Tower of Babel

Design trends: inspired by buildings and architecture

A towering installation of ceramic shops created by London artist Barnaby Barford has just been unveiled at the V&A to celebrate the launch of the London Design Festival.

Made up of 3,000 bone china shops, the Tower of Babel is six metres high and depicts retail scenes from derelict units at the bottom to luxury emporia at the top.

As part of his work, Barford cycled more than 1,000 miles, visiting every postcode in the capital and photographing more than 6,000 shop fronts. The images were then transferred onto the ceramic shapes in Stoke-on-Trent.  The piece is thought to playfully portray our great British love of shopping.

Other designers have also been inspired by buildings and architecture to create pieces ranging from cushions to cabinets. But to see Barford’s work, go to the London Design Festival, which runs from September 19 to 27.