Future gazing

100% Design remains the preferred launch pad for established designers, as well as fertile territory for spotting up-and-coming talent. 100% Futures retains an experimental energy, with both British and international designers opting to showcase at the ev

MANY DESIGNERS appreciate the direction 100% Design has taken in recent years, with the addition of 100% Futures proving a particular success. Now in its second year, it has given the fair a more dynamic, experimental edge, reminiscent of the heady days of its conception more than ten years ago and providing fertile ground for up-and-coming talent.

Benjamin Hubert returns to 100% Futures with six new products, and agrees that ‘the Futures area is really changing the shape of 100% Design’. He will show his Lilly Pad table, made from hardwood and steel, alongside other accessories, such as Heavy Lights and folded magazine racks. They reflect his interest in materials and the processes involved in designing products, from glass-blowing to concrete casting. Other furniture on show includes Stuart Melrose’s Corian tables, the Orchid Chair designed by Sebastian Gronemeyer, and Synthesis Studio’s Oval Bench, an experiment with recyclable materials from Vancouver-based duo Mario Sabljak and Mimi Law.

International exhibits continue to form a key part of the fair, and Scandinavia is a particularly strong design destination. 100% Norway is in its fifth year and showcases products from new blood, such as Petter Knudsen’s Loop and Daniel Rybakken’s Subconscious Effect of Daylight table/lamp hybrid, which aims to lift the mood of a room by creating the illusion of daylight casting a shadow on the floor. Rybakken says he tries to design light itself, rather than producing ‘just a lampshade’. A range of ceramics created by Johan Verde and Slip for Oslo’s Royal Opera House, and new product launches from Stokke Austad, Varmo Kollstad Buene and Frost Produkt, will also be on show.

Denmark is represented officially for the first time at a stand organised by Danish Crafts. Created by 12 of the country’s top designers, products include a rubber tub by Ole Jensen, digital bed linen, a ‘clothes tree’ and a laser-cut chair.

Swedish designer Monica Förster’s new Drop stool and the Cocoon sofa and chair from Swedish design partnership Claesson Koivisto Rune will be released by British manufacturer Modus.

Other high-profile launches at the event include Matthew Hilton’s new foursome: the stackable Manta chair, the high-backed Tapas chair, the Fracture table, and the Hepburn sofa. German leather specialist Yomei will launch its Magic Cube bureau, and bath furniture company Burgbad has a range of new products from its Diva, Crono 1.0 and Pli collections.

But it’s not just furniture that’s making the headlines. Michael Sodeau will showcase his Anything range of stationery products, created with Japanese entrepreneur Daisaku Bessho’s production company Suikosha. The range is made of ‘tactile, pared-down forms that create a more working table-top environment’, says Sodeau. He is planning to attract top-end independent retailers and department stores across the globe, before launching in Tokyo in November.

After all, most of 100% Design is about bringing your product to market, with the commercial and the corporate widely present – something the Futures generation should be keen to explore.

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