National identity explored at 100% Design discussion

National identity was the subject of a discussion on European design at trade show 100% Design last Friday.

Spanish designer Jaime Hayon compared notes with Danish-English designer Louise Campbell and English-Indian duo Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien, at what organisers claimed was the best-attended talk at this year’s show.

Hayon asserted that he feels London is a significant destination for European design, but that European cities increasingly have less of a distinct identity because of the accessibility to global trends and influences. ‘It’s becoming less about identity and more about variety in each city, as there are both local and global influences,’ commented Hayon. ‘It’s about design meeting the arts and other things. It’s about fusion,’ he added.

But for design duo Doshi and Levien, it is cross-cultural synthesis that is of interest, while Campbell described how her design is informed by a cultural duality, derived from her mixed parentage. She explained how she mixes the Scandinavian tendency for Minimalism and calm, with the British preference for adornment and ‘clutter’, to create a European design that is ‘schizophrenic’.

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