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Reviews - Duffy London

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Duffy London, Stylish Entertainment by Madelaine Hanson

August 13, 2014

Where can you get a table inspired by Nietzsche, resembling a lagoon and of staggeringly good quality? The answer is Duffy London, an innovative furniture company that aims to deliver high quality conversation pieces that are both ethically sourced and made by a collection of highly skilled engineers and workers. But it is not just the work ethic that is a little surprising; the creativity and unique style this company offers is truly revolutionary.

As chairs swinging like childhood memories in the stylish glare of white monochrome suggest, Duffy London is not afraid of pushing the boundaries between childhood fantasy and contemporary living; the beautiful and impossible is cleverly merged with necessity.

From a blank sheet of an illusion or fairy-tale, smart technology and skill crafts brilliantly ingenious and complex designs. The ordinary is re-created or overthrown; a chandelier is no longer a pattern of cut glass, but an illuminated Warhol-esque print against a smart polarised background of vermilions and fuchsias.

This is probably the biggest interior-rethink since the Memphis movement, only this time it is significantly more focused on the aesthetic and ergonomic, right down to the basics of why, what and how each piece is crafted and used for.

As William Morris once said, ‘have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful nor believe to be beautiful.’ Here they seem to have embraced both to an almost euphoric state of invention.

Who said a coffee table had to be dull? Here it can be anything from a flying carpet to a glass lake on a Perspex horizon. Here, you can eat supper hanging suspended on a swing or perched on sci-fi tumbling blocks that are forever frozen from falling. Here, Beds cocooned in indigo velvet crawl along on insect-like legs. Seats stand in the shadows of wolves and blossoming trees. Metallic balloons glitter below a glass table top, holding it up from a ribbon of silver strings.

Chairs can stand on two legs.

Gravity has no home here; this is the realms of fantasy and intelligent design.

The Magazine, Spotlight On: Duffy London by Emma Foale

August 17, 2010

Under the heat of the spotlight, we showcase the best of Duffy London’s furnishings. Duffy London is an idea-based company that thrives on ideas not only based on similar themes and concepts but designs that are completely unique.

Chris Duffy, a graduate of the University of Brighton, has always harbored a love of making and designing products, and with his own studio in east London he has achieved his dream of having his own space to work in.

Chris Duffy has created this company with the aim to encourage inventive and exciting designs that aren’t pinned down by boundaries. He has had a love for designing and making things ever since he was a young child: “I was always making crazy bikes, karts and boats while everyone else was playing football. I remember my junior school teacher asking me what I wanted to do when I grow up, and I said that I wanted to be an inventor.” Chris’ inquisitive mind drove his ambition to create his own business.

With regards to where his inspiration comes from, he said “when you have been designing for a long time, you see that all design is a process, usually a very long one, and not just an inspiration, although that does occasionally happen.”

The collection includes a range of furniture, lighting, wallpaper and interior products which are predominantly designed by Chris Duffy himself, although he draws inspiration and ideas from designers that he works with. All products are handmade to order or bespoke, and they are all manufactured in the UK. One of Chris Duffy’s ‘Hero’ products is the Double-sided Hanging Chandelier Glo-Canvas which provides a stunning statement piece to hang above a dining table. It can be hung from ceiling light fittings, and to create a warm ambience each frame is installed with low energy strip lights that illuminate the Chandelier print from within. Digitally printed onto 100% cotton, the image is stretched over both sides of a wooden frame, giving a modern twist on the chandelier and the conventional use of canvases.

The LAB Lamp is one of Duffy London’s newest products for 2010; it’s made from genuine laboratory parts giving it an authentic style. It is available as either a desk/table or a floor lamp and is ideal for task lighting or it can simply be used as an innovative feature piece. The light is provided by an eco bulb, and the flask is sand blasted Pyrex.

I love the quirky personality of the Shadow chair, which was launched at the Milan Salone Satellite in April 2009, because its intelligent design integrates shadow into its structure. The chair appears to defy gravity by standing on just two front legs, however with a closer look the shadow is made from steel which is attached to metal frame built inside the chair. It has a very modernist look; it plays with the representation of space and light and our perception of these things, making us question what is ‘real’. When placed in an interior space it comes into a life of its own, and will certainly make your guests look twice.

Duffy London has strong eco-credentials and Chris explained to us why he believes in the benefits of UK manufacturing: “I think it is important because it makes it possible to get a design from your head and into the shops in a very short space of time, keeping ideas and products fresh, updated, changing and improving, which is never as easy to do if you have products made in China for instance. Eco-friendly design is important not just for the obvious reasons, but because it shows an idea has been thought through properly, any design like this will take into account manufacturing processes, transportation, import duties etc.”

