The Milan fair organisers have stalled their plan to bring an Italian furniture delegation to London for 100% Design. What might UK designers have learned from the Italian contingent?Much less than they will learn from the Italians during the Milan Fair. Creativity is so much greater when it’s fuelled by copious quantities of prosecco at a showroom opening, followed by long talks over a risotto Milanese.
James Mair, Managing director, Viaduct
The Italians imposed themselves on New York last May, with little impact. They have a holier-than-thou attitude to other design markets, but must remember London is the talent capital of the world, and their presence would be met by cynicism. I don’t think we’d learn much from them, except how to be slick and arrogant.
Max Fraser, Author and curator
If they don’t come, someone will fill their space. We would learn no more from them than we can from the British contingencies like Hidden Art and Design Nation. I’d like to see them come, not because they are Italian, but because I welcome anyone who can push the boundaries of our understanding of Design.
Gary van Broekhoven, Creative director, GVB
It is difficult to know what their reasons were. Without doubt, our market is limited, and 100% Design is very much focused on London, as are sales for a lot of design. It’s the UK design engine. It may be that the Italians are waiting to see what impact the change of location will have on our annual migration to Milan and the culture of the Salone as a whole. I believe their involvement helps to support 100% Design as an international destination, but I am sure we could survive without them. London becomes more important every year.
Luke Pearson, Co-founder, Pearson Lloyd Design
100% Design has a very inclusive format for the design industry, attracting everyone from designer-makers to big manufacturers from many countries. This inclusive identity is something that has been successfully exported to Moscow and Tokyo. We would welcome Italian designers and manufacturers to 100% Design, however we already have the format. We could always have Gareth Williams of the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Milan in a Van again.
Charles Keen, Director, Keen