PAD London 2023 beautifully merges contemporary and classic design

PAD London 2023 highlights – what to see as the fair returns to Berkeley square for its latest edition

PAD London 2023 booths winners of PAD Prize
(Un-)Controlled by Objects with Narratives, featuring a curated juxtaposition of works by Mircea Anghel and Vladimir Slavov and winner of the PAD Prize for best booth
(Image credit: Jack Hall - Getty Images)

PAD London 2023 (10 – 15 October) marks the French fair's 15th edition in the city, as it returns once again to Berkeley Square with its distinctive mix of contemporary design, collectible design classics, art and jewellery (the last including Maria-Sole Ferragamo’s designs at Elisabetta Cipriani Gallery). 'The 15th-anniversary edition of PAD London marks a significant milestone in the fair’s history,' says the fair's founder and CEO, Patrick Perrin. 'Over the course of 15 years, our dedicated efforts have transformed PAD London into the popular and vibrant platform it is today: a place of boundless inspiration, dedicated to creativity, quality, learning and discovery for all.'

The fair's kick-off was a sure success, with over 6,000 people gathering at the landmark Mayfair location on the first day alone, to discover the unique curation by international design galleries, both established and newcomers. 

PAD London 2023: PAD Prize winners

PAD London 2023 booths winners of PAD Prize

Khaya Cabinet by Gareth Neal presented by Sarah Myerscough

(Image credit: Jack Hall - Getty Images)

Supported by Ruinart, the PAD London Prizes recognise the fair's most distinguished spaces and pieces, looking at contemporary as well as historical design. The accolades are selected by a jury led by Design Museum director Tim Marlow with honorary presidents, Jasper Conran OBE, Yana Peel and Francis Sultana in collaboration with leading figures from the fields of design, art and fashion. 

At PAD London 2023, the jury selected PAD newcomer, Belgian gallery Objects with Narratives as the winner of the Booth Prize, for its display titled (Un-)Controlled by Objects with Narratives, featuring a curated juxtaposition of works by Mircea Anghel and Vladimir Slavov.

Meanwhile, for the Contemporary Design Prize the jury selected the Khaya Cabinet by Gareth Neal presented by Sarah Myerscough. Made of asymmetrical stacked blocks of expressive mahogany wood, the cabinet 'examines the dialogue between historical and contemporary design – an ongoing keystone of our practice', says the designer, who specialises in traditional craftsmanship with a contemporary aesthetic. 

The impressive cabinet is made from mahogany offcuts, using a by-product of the musical instrument industry generally deemed unsuitable and impractical for other uses. Neal's design celebrates the wood's irregularities through skilled use of discreet inlaid ties punctuating the large panels of the material. 'Standing at nearly 8ft in height, it is an homage to the grandiose fine furniture of eras gone by,' continues Myerscough. 'Gareth employs his deep knowledge of historical techniques to produce this exquisitely made cabinet, while commenting on the throw-away culture of the contemporary timber industry.'

Modernity Otto Schulz cabinet at PAD 2023

Cabinet attributed to Otto Schulz for Boet Sweden, 1935, presented by Modernity

(Image credit: Courtesy of Modernity)

Modernity was awarded the Historical Design Prize for a 1935 cabinet attributed to Otto Schulz for Boet Sweden, the furniture company he had founded. The intricate cabinet is not just an impressive piece of design, but it also demonstrates Schulz's creative vision between functionality and decoration. An intricately inlaid mahogany exterior opens up to reveal a delicate brass and mirror interior with parchment paper decoration. 

PAD 2023: highlights

PAD 2023 stands

Galerie Philia's PAD debut, with a booth based on the theme of visual contrasts

(Image credit: PAD)

This year's fair features 62 galleries from 16 countries from across Europe, Asia and North America, with 12 newcomers contributing to PAD's customary eclecticism. Here are some of our highlights from the fair's 2023 edition. 

Achille Salvagni at PAD 2023

Achille Salvagni Atelier's Indore cabinet, inspired by Marrakech's Jardins Majorelle

(Image credit: Courtesy Achille Salvagni)

PAD 2023 stands

Galerie Kreo presents new pieces based on colour research by Doshi Levien (see our recent interview), and historical works including this 1980s console by Garouste & Bonetti

(Image credit: PAD)

PAD 2023 stands

Visual contrasts are also at the centre of David Gill's display, featuring an enigmatic material mix

(Image credit: PAD)

Gallery Fumi PAD 2023

Gallery Fumi's display includes pieces from the gallery's 15th anniversary celebration, including Stine Bidstup's Light Entanglements chandelier

(Image credit: Courtesy of Stine Bidstrup and Gallery Fumi)

PAD Nilufar

Nilufar presents a new collection by Objects Of Common Interest. 'The glazed looking objects are pigmented solid resin volumes that appear heavy and grounded and blend into the reflections of the surroundings through curves with a tactlile smoothness,' say the designers

(Image credit: Courtesy Objects of Common Interest and Nilufar)

PAD 2023 carpenters workshop gallery

Carpenters Workshop Gallery presents Wonmin Park's ongoing exploration in steel and stone, among other works by Rick Owens, Maarten Baas and Nacho Carbonell

(Image credit: Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery)

The path which leads to the center By Yeonsoon Chang

’The path which leads to the center‘ by Yeonsoon Chang, presented by new PAD exhibitor, Korean gallery LVS & Craft, specialising in ceramics

(Image credit: Courtesy of Gallery LVS & Craft)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.