British designers explore the meaning of “home”

Earlier in the week, I paid a visit to London’s Trafalgar Square with the sole purpose of visiting an exhibition installed as part of the London Design Festival 2014. Over nine days in September, hundreds of events take place across the city every year and this time, an exhibition entitled, ‘A Place Called Home’ caught my eye. The Landmark Project tasked four designers and design studios with exploring the meaning of home and showcasing their ideas through transforming identical, 4x6m structures designed to resemble a one-level, four walled house.

Jasper Morrison

jasper morrison

British designer, Jasper Morrison, is well known for his subtlety. Home to him means a pigeon fancier’s house because, “who else would choose to live in the middle of Trafalgar Square?” The exterior features a number of roosting boxes and perches – to attract the pigeons we can only assume. Step inside and things brighten up. The glass panels let the light in while the minimalistic furniture and no-fuss plywood surfaces embrace all things natural. There aren’t any unnecessary objects cluttering the space. Pigeon photos adorn one of the walls and everything has a purpose, whether that’s to aid sleeping (the bed), working (a desk) or relaxing (a seating area). It’s a simple home that’s warm and cosy.

Raw Edges

raw edges

Raw Edges’ design embraces our need for space in the 21st century. By turning a handle attached to one of the three separate panels, each room can be opened up to reveal four different spaces – the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living room. Furniture folds in on itself and partitions slide on tracks to reveal each room when it’s needed.

folding bed

It’s a clever way of making use of inches, by ensuring that unused rooms don’t take up space. The home expands and shrinks as needed. My only criticism is the practicality of the design. This is a home for one person living by themselves and “home” to me has always involved an extra person or two.


the meaning of home

Ilse Crawford’s company explores the meaning of home through the use of multimedia and a multi-sensory experience. Videos projected onto the walls highlight everyday activities such as feeding your dog and the approach is carried through seamlessly to the audio. The boiling of a kettle sticks in my mind as does the sound of pans being moved about as if a meal were being cooked. Going one step further, the studio employed fragrance expert Azzi Glasser to create a bespoke scent because, as Ilse says, “every home has its own distinctive smell”. This is the home I identify with the most – mainly because it speaks of a happy family, cooking and cups of tea! Home is made up of all those little moments that occur between those four walls.


quirky building

On the surface, Patternity has the strangest design to offer. A kaleidoscope has been positioned onto the side of the structure and visitors turn a wheel to create a series of optical effects caused by refracted light. This is a clever take on “home” – it isn’t a cosy, inviting retreat but it does speak of the home on a larger scale. The patterns consist of circles, lines, triangles and squares, all of which act as the basic building blocks of life. For this design company, the home is one which we all share – Earth.

Which home do you identify with the most? Let us know your opinion by commenting below, or getting in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. The problem with these concepts is that they do not deal with the realities of family life – where do you put 5 bikes, 5 pairs of wellies, 5 pairs of work/school shoes, 5 pairs of trainers, sandals, and the coats, over trousers, bike helmets, etc, etc, Marco and Burgess capture some of these issues in their project which demonstrates the conflict of housing design and living in a home!

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