Last week Tom and I attended 100% Design, the cornerstone event of London Design Week, showcasing the latest and greatest from architects, designers, specifiers, retailers, and developers across the globe.
100% Design has grown year on year since its inaugural edition in 1995, now seeing almost 30,000 attendees pass through the doors of Kensington’s Olympia. Held across four days, the event is the longest running design trade event for industry professionals held in the UK. The show hosts trade stands, demo-zones, key note speeches and panel discussions regarding all things design. From construction materials to LED lighting, and repurposed timber workplace furnishings to sound-proofed working pods, this year’s edition covered just about every possible corner of an ever-changing industry.
The show provided a fantastic platform for businesses to showcase their products and designs and there were obvious trends amongst exhibitors. Personally, what really stood out was just how bold and exciting the industry is today. I saw light fixtures made of synthetic dough, stunning fabric patterns all the way from Lisbon, and eclectic ranges of furnishings and fixtures from all around the globe. Here are some stand out products that caught my eye:
1) TP24 Lighting – Simplistic yet incredibly stylish, TP24 designs and creates stainless steel LED lighting for residential and commercial property. However, all lighting fixtures are interchangeable, so if you decide a year down the line that you prefer a newer version of the light in your hallway, you simply unclick it and attach the new fixture! Starting at as little as £40, the products are stylish and very affordable.
2) Mutuopia – Beautifully designed tableware and accessories. These crockery sets are mainly made out of porcelain and zinc alloy, which make for lightweight, robust, and quite frankly, stunning table pieces. They’re not cheap, starting at £65.00, but for a coffee lover these would make the perfect special birthday present.
3) Mirriocol by B&S Glass – This was one of the first stands I saw at the event, and I absolutely loved these bold pieces. They are simply curved 3D mirrors, but in vivid colours and patterns. Seeing all of the product range spread out across the stand demonstrated the sheer impact they have. Impressive.
4) The Loving Chair Company – These beautiful and luxurious furnishings make for a real statement piece in any setting – they would suit a living room, foyer, or even an office meeting space. The designs take inspiration from the CEO’s Portuguese roots, bringing an ornate yet contemporary feel.
5) Staverton – Staverton boldly held the fort on the ground floor of the Olympia in its famous yellow branding. The office furniture specialist showcased some of its newest products, including an intelligently designed bluetooth operated sit-stand desk.
We also made time for a talk or two. First up was a brief session with interior and lighting designer Lee Broom, who has taken the design world by storm in recent years. Broom remarked on the changing landscape of design in the digital age, commenting: “with the likes of social media, you don’t even need to have a product to your name to create your own brand.” He continued by noting how exciting it is to witness the emerging generation of professionals, believing that they attain an entrepreneurial spirit that will ensure the future of the industry for time to come.
We also attended a thought-provoking panel discussion on workplace wellbeing with speakers from a variety of backgrounds. The discussion provided real food for thought, covering the main issues around workplace wellbeing today. Namely: the fact that employers are still reluctant to invest in wellbeing due to fear of little or no return on the expenditure; the worryingly increasing number of employees, young adults and even teenagers experiencing mental ill-health; and finally, what more can be done to help improve workplace wellbeing, with a wider view to implementing these ideas into our daily lives.
The show provided a fantastic opportunity for visitors and exhibitors to celebrate their collective love of design in all its forms while surrounded by some of the world’s finest work. It was another fantastic four days and Magenta are sure to return in 2018 – see you there!