Coming soon…

Duffy London will be launching a new dining table at London Design Week in September 2010. This new furniture piece will be another unique addition to the collection; the design cleverly incorporates its runners as its structure by having them run the full length of the table, falling off the edge to become the legs. The juxtaposition of the steel thin legs with the sturdy walnut table top gives an illusion of weightlessness, as if the table is floating. Duffy London products are available on and in many outlets in the UK and around the world.

Woodsman Axe Coffee Table

May 29, 2011

“A British design collective led by artist Chris Duffy created a whole set of furniture in the theme of the Brothers Grimm. As you can see, these scary-fairy tales inspired unique designs. The Woodsman Axe coffee table features Hickory axe handle legs and an Oak or Walnut surface. This collection won the prestigious Peta Levi Memorial Bursary Award 2010.”

 Silhouette chandelier lampshade Duffy London

by Alexandra Toso

March 19, 2010

“One of the best design companies that get the balance right time and time again is Duffy London. From their fun insect-inspired Millibed to the Storm In A Teacup, they’ve got it nailed. But right now one of our fave products is this Silhouette Chandelier Lampshade.

Available in Black or White – this lampshade isn’t just a pretty face; oh no it’s got a special secret. The lampshade has a chandelier design silhouette which, with the light switched off, isn’t that amazing, but turn it on and the silhouette comes to life. Ideal if you don’t have room for a fancy chandelier, this shade will work well in rooms across the home and is the perfect way to add some humorous charm to your interior.”

3rings Architecture + Design

Duffy London’s Gravity-Defying Shadow Chair by Joseph Starr

August 7, 2009

“I’ll admit that I’m a bit stumped by Duffy London’s

enigmatically-named Shadow Chair. Not because I’m in any way chagrined by a potentially dubious utility–though the apparent “two-legged” construction would seem to have certain pitfalls as regards functionality; nor because I recoil from the easy gimmick. Just have a look at Him/Her or the Armadillo Chair to confirm my affection for “thematic” pieces. To the contrary, my consternation vis a vis the Shadow Chair concerns exactly how to quantify/qualify it, such are its manifold charms.

First glance has me aligning it with the great roster of cantilevered pieces. This lineage spans from Verner Panton’s signature Panton Chair to Konstantin Grcic’s clever Myto. Then, of course, there’s the ripe legacy of minimal appendage–best exemplified in Walter Papst’s seminal 3-legged chair, and recently re-visited in last winter’s Tolima Chair by Will Oltman.

But to do true justice to the Shadow Chair, I find myself resorting to my literary roots: in Haruki Murakami’s fable, Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, reality splits in two, and the bodily Achilles Heel of one of these two worlds is one’s shadow, which can be forcibly removed with the right know how and a very sharp knife. In this world, if you lose your shadow, you lose your soul–your memories, your wit, your sense of humor, your unique personality. The “shadowless” become shades of their former selves, leading dreary, drab humorless lives until they wither and die.

One imagines it much the same with Duffy London’s piece. For, if you haven’t intuited it by now, the “shadow” in sharp relief beneath the chair (as if it were perpetually pursued by a malevolent indoor sun) is the piece’s structural heart, not to mention its metaphorical heart and soul. The floor-bound steel sheet is actually integrated into the chair’s metal core, thus giving it the requisite functional stability for a cantilevered piece. And anyone can see that if some mean-hearted metalsmith were to excise the shadow, the chair would simply tip over and die, the aesthetic appeal of its expertly joined Forest Stewardship Council Walnut notwithstanding.

Thankfully, that’s easier said than done (for all intents and purposes, the integrated metal makes the chair extremely durable). So this is one shadow that will remain part and parcel of the whole, giving you years of “amaze your friends and houseguests” frivolity, while providing a handsome and stylish chair to boot!”

September 16, 2008

“If making light is an art, then this company is an art historian. The Glo-Chandelier depicts a classic Georgian sparkler on paint-worthy cotton canvas stretched over a frame, available in four sizes starting at 25 1/2 inches square, and backlit by ultra-slim fluorescents. Traditional table lamps get a similar treatment in Cut out Lamp Shade, with black or white canvas silhouettes laminated onto translucent plastic 25 1/2 inches square. If those artful approaches inspire you to try it yourself, consider Stick-It, a DIY plastic lamp shade with which you can create any sort of collage or design.”

October 12, 2008

“Brilliant is the best way to describe the Chandelier Glo Canvas by British designer Christopher Duffy. Based in England, Duffy London offers a variety of amazing illuminated canvases and other chandelier-inspired pieces including wallpaper. International orders are no problem.”

 July 4, 2007

“UK design company Duffy London scoffs at the very idea that light need only emanate from sconces, lamps and fixtures. One look and youll see why their glo-canvases hang in the hottest hotels and homes both here and abroad. These fabulous frames combine art and function: A gorgeous digital print with tiny fluorescents built inside, providing a gentle glow. Your eyes will pop at the way this chandelier lights up a room, no dusting, bulb changing or crystal replacement necessary.”

The Sunday Times

January 23, 2005

“One of the best for quality and value”

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