Pattern master Camille Walala has designed a suite of street furniture for a pedestrianised enclave just off Oxford Street, due to launch at September’s London Design Festival.
Walala Lounge, as the project has been dubbed, will line the 200m stretch of Mayfair’s South Molton Street with a set of 11 colourful and geometric benches, plus some Camille-designed planters and huge flags, which will be hoisted from neighbouring shops and strung across the pedestrianised zone. What’s unusual by LDF standards is that rather than just popping up for the duration of the 10-day festival, the installation will stay in situ on a semi-permanent basis.
Commissioned by developer Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, the suite of furniture has been designed to feel like a outdoor living room, and features many of the stripes, grids, circles and squares – plus the primary colour palette – that you’ll find in Camille’s signature murals. “I wanted to push myself by creating another style of public art to make people smile again,” Camille says in press statement about the project. “This time I have designed public benches, where people can feel at home, surrounded by plants and rugs.”
Camille and her creative producer Julia Jomaa used a collage technique to develop the composition of the shapes, with the final designs constructed from brushed steel and hardwearing MDF. With influences ranging from the Memphis movement, the Ndebele tribe and Victor Vasarely, Camille’s work aims to bring a sense of optimism to urban environments. “I want to create a place where people can gather, appreciate their surroundings and enjoy the city,” Camille continues. “I love the idea of bringing an element of fun to the street, weaving colour and joy into a city which is sometimes lacking in both.”
The project follows a number of large-scale interior design and installation projects from the London-based designer, from a mirror maze at Greenwich’s Now Gallery and a bouncy castle-style installation created for 2017’s LDF to the interiors of new Mauritian eco hotel, Salt of Palmar.