SideStory’s cultural immersive experiences

This post, like so many, have been on my list for longer than I care to remember. Back in September 2015, I was invited on a tour of London Design Festival curated by Wallpaper* Interiors Editor-at-Large, Benjamin Kempton. He had put together a tour of locations during the festival for four of us to experience; cultural immersive experiences to educate and expand our knowledge of design in one of the largest cities in the world.

Having spent the week working, visiting, seeing, and of course drinking my way through the London Design Festival, part of me didn’t want to see anymore of it at the weekend, but how could I resist a guided tour with one of the best interiors experts when offered to me on a plate? Of course I accepted and joined my three other tourists.

Starting out at Wrong for Hay we had coffee and a seat in front of Richard Woods’ Trunk Vase. This is a brand that I admire for many reasons, but the main one has to be the price point; the festival is so often the playground for the wealthy, and whilst I involve myself in the festivities I cannot pretend to have the money to purchase anything I see. Wrong for Hay has changed this for me…yes, this vase is just £35.

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No time to rest, La Chance calling us upstairs at designjunction to look closely at the details of this French brand’s products. Placing their products on mirrored floors shows warts ‘n’ all, if there were any warts. They proudly show underneath a sofa or coffee table or whatever because the details do not stop on the surface but continue throughout, inside, outside, underneath and on top.

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Tools for Everyday Life from Northumbria University was a treat I had seen earlier in the week, but this time I could spend a little more time with the products. Showcasing a selection from their ICFF show earlier in the year, Northumbria didn’t fail to show their talents once again.

Benjamin may have some great contacts within the industry, but he’s not keeping them to himself. We were walked through the streets of Covent Garden landing at Aram to the exhibition of lighting designer Michael Anastassiades who joined our little group to explain his success, the highs and lows, and the detail in the simplicity. I have admired his work for some time, never met him, and pleased I did. He is a charming man with a great deal of interesting things to say.

We finished our tour with some refreshments at 19 Greek Street, a location I’m very familiar with. Filled with sustainable ideas from around the world without compromising on design integrity which is so often the case. I love discovering what ideas they have found and displayed so well in this terraced house in Soho. Ending the tour meeting SideStory cofounder Rachael Moloney helped to frame the day we had just been taken on, understanding fully the purpose of SideStory…to immerse ourselves fully in the cultural activities of London be that Art, Design, Fashion, Food and drink, Photography or even Street art.

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SideStory connects travellers, or locals, to a city’s local creative movers and shakers – the Insiders. SideStory was co-founded by Giovanni Donaldson, Rachael Moloney and Gord Ray. Using combined experiences at Virgin and Wallpaper*, they wanted to define a new category of travel, offering imaginative cultural experiences in a fresh and dynamic way. They believe it’s important to give back to the community we all share and to spark future creativity. SideStory therefore has a philanthropic aspect and a percentage of profits are donated to charitable organisations of their Insiders’ choice.

Experiences range from £200-£600
Available to book directly from sidestory.co

Daniel

Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.

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