Aram and Max Radford Gallery showcase emerging designers in Now 4 Then exhibition

London’s Aram Store has collaborated with Max Radford Gallery to launch an in-store gallery space with an exhibition of pieces by upcoming furniture and lighting designers that nod to the brand’s past.

The Now 4 Then exhibition showcases work by ten emerging UK designers – all showing pieces that were seen for the first time – in the reopened Aram Gallery, which is now located in the basement of the Aram Store.

London’s Max Radford Gallery curated the show, which took place to mark the 60th anniversary of the Aram Store, founded by designer Zeev Aram in 1964.

Now 4 Then exhibition in LondonNow 4 Then exhibition in London
The Now 4 Then exhibition is on show at the Aram Gallery

“We worked with designers within our roster that we felt suited to the more product-based approach that Aram is associated with,” Max Radford Gallery founder Max Radford told Dezeen.

“We were also able to work with three new designers that we have admired for some time and felt would fit perfectly – Andu Masebo, Charlie Humble Thomas and Freddy Tuppen,” he added.

“This shift in approach for Now 4 Then has been a pleasurable challenge for us and something we look forward to doing more of as a gallery and platform.”

Furniture at design exhibition in LondonFurniture at design exhibition in London
Pieces include stools and a mobile by Andu Masebo

All of the designers showed pieces responding to a quote by the store’s late founder, who said: “I will try my best to bring to the public designs which are contemporary, [and] correct for the time”.

“In response, Max Radford has invited ten designers, all of whom have a unique and creative approach to incorporating sustainable concepts into their designs without compromising on aesthetics,” Aram managing director Daniel Aram told Dezeen.

Stainless-steel tables by Amelia Stevens from Now 4 Then exhibitionStainless-steel tables by Amelia Stevens from Now 4 Then exhibition
Amelia Stevens designed stainless-steel tables for the exhibition

Among the pieces on show are designer Amelia Stevens’s slender stainless-steel tables – an evolution of her Ashtray Without Qualities from 2023 that draws on designs from when the Aram Store was first launched.

“Defined by an understated visual language and essential material palette, the three new pieces I produced for this show are a nod to the modernist sensibility that Aram Designs first introduced to a London-based audience in the 1960s,” she told Dezeen.

Wooden patchwork chair at Now 4 Then exhibitionWooden patchwork chair at Now 4 Then exhibition
The Modest Patchwork Chair by Lewis Kemmenoe was shown next to lights by Charlie Humble Thomas

“The pair of side tables are intended as personal drinks stands – their slender upright bases and floating glass panels inset with removable stainless steel dishes to be used for a serving of olives, as an informal ashtray or however one wishes to imagine,” Stevens added.

“Equally svelte, the low table which complements them is the largest piece I have produced to date and introduces large planes of toughened glass into my work while developing upon a design system of dismountable and wholly replaceable parts.”

Other pieces in the show included designer Lewis Kemmenoe’s wooden Modest Patchwork Chair, made from different patchworked timbers, and designer Jaclyn Pappalardo’s modular Sunday Bed made from recycled materials.

Architectural designer Freddy Tuppen showed a series of lights – including pendants, standing lights, wall lights and desk lights – each made from grids of either sapele wood or aluminium rods.

Lights by Freddy Tuppen at Aram Store exhibition Now 4 ThenLights by Freddy Tuppen at Aram Store exhibition Now 4 Then
Freddy Tuppen used wood and aluminium as the base for his lamps

Around this, Tuppen wove hundreds of metres of cotton string to create the lampshades.

“Each light is woven with one single length of string, often up to a kilometre in length,” Tuppen told Dezeen.

“I often work with humble materials – things you can buy from a hardware store – and enjoy combining material characteristics: hot and cold, ubiquitous and rare, old and new, natural and artificial,” he added.

“I’ve recently become interested in weaving as a primitive form of architecture and in a sense I consider the lights to be scale models of buildings, with a single light emanating from their hearth.”

Large bed and metal sculpture at London design exhibitionLarge bed and metal sculpture at London design exhibition
A bed by Jaclyn Pappalardo sits next to a piece by John Henshaw

The aim is for the relaunched Aram Gallery to promote new design. Radford hopes that the Now 4 Then exhibition will enable visitors to discover the designers whose pieces might one day be sold in the shop.

“I hope this opens us up to a new audience of design aficionados that can experience what we do through visiting this show in a familiar space,” he concluded. “And I hope that they in turn see the designers here as the ones that will be filling spaces like Aram with their work in the years to come.”

Also taking part in the exhibition are designers Andu Masebo, Charlie Humble Thomas, Eddie Olin, EJR Barnes, Isabel Alonso and John Henshaw.

The photography is by Richard Round-Turner.

Now 4 Then is on at the Aram Gallery, 110 Drury Lane, Covent Garden London WC2B 5SG from 3 May to 15 June. See Dezeen Events Guide for all the latest architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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