It’s time again for the 100% Design show, the annual design extravaganza that, for a few days, transforms the city into a circuit of launches, seminars, business meetings and parties.
Held at London’s Earls Court Two, the trade show is in its sixth year and looking as healthy as ever. Gone are the days of young, unknown designers displaying their wares in a marquee up London’s King’s Road. Today, the show features more than 400 companies, 60 of which are first timers, and it is aiming to compete – with regard to exhibitors, visitors and prestige – with other European fairs such as the Milan Furniture Fair and Cologne International Furniture Fair. Regulars include Viaduct, Coexistence, Inflate, Twentytwentyone and CA1. But many of the big European manufacturers are also taking a stand, and for the first year countries such as Spain, grouped under the SIDI consortium, Finland and Sweden will have a presence. However, we can expect the main surprises to come from the British companies; this is, after all, still their main launch pad.
Hitch Mylius will be unveiling a range of upholstery furniture designed by Shin and Tomoko Azumi, while manufacturer Keen will be presenting the Supporto system, designe
d by the late Fred Scott. The four Supporto office systems comprise of the Beam Tables, the Folding Tables, the Occasional Tables and the Plywood Cantilever Supporto chair.
Inflate, a fixture of the show since its beginnings, will be launching two new PVC products. A collaboration with Nippo Scottish architect Ushida Findley, Kintama is a soft flexible rota-moulded seat, composed by four balls, while its second design is a portable speaker system that comes as a flat pack.
Inflate founder Nick Crosbie is also collaborating with the Mathmos Spin City project (DW 30 August) with a new lamp. Other Spin City collaborators include the Azumis, Michael Marriott, Gitta Gschwendtner and El Ultimo Grito. Mathmos will be launching Tumbler, a rechargeable, portable glass brick-shaped light and Bubble nest, a container for the Bubble light.
A company which started showing at 100% Design last year, in a bid to break with its past, is Wedgwood, which has commissioned four designers to create one-off pieces. Andrew Lamb is putting his jewellery design technique to use on silver vessels; Vicky Shaw is creating an 18-piece collection of ceramics; Kris Gifford is designing a ring box; and Carrina Field is creating a range of platters and vases.
Manufacturer Mallinson has taken on board the adventurous sounding Bendywood and has commissioned Jane Dillon and Simon Pengelly to experiment with the malleable material. If all goes as planned, future Bendywood designs will carry the signature of Michael Sodeau, Matthew Hilton and Thomas Heatherwick.
SCP is also showing new designs – a fibreglass coffee table by Sodeau as well as some new pieces by Hilton. This will also be a chance for the British public to view the designs launched at Milan last spring – Sodeau’s sofa system Mono – this time covered in new tartan Bute Fabrics, as well as Terence Woodgate’s new versions of his Public Seating System and table Two Three Four.
As a world launch, Michael Young will be designing a light, colour and translucency-themed stand for DuPont-manufactured brand Corian, as well as a series of products displaying the new range of colours. Young will also relaunch his Magazine range with Twentytwentyone (DW 5 April), complemented by a new collection of stools and tables.
UK architect Michael Dowd meanwhile makes a debut at 100% Design with his design and manufacturing company Dimensions. Dimensions, best known for its D4 display units, will launch The Curve, a lightweight self-assembly fabric screen designed by Dowd to be used as a space-divider or exhibition backdrop.
But it’s not only the British who are launching new designs. Herman Miller will be showing a new swivel chair from the Caper range, Asplund from Skandium a new carpet by Jasper Morrison, and Walter Knoll is capitalising on its British connections by launching a new sofa by long-time collaborator Pearson Lloyd.
New talent, as with every year, is represented by a batch of designers that have been awarded a Craft Council/ 100% Design bursary, which allows them to cover part of the costs of setting up a stand. Interestingly, the bursary committee didn’t find enough designers to meet their quality standards, so it has decided to give the rest of the money to last year’s recipients of the scheme. This will allow smaller designer-makers to continue to make a mark at the show.
100% Design runs from 27-30 September at Earls Court Two, London SW5. DW holds the seminar Shop Talk, on retail futures, on 27 September at 1pm, chaired by Lynda Relph-Knight
The 100% Design show continues beyond Earls Court Two, not least with Designers Block at The Jam Factory in South East London. Here are a few of the satellite events:
Zanotta: A retrospective exhibition
21 September until 10 October
Showcasing design icons from Zanotta’s collection.
Venue: Coexistence, 288 Upper Street, London N1
Contact: 020 7354 8817 or-mail email@example.com
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm (by appointment only)
Young David @ Brinkworth: 2001 – a fun odyssey
28 September until 3 October
Showing furniture and products from Iceland-based Michael Young and David Design, a Swedish furniture and product design group. Twentytwentyone’s shop is redesigned by Brinkworth.
Venue: Twentytwentyone, 274 Upper Street, London N1
Contact: www.david.se, www.michael-young.com, telephone 020 7288 1996 or-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm
Christopher Farr – Wall
27 September until 26 October
Christopher Farr will launch a product targeted at interior designers and architects. Wall is an artistic solution for large wall spaces in corporate hospitality and domestic locations. Wall is fabricated from fine hand-woven, colour-saturated textile, similar in weight to a tapestry and mounted on to stretchers to form large-scale 3D panels. A decorative alternative to paintings, which reduces echo. Designs by Farr and Kate Blee.
Venue: Christopher Farr Gallery, 212 Westbourne Grove, London W11
Contact: 020 7792 5761 or-mail email@example.com
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm
The New Collectables – Ingo Maurer and Ted Muehling in Murano glass
26 September until 10 November
Vessel is showing lighting maestro Ingo Maurer and jewellery designer Ted Muehling’s first forays into glass. The designers were given an open brief to explore this challenging medium.
Venue: Vessel, 114 Kensington Park Road, London W11.
Contact: 020 7727 8001 or-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening times: Monday-Saturday, 10am to 6pm.
100% at Harrods – A range of exhibitions and installations
Third floor: Cappellini exhibition and launch party of products from Vitra, Edra and Kundalini.
Second floor: Breaking the Mould. European designer of crystal and glass design have joined forces for this exhibition. Includes launches from Jonathan Adler, Kate Schuricht and work by Amy Cushing and Ella Doran.
Venue: Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1
Contact: 020 7893 8524
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm
Shows the colourful and innovative L Series storage system by young Swedish designer Johannes Noriander for the design company Asplund.
Venue: Skandium, 72 Wigmore Street, London W1
Contact: 020 7935 2077 or-mail email@example.com
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6.30pm, Sunday, 12pm to 5pm
Cassina presents Piero Lissoni
26 September until 15 October
Showing work by Piero Lissoni, which includes Reef, a family of upholstered items, and Note, a group of items that define the landscape around the upholstered pieces.
Venue: Chaplins, 17-18 Berners Street, London W1
Contact: 020 7323 6552 or-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
26 September until 19 October
In celebration of Terence Conran’s 70th birthday, The Conran Shop launches an exclusive selling exhibition of products designed by Conran from the 1950s and 1960s to the present day.
Venue: The Conran Shop, Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3
Contact: 020 7589 7401
Opening times: contact the number above for details
26 September until 26 October
An annual selection of designers from the Prague Academy Arts, Architecture and Design. The exhibition will focus on furniture, lighting, glass and porcelain.
Venue: Czech Centre, 95 Portland Street, London W1
Contact: 0207 291 9929
Opening times: Tuesday, Friday, 10am to 6pm. Saturday, Sunday, 1pm to 5pm