design.
The impressive six-floor Victorian townhouse aims to become a centre for distinctive design storytelling, bringing together handpicked pieces from international design studios, as well as housing the UK outpost of ESPASSO, the much acclaimed US specialists in modernist and contemporary Brazilian design.
19 Greek Street seeks to merge elements of social responsibility, recycling and contemporary design. The top floor design studio / workshop allows users to engage with the design processes of highly crafted pieces from the Australian design collective supercyclers.
It features both commercial and non-commercial pieces in exhibition and showroom environments, while also featuring a screening/lecture room and a workshop space where guests can engage with the process: the work behind the work.
Fuelled by an innate sense of curiosity and exploration, Péridis’ extensive travels through the world’s design hubs of New York, Miami, São Paulo, Berlin, Milan, have set the tone for the space.
This inaugural collection showcases works by an international stable of established design talents alongside emerging newcomers. The pristine white interior allows each exhibited piece of furniture to be presented individually and stand out to show every detail.
Péridis says of his decision to set up 19 Greek Street: “I am one of those people who plays with design like a child plays with his toys – with amazement and bewilderment, seeing an infinite potential in everything I find. This is design. So, for me, the idea was simple. I found a building that was looking for stories to tell, and I found stories that were dying to be told.”
I visited 19 Greek Street a new gallery space in Soho at the weekend as part of the London Design Festival. This exhibit of a ‘living’ chair structure was fascinating. The chair is positioned in a greenhouse complete with soil.
Studio Aisslinger describes the exhibit as the beginning of new life:
“This laboratory-like stage setup promises to be as spectacular as watching a dinosaur hatch from its egg: A chair is born from a steel corset! The only difference to the egg-comparison is the fact that the shell of the “chair farm” prototype is inside the chair’s structure instead of being outside.”
After the removal of the metal structure – described as the “corset”, the unique chair is revealed. The greenery has grown into the mould to form a structure akin to a chair.
“The chair is no longer produced in the classical sense of the word. Instead, it grows of its own volition in a greenhouse or on a field. When it has reached maturity, the steel corset is opened and removed, revealing a naturally grown chair. The title of the project by this Berlin-based designer, who imagines huge “product plantations” in the future, reflects this utopian means of production: the “chair farm””.