Map of China' by Ai Weiwei
'Map of China' by Ai Weiwei, 2008, on show at Friedman Benda's stand. Photo by Steve Benisty, courtesy of the gallery
(Image credit: Ai Weiwei)

After the flood of new products during London Design Festival and now the frenzied onset of Frieze, the Pavilion of Art & Design comes as a welcome relief. The hushed aisles of its Berkeley Square tent invite you to take a step back, this time placing the focus on the rare, the limited edition and the one off. There's no onslaught of newness here - while much is contemporary, the show reaches as far back as 1860 - and each item is given ample space to be admired.

'To us, the concept is about living with art,' says Mathias Rastorfer of Zurich's Galerie Gmurzynska, a newcomer to PAD. 'It's about showing how it works in a living environment.' Here you can pair your Picasso with a chair by François-Xavier Lalanne or choose a Nigel Coates table to go beside your Candida Höfer photograph. And gone are the utilitarian trade fair stands. Gmurzynska lures viewers with a striking black and white wall graphic - a new take on that seen in its recent Zaha Hadid and Supremetism exhibition, courtesy of the artist herself.

Given that PAD was founded by two Frenchmen, its not surprising that there's a strong Parisian presence, with stalwarts like Perimeter Art & Design, Galerie du Passage and Galerie Downtown-François Laffanour returning once more, but the exhibitors come from far and wide. Also new this year is Cologne-based Gabrielle Ammann, who has brought with her an interesting collection of curvaceous pieces by Satyendra Pakhalé, as well as classic works by Mark Newson and Rolf Sachs. And there's a strong New York offering, thanks to the likes of Cristina Grajales and Friedman Benda. Stretched across the latter's stand is an Ai Weiwei sculpture, titled 'Map of China', made from wood salvaged from a Buddhist temple. It's a strikingly raw and linear piece, with ends satisfyingly shaped like its namesake.

On a dramatically more delicate scale, however, are the chandeliers of dutch duo Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta for Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Their 'Fragile Future Concrete' chandelier is a pleasing mix of opposites - LEDS decorated in dandelion seeds emit a soft, warm glow, suspended on copper wire that emerges from a concrete core. This scooped them the Moët-Hennessy-PAD London prize, judged by the likes of Tom Dixon and Zaha Hadid.

Though the show sometimes feels like it spreads itself a little thin - there's even jewellery and a token student offering from RCA graduates - it makes for a rich and enjoyable exhibition, despite the less pleasurable price tags.

Midcentury furniture by Pierre Jeanneret

Midcentury furniture by Pierre Jeanneret, on show at Galerie Downtown-François Laffanour's stand

(Image credit: Pierre Jeanneret)

Glass work by Czech artist Frantisek Vizner

Glass work by Czech artist Frantisek Vizner at the Parisian Clara Scremini Gallery stand

(Image credit: Frantisek Vizner)

A selection of vintage pieces

A selection of vintage pieces at the Paris-based Chahan Gallery's stand

(Image credit: press)

Fragile Future Concrete' chandelier by Lonneke Gordijn

'Fragile Future Concrete' chandelier by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Drift, for Carpenter's Workshop Gallery. This design scooped the Moet-Hennessy-PAD London prize

(Image credit: Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta)

'Lathe' tables by Sebastian Brajkovic

'Lathe' tables by Sebastian Brajkovic for Carpenters Workshop Gallery

(Image credit: Sebastian Brajkovic)

Swarm' light by Random International

'Swarm' light by Random International, 2010, for Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Watch the video to see how it reacts to sound

(Image credit: press)

VW Beetle (diptych), after Andy Warhol

'VW Beetle (diptych), after Andy Warhol' by Wallpaper* cover artist Vik Muniz (W*135), on show at Ben Brown Fine Arts' stand

(Image credit: TBC)

'Monosushi' sofa

'Monosushi' sofa by the Campana brothers, 2010, on show at Perimeter Art & Design's stand

(Image credit: Campana brothers)

Detail of the 'Monosushi' sofa

Detail of the 'Monosushi' sofa by the Campana brothers

(Image credit: Campana brothers)

