100% Design celebrated its 21st edition in style at the new location of the Grand and West Halls of Olympia London – the swooping roof line and natural daylight gave the show immediate impact on arrival and made exploring a pleasure. “Being at Olympia gives us the advantage of having a dramatic venue with architectural merit,” said show director William Knight. “For a designer or an architect, seeing Olympia is a spectacle in itself.”
The Invisible Store of Happiness (above), first seen at Clerkenwell Design Week looked particularly at home in the space. Designed and made by furniture designer Sebastian Cox and sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon in collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), it is designed to highlight under-appreciated hardwoods maple and cherry, and spark a discussion about carbon usage.
More adventures in wood could be seen in Simin Qiu’s End Grain stationery collection. The desktop storage containers, clock, ruler and watch are made by glueing together five-millimeter pieces of waste pine offcuts into zigzag and herringbone motifs.
Coincidentally, also called Endgrain, these wooden jar lids by Raw Edges are part of an ongoing collection. “The idea behind ‘Endgrain’ is to harness the grain of the wood in order to carry dye right the way through sections of timber,” said the designers.
I loved these Layered Tables by Studio EJ – the wire frames overlap creating dynamic patterns, and a series of zigzag-bottomed solid wood plates and trays enable you use them for small objects that might otherwise wobble or fall between the gaps.
There were some fabulous color combinations courtesy of Isabel Ford’s Walnut Whirl, Hyacinth Bouquet collection for Mitas & Co.
I loved Argentinian architect and designer Natalia Geci’s Nomadic furniture collection which she says was created to fill the needs of her own nomadic family – boxes stack on top of a stool and their drawers open out of different sides depending on how you position them, their perforations giving just a hint of what’s inside.
Þórunn Hannesdóttir’s Berg tables appeared as part of Icelandic design collective North Limited. They are made of thin steel bases and cast aluminium and concrete tops – inspired by the dramatic landscape of her home country.
Family by Bybibi was part of the same Icelandic showcase – I love the anthropomorphic shapes of the little ceramic vessels and the ‘slice of tree’ wooden lids.
East London design duo Quirk and Rescue or Mr Black and Ms Pink as they call themselves (I assume in reference to their respective hair colors – his is black, hers in pink) specialize in wallpaper, cushions, fabric and bespoke hand-painted furniture. They have done it again with this bold colorful wallpaper collection.
And finally, Cornish designer Tom Raffield was in fine form with an extended collection of his steam-bent furniture and accessories.