The Future of Home exhibition was curated by Local Heroes and debuted at the London Design Festival in September. It features work by 20 designers from 15 Scottish design studios and brands, compiled by Local Heroes director Dr. Stacey Hunter to celebrate Scotland’s rich contemporary design scene.
The exhibition explores ways in which our homes have adapted to become workspaces and includes 40 products that could be used to make living spaces more comfortable or fun places to work. Here, Stacey explains why she’s pleased to be bringing the exhibition back home to Scotland and how she went about selecting the pieces on show (including a collaboration between Glasgow-based Walac and Custom Lane resident Juli Bolaños-Durman).
Why did you choose the Future of Home as the topic for the exhibition and how is this theme reflected in the works you’re presenting?
I chose the topic because I’m really interested in how our homes changed almost overnight into workspaces and how design has evolved to accommodate new needs and desires. We want functionality and tactility, we want performance and comfort – and of course we want originality and fresh thinking. The space behind us on Zoom calls is rather exposing, so being able to transform it instantly with an item such as Hilary Grant’s wall hanging is exciting for me. Or there is Simon Harlow’s chair, which has a generous internal volume to allow it to act as a dining chair, a lounge chair or an office chair. His table becomes a desk with the addition of a hidden drawer and so on.
How did you choose which designers to include in the show? What does this selection say about Scottish design today?
The show spans industrial design all the way through to art and craft because I always strive to present multiple viewpoints on form, material, and beauty. The themes of hybridity and fluidity were broad enough to allow me to present a snapshot of the contemporary design scene in Scotland to audiences, whilst retaining a coherent narrative. I believe the selection demonstrates how diverse, collaborative and bold the design sector is. New ideas are being tested and tried out – and cultural contradictions are welcome within Scotland’s dynamic design culture.
The response in London was phenomenal from the press and the industry itself. This is evidence of an appetite and appreciation for contemporary design from Scotland.
How was the show received in London and why was it important to you to bring it back to Scotland?
The response in London was phenomenal from the press and the industry itself. We were featured in Wallpaper, Elle Decoration, It’s Nice That, House & Garden and Design Milk. This in itself is evidence of an appetite and appreciation for contemporary design from Scotland but the many in-person conversations that took place on site and within the Brompton Design District made it clear that we have enormous potential to collaborate and trade with the sector in London. The Future of Home was our first physical exhibition outside of Scotland and that type of international profile raising is crucial for the longer term development of design in Scotland, however, it’s equally important to nurture and inspire emerging and future generations of designers at home.
How do you feel about presenting this work at Custom Lane and what are your hopes and expectations for this show?
I’m thrilled because it’s an excellent way to shed light on innovative working processes and emerging concepts which are ordinarily hidden away. I hope that buyers and collectors will visit and make enduring connections with our designers. And that more of the wonderful audiences that Local Heroes and Custom Lane have been engaging with and developing with our respective exhibition programmes appreciate this work and are as inspired and energised by it as we are.