'Superficie Blanca' by Enrico Castellani,

'Superficie Blanca' by Enrico Castellani, 2001, (foreground) among other textural works at The Mayor Gallery's stand

(Image credit: Enrico Castellani)

'Blobulous chair' by Karim Rashid

'Blobulous chair' by Karim Rashid, 2010, on show at the Galleria Paola Colombari stand

(Image credit: Karim Rashid)

Wall light by Gino Sarfatti

Wall light by Gino Sarfatti, 1960, originally designed for a theatre, on show at Galleria Rossella Colombari's stand

(Image credit: Gino Sarfatti)

black and white wall graphic by Zaha Hadid

Galerie Gmurzynska's stand, emblazoned with an exploding black and white wall graphic by Zaha Hadid. The gallery showed a body of work representing the depiction of women in the 20th century

(Image credit: Zaha Hadid)

Enignum series dining table

'Enignum series dining table' by Joseph Walsh, 2010, on show at Todd Merrill Studios stand

(Image credit: Joseph Walsh)

Jollied tableware

'Jollied tableware' by Ian McIntyre, part of the Royal College of Art graduate selection

(Image credit: Ian McIntyre)

'Taureau II' by Francois-Xavier Lalanne

'Taureau II' by Francois-Xavier Lalanne at Ben Brown Fine Arts

(Image credit: Francois-Xavier Lalanne)

Box in 4 movements' by Ron Arad

'Box in 4 movements' by Ron Arad, 1994/8, sits below photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto at Ben Brown Fine Arts

(Image credit: Ron Arad)

'Krvis Wit Zwart' by Bram Bogart

'Krvis Wit Zwart' by Bram Bogart, 1965, on show at Bernard Jacobson Gallery's stand

(Image credit: Bram Bogart)

'White Relief' by Ben Nicholson

'White Relief' by Ben Nicholson, 1936, at Bernard Jacobson Gallery

(Image credit: Ben Nicholson)

Bookshelf from the 'Bones' series

(Image credit: Joris Laarman)

Bookshelf from the 'Bones' series by Joris Laarman, 2010, at Friedman Benda. Laarman spent months researching the growth of human bones with a group of scientists. Then he applied the algorithm of bone growth to furniture production, creating a collection of pieces in varying materials

Bell Metal Horse Chair

'Bell Metal Horse Chair' by Satyendra Pakhalé, 2007/8, at Gabrielle Ammann Gallery

(Image credit: Satyendra Pakhalé)

Doppel-Stuhl' (double chair)

'Doppel-Stuhl' (double chair) by Rolf Sachs, 1995, at Gabrielle Ammann

(Image credit: Rolf Sachs)

'Kubu' by Satyendra Pakhalé

'Kubu' by Satyendra Pakhalé, 2009, at Gabrielle Ammann Gallery

(Image credit: Satyendra Pakhalé)

Part of the 'MAXXI' Diptych by Hélène Binet

Part of the 'MAXXI' Diptych by Hélène Binet, 2009, at Gabrielle Ammann

(Image credit: Hélène Binet)

Part of the 'MAXXI' Diptych by Hélène Binet

Part of the 'MAXXI' Diptych by Hélène Binet, 2009, at Gabrielle Ammann

(Image credit: Hélène Binet)

'Flower Offering Chair'

'Flower Offering Chair' by Satyendra Pakhalé, 2001/9 on show at Gabrielle Ammann Gallery's stand

(Image credit: Satyendra Pakhalé)

Red Summer' by Gottfried Helnwein

'Red Summer' by Gottfried Helnwein, 2010, at Friedman Benda

(Image credit: Gottfried Helnwein)

Mirror by Nigel Coates

Mirror by Nigel Coates

(Image credit: Nigel Coates)

Rita the waitress'

'Rita the waitress' by Duane Hanson, on show at the Van de Weghe Fine Art stand

(Image credit: Duane Hanson)

Malaika Byng is an editor, writer and consultant covering everything from architecture, design and ecology to art and craft. She was online editor for Wallpaper* magazine for three years and more recently editor of Crafts magazine, until she decided to go freelance in 2022. Based in London, she now writes for the Financial Times, Metropolis, Kinfolk and The Plant, among others.