Bold moves

100% Futures exposes the next generation of furniture designers, as well as their quirky creations. Fiona Sibley picks her favourite up-and-comers

100% Futures exposes the next generation of furniture designers, as well as their quirky creations. Fiona Sibley picks her favourite up-and-comers 

With the arrival of 100% Futures this year, a dedicated area for emerging designers, much of the show’s focus is geared towards talent-spotting, and credit is due to 100% Design for providing a hand up to the next generation.

As in previous years, the show is bursting with new hopefuls from the UK and abroad, and the merit of 100% Design has always been the eclectic variety of established and emerging design. Organisations to look out for include Hidden Art, which has a regular presence at the show as a platform for new talent. This year the stand includes new furniture designs by London designers Scene.

New to 100% Design this year is VIA, the state-sponsored French body that supports design talent. It is taking part in 100% Futures in a collaborative project with esteemed French brand Ligne Roset. Work by emerging designers, Swann Bourotte and Gregory Lacoua, shares a platform with pieces from Ligne Roset’s established favourites, Eric Jourdan and Francois Azambourg. The collection pays homage to the youthful, radical French Nouvelle Vague movement of the 1950s.

Within 100% Futures, the Redesign collective is showing a range of sustainable seats, and the production stories behind them. Designers include Ryan Frank and David Colwell.

The University of Northumbria is showcasing products by designers who have graduated and set up in business over the past few years, including Max Lamb and James Harrison.

Among 100% Futures single exhibitors, Stoke-on-Trent-based ceramic designer/maker Scabetti promises quite a spectacle, with a 40m2 stand sponsored by Hidden Art. New furniture and accessories are also emerging from the hands of Stuart Melrose, Benjamin Hubert and Giles Wilson-Cupp.

New designer Stuart Melrose has been sponsored by Corian to produce a range of furniture, with inlaid colours in graphic styles. ‘I am all about pushing boundaries and not staying safe,’ he says. ‘I love graphics and want to inject this into my designs. I think people today are a lot more experimental and expect more from the objects around them. It is a brilliant time for designers who want to be a bit bolder with colour, texture and pattern. Hopefully I can meet the right people at 100% Design to allow me to get my ideas out there.’

The SmartSide Board marks out Giles Wilson as a future star, with a delicate aesthetic and a clever eye for function. Having studied contemporary art and worked as a musician before completing a cabinet-making apprenticeship and a HND in design, his work has an artistic grace to it.

Benjamin Hubert’s work is ‘all about textures – I like to explore new materials, and then combine them differently to recontextualise them’, he explains. One object is a clock with acid rusted hands on a black glazed ceramic face. Other techniques used are resin casting and rapid prototyping. It could turn out to be a confused mix, or alternatively, convey an assured command of materials.

From overseas, first-time exhibiting studios and collectives of designers include Made in Denmark, Taiwan’s Design Together, Iris Studio from Israel, Association Design Forum from Lithuania and Umbra from Canada. All will help maintain 100% Design’s mission to bring together ideas and influences from across the globe, and bring a diverse aesthetic to the event.

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