London is a heart-throbbing city of England. From every amateur designer to a professional, London describes the story of the country with its Romanesque, gothic, post-modern, and other wide variety of architecture. While being intricate with details and beautifying features with a tint of minimalistic trademark, some designers including Adam Nathaniel Furman felt the lack of visual and cultural pursuit in the city.  

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Democratic Monument by Adam Nathaniel Furman_©Adam Nathaniel Furman

After graduating from the architectural association and due to the crisis of the Lehman brothers, Adam Nathaniel Furman joined the Designers in Residence program at the Design Museum, and he had to design objects for 3 months with no constraints as a professional or an academic as an embodiment to the topic Identity. After the exhibition at the museum, he caught the eyes of journalists and designers and won an award. Later he also won the UK Rome prize for architecture for researching and designing Rome cityscapes and repository of stories as souvenirs. This became the initial point of Furman’s visually appalling designs. 

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Adam Nathaniel Furman_©Design Curial
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Proud Little Pyramid by Adam Nathaniel Furman_©Gareth Gardener

The movement focuses on a limitless and joyful approach to design during this Covid situation. Rather than being a décor style, the movement expresses the beauty of the city and social repercussions with the dramatic use of various lively colors. With its vibrant look, the style emphasizes how wonderful multiculturalism and diversity can be when they are brought together in a time of shutting borders, Brexit, lockdowns, and the struggle against racism. 

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Designers in Residence-Identity Parade_©Adam Nathaniel Furman

“In terms of what gets canonized, there’s definitely a confirmation bias but there’s also a naturalization which brainwashes people through design education,” Furman said, adding: “This is not a critique of design education as a whole because it’s fantastic.”

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A public art commission of five large Ground Art works for Croydon Council by Adam Nathaniel Furman_©Ruth Ward

“I am part of a sort of group of London designers who have come up who are about my age, over the past few years, and we all seem to have very similar interests,” Furman said this in a live interview with Dezeen, an architecture and design magazine, as part of the Virtual Design Festival.

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A public art commission of five large Ground Art works for Croydon Council by Adam Nathaniel Furman_©Ruth Ward

His 2019 furnishing line for Camp Design Gallery in Milan comprises kaleidoscopic print laminates and comic forms inspired by Memphis design. “International cross-fertilization of ornamental styles and quite a bit of campiness,” he said of the works.

Some other key designers in the New London Fabulous movement are Yinka Ilori, Camille Walala, and Morag Mysercough. Yinka Ilori is a multidisciplinary artist of British and Nigerian ancestry located in London who focuses on narrative by blending his British and Nigerian ancestry to convey new stories in contemporary style.

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Yinka Ilori_©Matt Alexander for Canary Wharf & Yinka Ilori
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Bring London Together by Yinka Ilori_©Yinka Ilori

The four took design and architecture “as a visual and cultural pursuit, which is highly aesthetic, sensual, and celebratory of mixed cultures,” according to Furman.

“It does look back,” he stated, adding that their artwork “picks and chooses and blends from different periods.”

Camille Walala uses the artificial landscape as a dais for conveying positivism. She is known for her ambitious, large-scale, and explosively multicolored installations in public settings. Her artwork is defined by a blend of vibrant color and fun geometric patterns and includes full-facade murals, immersive 3D installations, street art, interiors, and stage design.

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Camille Walala_©Walala Studios
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PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE by Camille Walala_©Walala Studios

Morag Myerscough is a multi-talented artist. Her colorful variety of work includes building large-scale structures and installations, as well as designing exhibitions, wayfinding systems, and spaces for museums, galleries, schools, and hospitals. Morag’s motto is “make those who are near happy, and those who are far away will come.”

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Morag Myerscough_©Morag Myerscough
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Love at first Sight Pavilion-Scotland by Morag Myerscough_©Morag Myerscough

Even though it is called New LONDON Fabulous, it has sparked intriguing arguments and maybe a plea for transformation in the Architectural industry, both educational and professional, as well as a “contextualization of the discipline” in terms of culture, people, and history. It’s a commitment. The movement is a revised form of history. Our urban communities are persistently advancing, and the movement addresses how society has changed, including how we currently see our past, what we esteem in the present, and our vision for what’s to come.

New London Fabulous is a reviving change; it’s tied in with building urban communities that address us, our environmental elements, and our variety, not just colors.

References

  1. www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Live interview with Adam Nathaniel Furman | Virtual Design Festival | Dezeen. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_mRM-ul59o&t=831s [Accessed 6 Oct. 2021].
  2. ‌ ITALIANBARK. (2020). NEW INTERIOR STYLE TREND | Welcome New London Faboulous. [online] Available at: https://www.italianbark.com/new-interior-style-trend-colourful-new-london-fabulous/#:~:text=Born%20in%20the%20UK%20capital%2C%20the%20%E2%80%9C%20New.
  3. ‌ Dezeen. (2020). Colourful “New London Fabulous” movement is challenging minimalism. [online] Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2020/05/26/new-london-fabulous-design-movement-adam-nathaniel-furman/.
  4. ‌ agency, F. design and branding (n.d.). About – Yinka Ilori. [online] Yinka Ilori Studio. Available at: https://yinkailori.com/about.
  5. ‌ Studio Walala. (n.d.). Profile. [online] Available at: https://www.camillewalala.com/profile.

Author

Devika Bhaskaran is an architecture student with absolute love for writing, poetry and travelling. She believes that there are beautiful and mind-blowing untold stories within people and places and she hopes to be a voice for the same. She is in a constant search for architectural wonders that are accessible to all kinds of humans.

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