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Design Mart at the Design Museum

The annual Design Mart exhibition at the Design Museum showcases up-and-coming talent.

Nadine Jarvis - Ceramic Urn
Nadine Jarvis - Ceramic Urn

This year's Design Mart boasts a daring hard-edged theme. The selected designers have all chosen to address very dark or emotional subject matter for their exhibits.

&Made is a two-man design team which has focused on practical answers to natural disasters. The most intriguing object on display is a "climatised" table. The table is sturdy, buoyant, and equipped with detachable oars for legs. Their table is always ready for a flash flood and also makes a nice conversation piece.

Designer Nadine Jarvis's exhibit has the slightly darker theme of death. Her ceramic urns and bird feeders leave the responsibility of spreading your beloved's ashes up to nature and chance. Jarvis uses biodegradable string to suspend a ceramic urn which eventually falls and spreads the ashes.

Tim Simpson also lets nature take an active role in the exhibit Natural Deselection. Sensors are placed above three house plants that can detect which plant is the first to reach a specific height. The plant who wins this life and death race to the sensor is saved while the other two plants are brutally chopped. Simpson was inspired by the way Alfred Hitchcock used suspense in his films, and wanted to bring the same kind of excitement to gardening.

Some of the exhibits are morbid with a dark comic undertone, while others offer hopeful solutions to otherwise bleak situations. Design Mart is collection of exciting new ideas and makes for an inspiring museum visit.

Until 7 January 2007 at the Design Museum, Shad Thames

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