London Design Festival 2015. Makers and craftmen of Cubitts studio reinterpred the millenary history of King’s Cross and created a collection of spectacles and sunglasses made in copper, coal, concrete and rust: the architectural matter of one of London most historical and transformed neighbourhoods.
The Herbrand collection was designed by Montague studio and was presented during London Design Festival at Multiplex concept store by Tom Dixon, Wallpaper* and Selfridges.
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Over the century King’s Cross has been completely transformed. From where warrior Queen Boudicca fought off the legions of Rome, to the main artery of the industrial revolution, but also the decay of the 80s and 90s, to now, where it’s the largest urban regeneration in Europe.
“Nowaday’s issue is how King’s Cross can retain its edge without become too polished around the edges” say at Cubitts to ArchiPanic.
“London makers and designers must deal with new challenges and opportunities. On one hand the city offers an incredible nucleus of creative people and access to facilities, on the other one you’ve got problems like escalating rents and rampant gentrification. How the maker scene will survive will depend on how that dynamic plays out”.
THE COLLECTION – Herbrand Coal. King’s Cross was London’s main conduit for the coal delivered from the mines of England throughout the industrial revolution. At the Coal Drops next to Cubitts headquarters, coal was literally dropped from high-level rail wagons into storage before being loaded onto horse-drawn carts.
Herbrand Verdigris. An acrylic skeleton, with oxidised copper front, referencing the industrial metals across the King’s Cross landscape. While these metals were chosen for purpose and not aesthetic, over time they developed their own patina and beauty.
Herbrand Concrete glasses are casted from poured concrete with custom brass pins and referer to the urban regeneration of industrial King’s Cross.
Herbrand Rust references the decay of 1980s King’s Cross, when the area become notorious for prostitution, drug abuse and the squats of Battle Bridge Road which spawned the giant warehouse raves of the early 90s.
“Our first workshop is in Soho, which is a similarly remarkable area – long notorious for vice, now having to tread a fine line between gentrification and conservation”.