On Growth and Form

For London Design Festival 2019

Exhibiting at London Design Festival 2019, this group show presents the works of five emerging designers, who reflected on how manufactured objects can imitate, adapt or modify the rules of growth and form that shape the natural world.

London based emerging designers Julian Leedham, Matteo Pacella, Philippine Hamen, Nicholas Marschner and Lucy Winn have gathered together to investigate the adaptation of the natural rules of growth, form and pattern to manufactured objects.

The mere scope of the interpretation of nature is to understand how it achieves stability and equilibrium through the mutual relations between forces and forms, matter and surface, proportions and growth.

Matteo Pacella

Matteo’s work aims to understand the surrounding, whose stability and equilibrium are explained in the mutual relations between forces and form, matter and surfaces, proportions and growth or, precisely, in their balances. 

Shelf Portrait

Inspired by the work of renaissance masters, Matteo explores the analogy between cornice and facial profile, setting his own proportion in plaster moulding.

Shelf portrait is a project based on the theory of profiles initiated by Francesco di Giorgio (15th century) in the ‘Saluzziano Code’. The study suggests a superimposition of a cornice over a man’s head: the gola corresponds to the crown of the head, the corona or gocciolatoio fits the forehead, the echino is situated over the nose, the scotia sits between the nose and mouth and the cimatio ends up at the chin.

Man in Shelf Portrait, like Di Giorgio, is both example and the rule, a microcosm of the conditions creating perfection in this world.


Nicholas Marschner

Nicholas Marschner’s work depicts an intertwining of material observation and opportunism. 

The work is characterised in re-imagining pre-existing forms and scenarios, of which could be seen as perhaps banal and immediate.

Nicholas lives and works in London.


A series of metallurgically coated glass mirrors, which embody a series of complex reactions and penumbras.


Lucy Winn

Challenging the manufacturing process rather than the outcome is where Lucy focuses her design. She is particularly fascinated by tradition but defies the sentimentality of keeping it precious and sacred. Through experiment and manipulation, she aims to explore new ways of using these skills.


Inspired by the current revival of the Arts and Crafts movement, Roots explores, through the medium of needlework, how craft can and must evolve in order to survive.

Using skills passed down from the generations before her, Lucy defies the sentimentality and preciousness of tradition by breaking it apart and revealing the imperfections behind the carefully crafted outer layer.

While holding onto her roots, which can be seen through the interpretation of traditional Welsh print, this collection extracts from the past and challenges how traditional can be reimagined.


Julian Leedham

The act of creation requires destruction, so where is the value in making? If a plastic duck requires oil to be sucked from the earth, factories to refine and produce it, just so it can float in a bath for 2years before floating in an ocean for 498years. What value does it bring?


Thinking about value gave rise to PINN, a vessel for growth. Allowing for the cultivation and propagation of a variety of plants, herbs and vegetables. 

Once nurtured they can be moved indoors, potted and displayed upon HOOP, a unit designed to house an array of plants or MESH, a smaller entity designed to support plant growth.

Eventually what was propagated can propagate once again in an endless circle of Growth and Form.

Glass work designed by Julian Leedham made by Emma Baker.


Philippine Hamen

Philippine Hamen’s work covers product, furniture and interior design, intertwining it with the diverse influences of literature, architecture and ergonomics. In parallel of her designer/maker practice conducted from her studio in south-east London, she is pursuing a MA of Critical Writing in Art and Design at the Royal College of Arts with a research focusing on the semiology of objects.


Powders is a collection of powder coated finishes obtained by mixing different powders together in order to restore a chromatic complexity to industrial products.

The metallic surfaces coated with the mixes of powder take on as models the complex natural textures of sand, moss and rust. The fourth piece presents a blue surface that could never exist in nature.

The powder mixes have been applied to the simple, almost pure, volumes of generic and anonymous steel tableware.