First launched at New York Design Week America Made Me opens at the London Design Festival today and celebrates contemporary American makers through local stories and the traditions of the handmade. Curators Dominique Gonfard and Adriana Gelves have surveyed work by thirteen American designers and seven manufacturers including Bernhardt Design, Matter Made, Council Design and Roll & Hill, a Brooklyn-based lighting group that has gained an international following for locally manufactured work built on American industrial craftsmanship.
Like other American design groups in the show, Roll & Hill wasn't shaped by an intellectual idea but created around the resources at hand – for Roll & Hill this meant connecting with designers and makers across America. From their large warehouse in New York, design, fabrication, assembly and collaborations with over 100 makers have become the foundations of the company that launched in 2010 on the wave of 'bringing the focus back to American industry'. Their network of craftspeople extends around the country and includes a metal machining shop that specialises in aircraft components, a glass blower in Brooklyn and a ceramicist in South Dakota who makes the antlers for the Superordinate Antler Lamps by hand.
In line with the Italian designer/manufacturer collaborative model, America Made Me highlights the benefits of working locally and supporting industry at a grassroots level. The show features Roll & Hill's Bluff City by Jonah Takag, a wire-frame light that is a colourful take on an industrial lamp, and Modo by Jason Miller, amongst a broad collection of designs that express the talent behind contemporary American design today and the modus operandi of the American design scene.
America Made Me opens on September 19 and runs until September 23, 2012. Design Junction, The Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street, London.