Design has often occupied an ambivalent position in British cultural history. While it is something we always felt we were good at, it hasn't always been taken terribly seriously. Successive governments failed to recognise the importance of the industry, and in the country at large there was a perception that design was frivolous and expensive, an added extra rather than a core objective. Attitudes have transformed in the last couple of decades, and Britain is now hugely successful in the sector, giving a huge boost to jobs and exports. In particular, London has become one of the world's design capitals. This is highlighted every year during the London Design Festival which encompasses dozens of events and exhibitions throughout the capital. Among those exhibiting new products this year, will be Matteo Bianchi.
Born in Venice, Matteo, like countless others, came to London in search of creative opportunities. Having previously worked in marketing, his love of design and drawing, and an ability to visualise space, persuaded him to enrol at Chelsea College of Art. After working with fellow designer, Simon Hamilton on various projects, Matteo set up on his own. Projects range across the spectrum from commercial and residential interiors, to furniture design. While very focused and serious about what he does, Matteo also injects a sense of humour into his work, as the Muffin Poufe, which is to be launched during the festival, indicates.
Elsewhere, Matteo's primary concern is to work with each client's brief to give them the most appropriate solution, rather than stamping a house style on everything. The result is a broad portfolio which makes his work far from predictable. Here are a few examples of projects I have shot for him.
Live/Work in Dalston
Estate Agents, Islington
As well as an opportunity for designers to promote their own new work, London Design Festival is also an invaluable resource for those in the industry to explore latest trends and swap ideas with colleagues. You may bump into Matteo at Superbrands or the Tramshed seeking inspiration for one of his latest projects.