The Midcentury Modern Show has fast become the leading destination for vintage design classics and modern collectables. This year, the show transports to Design Junction’s exciting ground floor with a pop-up shop that will excite anyone who knows their Eames from their Aalto
This year, the ever-successful Midcentury Modern Show will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary at Design Junction. While Design Junction has already cemented its reputation for showcasing the finest selection of international design brands in only its second year, it makes perfect sense to partner up with such a successful show in its own right, bringing a rich mix of original design classics and inspired pieces to the event.
Aptly situated in the iconic 1960s surroundings of an industrial sorting office, vintage furniture from Eames to Aalto that inspire so many of today’s forward-thinking designers, will provide the perfect backdrop and context for this year’s Design Junction.
Lucy Ryder Richardson and Petra Curtis set up the Modern Shows back in 2002, sparked by the duo’s realisation that ‘MidMod’ was hot property after selling 90 per cent of their curated collection in just one day. Since that time, the dynamic vintage and design-loving pair has gone on to produce bigger and better shows, as well as advise TV producers and broadsheet journalists.
Petra puts its success down to “recognising the eclectic way people dress their home” and that “The Midcentury Modern Show has fast established itself as the number one destination for sourcing the antiques of the future, but without the huge retail mark-up.”
The Midcentury Modern Show is usually housed in either Lord’s Cricket Ground pavilion or the bright 1960s concrete and glass Christison-designed refectory and cloisters at Dulwich College. With the likes of Elle Decoration and TimeOut championing their cause, the events are becoming more and more popular, celebrated in this special show at Design Junction. Leading dealers and specialists in mid-century design will be showing their wares in the pop-up shop alongside a selection of favourite designers including By Nord, Ali Miller, Tabitha Bargh and Alexena Cayless.
Futurespace Magazine talks to Midcentury Modern Show founder Petra Curtis about why mid-century is so popular and how it came to be at Design Junction
Why you’ve decided to be part of Design Junction?
Design Junction will be the most exciting part of the London Design Festival. We love Jon Powell and Deborah Spencer’s vision of design and the moving away from stifled white-screened, corporate-looking events. From our very first show, Midcentury Modern, we embraced the fabric of our venues. This is something Design Junction is doing with taking a disused sorting office and encouraging designers to use the unique character of the building as their backdrop. Mid-century design is timeless and plays a huge part in the creative starting point in new design.
For those who have been to your regular shows, is it any different to the usual setup?
The show is moving away from the traditional trade show environment and Design Junction strikes the balance between creative and commercial, incorporating pop-up shops where everything is for sale. Plus workshops, a cinema, flash factories, pechakucha, seminars, talks and the most amazing eateries.
Why you think mid-century design is so popular right now?
Mid-century modern has been popular for some time. People appreciate good quality and style. Mad Men has also helped to make it mainstream. Many also enjoy the integrity of good design and are now acting on their consciences and would rather buy vintage for eco reasons. They also like the fact that it brings back childhood memories and many of the pieces are great investments so they will not lose their value like most contemporary furniture.
What are you looking forward to most at Design Junction?
One thing we’re really excited about (besides the Danish bar sponsored by Carl Hansen!) is the steam-bending chair workshop from Thonet; the company will be demonstrating its mobile wood-bending machine, used to craft the classic 214 chair. Every hour, on the hour, visitors will be able to witness this pioneering manufacturing technique, dating back to the 1850s, as two highly-skilled Thonet craftsmen demonstrate how the backrest of this iconic cafe chair is perfected. No other chair has ever been reproduced as many times as the 214 (over 60 million and counting) which makes this manufacturing master-class all the more special.
Midcentury Modern Show founder Petra offers her top picks from the pop up shop
Nordic Elements features Danish brand By Nord Copenhagen’s incredible design products and bed linen inspired by the diversity of the raw yet stunning Nordic nature, where the rough and gentle meet. By Nord believes in sustainable design, where beauty and functionality are supported by extended use of organic materials and accountability in production. You can guarantee you’ll get unique design products, which respect the nature that surrounds us.
Ali Miller lovingly produces intimate ceramics and textiles by upcycling long-forgotten objects with her nostalgic collage-based designs. Mixing tradition with whimsy, Ali Miller adds vintage-inspired imagery to homeware to create romantic, timeless pieces that you can keep and love forever. Ali Miller’s original artworks are created and produced in the UK, and have been stocked by Selfridges, the Tate, Mary Portas at House of Fraser and Paul Smith to name but a few. Sherlock Holmes was also caught on camera sipping from one of her cups with a unique tea set to hand on the latest BBC series.
das programm are specialist dealers in Dieter Rams’ designs for Braun and Vitsœ, and especially Braun products issued 1955-1995, which was the period of Rams’ office at Braun. The impeccably presented website is a unique resource offering some of the most important and desirable examples of twentieth-century industrial design; until now largely unobtainable without travel or risk of e-auction frustration. das programm shares its expertise with customers ranging from modernist design enthusiasts and interior designers through to serious collectors and curators.