Returning for its 25th edition, 100% Design, the UK’s largest design trade event, wowed its visitors with a plethora of striking installations, innovative collections and discussions with some of the industry’s most renowned professionals. However, we were surprised to see 2019’s offering was smaller than previous years, with the use of only one floor and a notable lack of prominent kitchen and bathroom
A vibrant and exciting destination for both leading interiors and architectural brands and emerging talents, 100% Design gave us an insight into the newest trends, products and materials – starting with one of our favourite installations, an original Victoria Line tube carriage from 1967 brought by Kirkby Design. Taking inspiration from the London underground fabric archive, Underground Vol. II is the brand’s latest collection, including iconic prints reinterpreted with modern colourways to suit both residential and commercial settings.
Design Fresh, curated by the Evening Standard’s design editor Barbara Chandler, was another highlight of the show. Celebrating breakthrough talent, it comprised of displays by 34 young designers chosen for their creative perspectives and original products. From hardwood cut to produce a semi-fluid material that moves in multiple directions to stools made from a resin-like material derived from slaughter waste, Design Fresh was a refreshing showcase demonstrating how design can help to rethink everyday objects to tackle global concerns such as climate change and waste.
Sustainability was also at the heart of many of the projects featured at 100% Design – A Sense of Finland being a stand-out installation. Curated by Finnish/English designer Hanna Laikola in collaboration with Nordic furniture brand Tapio Anttila Collection and eco log house company Polar Life Haus, the pavilion gave visitors a taste of Finland through a sensory experience. Filled with the calming sounds of the forest and natural materials and textures, the house presented the very best of Finnish furniture and home décor focused around sustainability, well-being and healthy living environments.
Drawing on the principles of sustainable design, natural materials and wood, were a particular focus of many collections on show. From the edgy chairs of Danish furniture manufacturer True North Design to the stylish furniture by the British Dare Studio, functional shapes and excellent craftmanship set a benchmark for the contemporary design and manufacture.
The influence of Instagram was the theme of a section of 100% Design showcasing roomsets styled by insta-popular interior designers, including Owl Design and Matilda Goad. A powerful tool for visualisation and creativity, Instagram has made design more accessible, by connecting designers documenting and sharing their creative process with a wider audience that gains an insight into the different brands beyond their products.
One last highlight from the event was Talks with 100% Design, featuring more than 50 in-depth conversations with designers, architects and specialists exploring trends and current issues. Debating topics such as climate change, sustainability and how design can have a lasting impact on our society, the panels were lively, engaging and overall essential to make the most of the 100% Design.