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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Max Fraser's Joy of Living design project for Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres

This is a really great project on every level so I had to write something about it...

Picture courtesy of Joy of Living

Picture courtesy of Joy of Living

WHO: Design dynamo Max Fraser is the man behind the London Design Guide and umpteen other interesting projects. He's also generally regarded as the nicest man in design by all who have met him, myself included.

WHAT: To raise funds for Maggie's cancer centres, Fraser has organised a selling show of one-off pieces by designers - from big names like Tom Dixon and Jaime Hayon to up-and-coming talent. Each work is displayed anonymously and all take their starting point as a single sheet of graph paper [a beautiful thing in itself that, to me, conveys order, elegant simplicity and... infinite possibilities]. The project is called 'Joy of Living' after an inspirational quote from the charity's founder, Maggie Keswick Jencks: 'Above all what matters is not to lose the joy of living in the fear of dying'.

WHY: Having lost his mother to cancer after a six year battle, Fraser wanted to get involved with a cancer charity and it's not surprising that Maggie's was the obvious choice. As anyone who has been through it knows, the effects on cancer can spread to every aspect of one's life - well beyond the medical. Through their stunning-yet-welcoming centres (designed by the likes of Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers) dotted across the UK and beyond, Maggie's provide help with all the other aspects of life with cancer, everything from emotional support to benefits advice.

WHERE: In the Grand Lobby at Somerset House, The Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

WHEN: From 15-21 March 2011, 10-6 daily.

HOW: In keeping with the democratic values at the heart of Maggie's philosophy, each work is priced £250 and the designer of each piece will only be revealed (online) after the exhibition closes.

Because the last of the pieces have only just trickled in, I haven't been able to get my hands on all my favourite images, make sure you have a good look at the Joy of Living website.

[ADDENDUM: Since I wrote that I've found a way to show my favourite pieces - see below...]

*Joy of Living
*Maggie's Centres

Picture courtesy of Joy of Living

Picture courtesy of Joy of Living

Community by Russell Pinch
Picture courtesy of Joy of Living

+/- by Peter Marigold
Picture courtesy of Joy of Living

The Same but Different by Alistair
 McAuley of Timorous Beasties
Picture courtesy of Joy of Living

Materials Study by Simon Hasan
Picture courtesy of Joy of Living

The Gift by Lee Broom
Picture courtesy of Joy of Living