100% Design is a benchmark event placed in London UK, the same kind seen in industry fairs in Milan. Its focus is the product and industrial design industry and aims to showcase some of the newest and freshest tendencies in design. Nowadays the show features well known world wide design agencies as well as it promotes new revelations.
The show is located in Earls Court Exhibition Center and it’s divided in 6 main areas: Interiors, Workplace, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Eco, Design & Build, Emerging Brands, and International Pavilions. Each section is distributed in several stands that belong to different companies, which promote their signature product; from materials and furniture to automation technology. Although this year the show focused mostly on furniture and product design.
Besides the fixed exhibitions, the show also provided small talk events — which always have the ability to question the entire purpose of the show. Talk shows in this type of event tend to be an attempt to make it more theoretical or even artistic than it really is. Usually the will to become educational is 100% and the result is not up by 10%, but overall the show was well organised for its topology.
100% Design is a reference on trade show, and its focus are companies, studios or traders that either intend to buy a specific product or be a sales representative for that product. It’s about exchanging contacts and creating business relationships. For designers that seek more bold approaches, Earls Court is not the place to be. The 100% Design is integrated in The London Design Festival, and it’s only a small portion of what this week’s all about.
The festival was developed to encourage visitors to roaming London streets in search of exhibitions and small shows. That’s where you’ll find independent designers with new ideas, or not. Unlike 100% Design, the festival’s site is more informative and actually displays everything about the event, and the main areas where different exhibitions take place. If you find yourself in one of these areas you quickly realise there’s even more to be seen.
For foreigners this is also the best way to know the city, and it’s people, away from tourists and the cluster of people who focus on epicenters such as the London Eye and Big Ben.
The best way to enjoy the design week in London is setting off to explore. Sometimes we are surprised with ideas that really make a difference in the evolution of contemporary design, for others, we simply take note of small projects that are part of research subjects or utopian delusions. Nevertheless, not least important than the others.