100% Design London was back to Earl's Court once again. One of the biggest events among London Design week exhibited interior, furniture, product, lights, all sort of design, in fact. They had Tom Dixon as a creative director this year, who proposes a "city like" theme. The fractured, uneven layout of the booths in Earl's Court allude to the buildings and street in any major city. The idea is that, like in a Metropolis, visitors to the show will learn, network and share ideas, after all, isn't that what living in the city stands for? So here we go to the city, with more than 500 exhibitions and 300 different languages. Hold your guide book tight, or you might lose your way...
British designer Matthew Hilton's original collection launched at this event. Designing for Paul Smith show room, Habitat, East London showroom SCP, his original line unveiled to show it's high quality. The armchair draws you toward it with its beautiful curves, while the oak table has an Autumnal, slinky smooth pattern on it. The accessories, created by Charleen Mullen and Laura Lees, add friendly and charming character.
Matthew Hilton also selects "100% future", showcasing the works of 50 young, upcoming, independent designers. Among this section, Point 3 won most promising designer's award. Dominic McCausland, Luke Smith-Wightman, William Smith who share a studio whilst working individually, have now teamed together to launch their mixed line.
"We want to create something beautiful and truthful, not something shouting." According to McCausland.
A free-hanging, interchangeable shelf, made from rectangles and square shaped wooden cases is illuminated by wood panelled fluorescent light strips. Point 3's works are simple and straight but full of playfulness and intelligence.
The Green issue is another big topic in this show. Many of the products are designed with the environment in mind. The winner of the innovation award, Ivory Egg created a 'Magic Box' that controls all of the domestic switches in the house. There's just a switch with no wire or battery, yet it can turn on and off the lights in the booths. The magical switch. When you come home, press a button, the lights will be on, the music will be started, and the central heating will start working. No harm to press. Especially for the environment.
There are eight exhibiters from Japan. "Monacca", the wooden bag and furniture series was very appealing. They use thinning wood, which is usually thrown away as waste in Japan, to remain in keeping with the theme of being green. The attaché cases were particularly appealing, especially a good idea for keeping your laptop safely stored away. With this design, the ancient Japanese woodcraft tradition is being celebrated in a very modern fashion. Along with this are Zabuton, the traditional Japanese low seated stools, again utilising the thinning wood.
Donna Wilson has knitted some cuddly toys, so sweet that even the most miserable of city dwellers will smile. Wilson began at the Royal College of Art, in textiles and now devotes her time to her knit design. The inspiration for the toys came from actual drawings by children. The disproportionate heads, too long tails and stumpy hands, while sounding horrific, actually have a childlike charm. Each toy has an individual name, and a tag on its sleeve with a description of its character, the idea being you can choose your friend on character as well as appearance. How about a toy that is terrible at getting up in the morning and has a wild imagination?
100% Design London
Date: September 20th - 23rd, 2007
Place: Earls Court 2
Address: Warwick Road, London W5 9TA