23 May 2024, 22:24
By Furniture News Oct 09, 2014

Triumphant year for Tent London

Busy stands, a great atmosphere and plenty of exciting new product on show for both buyers and consumers alike made this edition of Tent London the best yet. Now firmly established as East London's anchor show, 443 exhibitors gathered from 29 countries all over the world and were visited by a record-breaking 24,392 visitors.

Max Fraser, deputy director of London Design Festival, says: “I feel almost proud to see how much the show has flourished and grown – it's become more mature, the quality of the exhibitors has risen so that there's a nice synergy between young independent designers as well as more established companies.”

Founder and director Jimmy MacDonald agreed: “Tent 2014 was a show I would certainly want to visit. The line-up of exhibitors from small established independent designers through to museum quality exhibitions provided visitors with an amazing snapshot of the breadth of what we call the design industry. I just wish I had more time to see everything in full. We have already had an overwhelming response from exhibitors and visitors alike. “

Highlights from the show:

Super Brands London

Packing a punch from the get go, AfroditiKrassa's much anticipated bold new collection of tiles, wall panels and lighting delivered a pared down elegance, while Graham & Brown revealed new wallpaper designs by 60's icon Barbara Hulanicki. There was much lauded lighting at Ochre and high quality natural stone at Marshalls along with on-trend natural forms from Vezzini & Chen. Balancing on the cusp of art and design,

Tent London

Vera & Kyte drew attention with its clever new chair Prop Up, inspired by a reclining garden chair. There was also stand out design courtesy of the Galvin Brothers' new collection Cross Lap, including tables, benches and stools, and reflecting the current interest in upcycling, Studio Loftstrum's painted and reclaimed wood cabinets. These were intersected with installations from, among others, Pepe Heykoop & Tiny Miracles Foundation, Second Sitter's radical upcycling of old upholstered chairs, a Concrete Focus Area and the first ever co-designed press office, courtesy of Studio TILT. For anyone wanting to follow up on a particular collection, the show guide is online as a handy reference tool.

International Pavilions
From the bold visual statement made by outsized Korean brass bowls, to Japanese augmented reality screens viewed through iPhones, this was a vintage year for Tent's International Pavilions, with the best design from, among others, Japan, Poland, Norway and Ireland showing highly contrasting yet individually compelling work from all over the world. Tokyo Designer's Week included many interactive exhibits including Kumi Koda, described by Jonathan Ross as the Christina Aguilera of Japan, debuting the world's first virtual reality music video: 'dance in the rain'. A live demonstration of basket weaving by Joe Hogan was a highlight of Design & Crafts Council of Ireland's Weathering show, along with the swirling marbled Siren chair by Nest Design. Super Design Gallery showed a beguiling mix of work ranging from Hanna Kruse Studio's delicate ceramics to Ben Storms' mastery of stonecrafting.

And of course effortless Scandi elegance, from prototype to product, not to mention a purpose made terrace designed solely for Tent, drew a massive crowd at 100% Norway. Also on show was a comprehensive celebration of Czech glass called Glassmania and Designing Polska- Design in Poland providing an overview of the best in Polish graphic design. “We chose Tent because it is one of the biggest events of the London Design Festival ... we wanted to be in a place where everything is happening; if someone wants to see a variety and broad spectrum of design, they come to Tent," says Olka Osadzinska, Designing Polska.

Super Talks
Ideas were exchanged and debate generated at this year's Super Talks, curated by Design Exchange. Focusing on the broad theme The Future, talk ranged from the consumer of tomorrow to nature's influence on the design process by a stellar panel of names including Oliver Heath, Giles Miller, and Oliver Marlow, creative director, TILT. David Morris, Co-founder / Travel editor, Design Exchange comments: "45 speakers, 10 Chairs and just 4 days; Tent /SuperBrands' Supertalks was an ambitious endeavour. Yet by drawing together practitioners from the realms of Design, Art, Architecture, Science, Engineering and the creative industries, we at Design Exchange were honoured to witness the kind of frenetic magic that can only occur through the cross pollination of ideas.”

The talks can be watched online here.

Shop the Show!
Launched earlier this year, Shop Tent's innovative online retail platform for past and present exhibitors from the show has already proved a runaway success, providing the ideal link between design labels and consumers throughout the year. Exhibitors have certainly embraced the concept: over 300 products by 60 designers were shot live at the show and will be available to buy online in the coming weeks.

Highlights and interviews from Tent London 2014 can be watched here.

Tent London 2015 will run from 24th September to 27th September.

© 2013 - 2024 Gearing Media Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved.