18 May 2024, 21:42
By <div class="field field-name-field-author field-type-text field-label-hidden"> Paul Farley </div> Nov 07, 2014

100% Design returns to form

Since its relaunch by exhibition organiser Media 10 in 2012, 100% Design has gone from strength to strength. The 20th edition of the show – which took place at Earl’s Court in September – attracted over 28,000 visitors, and 450 exhibitors. Paul Farley reports …

Based on my impressions of this year’s event, I’d agree that 100% Design is on the up. A major criticism levelled at it previous to Media 10’s takeover was that it had become a little stale and over-commercialised – yet I encounter a lively, bustling show, full of imagination and inspiration.

Upon entry, the event’s novel hub-and-spoke layout –  leading to Interiors, Kitchens and Bathrooms, Workhouse and Eco, Design and Build sectors – affirms the original thinking behind it. From here, I get the chance to catch a little of design luminary Philippe Starck’s inspirational keynote speech (“If you want to become a genius like me, don’t go to sleep,” he wryly advises) before exploring a selection of new designs from the likes of Nottingham Trent University and the Design Guild Mark scheme.

Huge installations hang above the proceedings, while interactive exhibits ensure those visitors with time to kill are kept entertained. I find time to peruse the latest rugs by Louis de Poortere, upholstery swatches from Futura Leathers and novel hospitality seating creations by Lyndon Design, before arriving at Natuzzi’s stand, where the upholstery specialist is launching its upmarket new beds and bedroom furniture to the UK market.

Predominantly, these exhibitors expect to court top interior designers, architects and specifiers at 100% Design, seeding their imaginations ahead of the next big project – and, although I’m here on day one, the enquiries they’ve had so far are promising.

According to Media 10’s official figures, over 19,000 architects and interior designers – representing 70% of the total number of visitors – are in attendance this year, 81% of them UK visitors, and 13% from the rest of Europe. Interestingly, only 9000 visitors attended other design events during London Design Festival, highlighting the show’s unique appeal.

Show director William Knight comments: “100% Design 2014 was a great success for us – overall, we have received an overwhelming number of positive responses from visitors, exhibitors and collaborators. I believe the 20th edition truly demonstrated our commitment to design and innovation, and that we have produced a top-quality show where visitors could find new ideas and innovative products, but also connect with others and engage with our features, which strongly supported our 2014 show theme.”

Of course, the days of Earl’s Court are numbered, so 100% Design will relocate to the grand hall of Olympia next year. I’m keen to take another look.

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