WIN May Design Series inspires the future of design

Steven Penney
Tuesday 12 May 2015

Returning to ExCeL London from 17–19 May for its third edition, May Design Series is the destination for discovering a wealth of new interior design inspiration across five sectors: furniture, lighting, décor, KBB, and DX

Returning to ExCeL London from 17–19 May for its third edition, May Design Series is the destination for discovering a wealth of new interior design inspiration across five sectors: furniture, lighting, décor, KBB, and DX – areas that showcase ideas in the making to provide a glimpse into the future. 

Promising to be the biggest yet, this year 70% of the 500 exhibitors are brand new to the show, and 50% are international companies from over 25 countries around the globe. Following extensive research into the needs of retail, residential, commercial and hospitality design communities, the 2015 event has been “curated for business”. Jo Malone MBE, Founder and Creative Director of Jo Loves, will join the already impressive line-up of speakers at the free-to-attend, three-day conference and seminar. Sessions will cover a wide range of topics relevant to all members of the project team, from the macro-economic factors that are impacting the design industry today and are set to shape it in the future through to new and practical insights from pioneers and thought leaders across the design spectrum. 

Organised by the creators of Decorex and KBB Birmingham and curated to reveal some of the most exciting design-led products, May Design Series is perfectly positioned at the finale of the European show cycle to present shop-ready collections. 

DX Events

May Design Series will be home to a number of exclusive features themed around design and commerciality. Beautiful textiles from the most luxurious to multipurpose materials can be discovered at the Fabric Pavilion. Independent fabric house Titley & Marr will be exhibiting their recently launched ‘Ikat’ print collection inspired by antique coat patterns from Central Asia. Based in Berkshire, Kobe UK is a specialist in luxury fabrics. One of the lines on display will be City Chic which draws inspiration from the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age. 

Introducing the best in British craftsmanship, 24 of the UK's top Designer Makers will highlight a selection of the UK’s top craftspeople presenting bespoke product designs ready to buy or commission at the event. Kate Noakes has developed a process of revitalising and reinventing existing furniture by veneering it with designs cut from sheet metal inlaid with gesso. The designs, often inspired by architecture and industrial design, are applied in metal directly onto the furniture after it has been reconditioned. Based in the north of England, independent design studio Blottworks produces hand-engineered functional sculptures. Founded by artist-engineer Dan Morrison, the company will launch at the show three new limited editions all with a distinct industrial style. One of these, ‘Tree’ is a decorative lamp inspired by the notions of balancing and floating in the work of Maedir Rigolo.  

The programme is busy with other highlights as well. These include a selection of products showcasing the very newest talent on the design scene curated by the editor of Fiera Magazine, Katie Treggiden, who has trawled the design fairs of Stockholm, Frankfurt and Copenhagen in her quest. Nils Chudy and Jasmina Grase have reinvented the electric kettle with Miito, an innovative product that heats liquids directly in the vessel to be used. Simply fill a cup with water, place it onto the induction base and immerse the rod in the liquid. The induction base heats the rod, which then heats the liquid surrounding it. Gróa Ólöf Þorgeirsdóttir’s ‘Into the Blue’ chair is just as much an experience and a freestanding work of art as it is a piece of functional furniture, with the chair's form and colours providing comfort for both the body and the soul.

In an exciting new partnership with Bucks New University, there will be a collection of students’ work that has been influenced, inspired by or designed in collaboration with the industry. While Birmingham City University has again teamed up with Global Color Research™ and digital wall covering brand, Tektura, to bring innovative students from the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design to the show and explore 2015/16 trend predictions from Mix Publications.

Brand new for 2015 is a partnership with CEDIA (the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) which will be running a series of seminars in its A/V and home automation area, many of which are RIBA and BIID accredited. These will include a look at designing integrated future-ready homes, understanding and specifying invisible sound solutions and how to work successfully with LED lighting systems. Professional members, Kensington Audio Visual, Brilliant Lighting and Ideaworks will lead their own accredited CPD courses over the three days. These sessions will run alongside six manufacturer programmes, which will be hosted by CEDIA Trade Supplier members, including Amina Technologies Ltd which will also host its own accredited CPD session, Crestron, Habitech, Invision, Merit LILIN and Lutron.  


Making its international debut at May Design Series is contract furnishing brand Casa Matera, a design collective from Matera in southern Italy with a range of products made in Basilicata. International designers Hiroomi Tahara, Gio Tirotto, Katerina Kopytina, John Pepe, Spalvieri-Del Ciotto have contributed to the creation of the new Casa Matera collection. May Design Series is the only place in the UK where these pieces can be seen. 

Novaluna is an Italian bed maker that is new and exclusive to show. Meticulously crafted with the finest materials and techniques, bed frames such as those in the Diamond series mix classic and modern features. 


Light in Art will exhibit and sell for the first time in the UK bespoke lighting designed and crafted by artist Shimale Peleg. Formed entirely from handmade stained glass, no two pieces are alike and all display jewel-like beauty inspired by the natural world. 

Designed and crafted by Bath-based Felix Lighting, a new and exclusive exhibitor, the Freddie Lamp is cast in raw ground stone with finishes like concrete, bronze, zinc and authentic Bath stone. Inspired by 1940s industrial machinist lights, all have solid brass arms and can be easily adapted into an articulated wall fixtures. 


First time exhibitor The Weave imports and distributes handmade Persian knotted designer rugs. Combining traditional techniques with refined materials and contemporary colours, the rugs exhibited will have stylish abstract and transitional designs.  

With styles ranging from classic to contemporary, Todd Knights creates elegant curtain poles and finials for a variety of windows configurations. Products like the Nor series which will be on display at the show are available in standard and bespoke finishes and sizes.


Fresh from ISH, Dornbracht will present an exclusive UK preview of the new Dornbracht CL.1 fitting series for the bathroom, with a new flow pattern that gently immerses the user's hands in 40 soft, individual jets of water. Dornbracht will also reveal its latest advances for the kitchen as well as new products from its sister-brand Alape.

New and exclusive to May Design Series is Gres Panaria from Spain which will display uniquely structured wall tile collection Wonder. Crafted in a variety of textures and palettes, the creative development of this collection was the result of the collaboration with ESAD- Escola Superior de Arte e Design.

To claim your complimentary pass, see the full conference and seminar programme and list of exhibitors register here and keep-up with the latest news on Twitter @maydesignseries via hashtag #MayDesign, on Pinterest and on the May Design Series app.

Steven Penney

Awards Manager


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