Moregeous Blog Diary: LDF 2012 – 100% Design, Designersblock, Tent London AND Design Junction – phewf!

100% Design 2012 entrance lighting installation

Every year whizzes by faster, I’m sure of it! For Team Moregeous, September means a trip to London to get inspired – to source products, see new designers & their work, formulate new interior schemes and generally absorb in what new directions design is heading. Having been a visitor for over a decade now, it’s fascinating how the whole feel of the events, shows and installations change year after year, and how things move on and evolve.

The event has spread to incorporate many different venues across London and in some ways this is a shame, as the design energy created both dissipates and concentrates. It’s almost impossible for the non-London based visitor to take in everything over a few days, never mind cram it all into one! This year we started off on Day 1 with 100% Design at Earls Court, then went onto the Designersblock preview at Festival Hall, then Day 2 was Tent at the Truman Brewery, SuperBrands, Design Junction and Tramshed.

I’m going to do some posts next week with the products I saw and loved, but also the ‘trends’ or similarities I noticed across all the shows…. 2012 definitely saw some specific materials which many designers and makers had all fallen in love with. Here are some images first of all to give a taster of how different the spaces visited were and why if you really want to see LDF2012, you’ve got to travel around to the various venues.

First up 100% Design. I’m sorry to say that I was a little disappointed. It just didn’t feel creative enough and felt like an imitation of the Grand Designs event Mr M & I went to last year. The central hub pictured below felt very clinical and lifeless, not really in tune with what’s going on in design. It’s good to have that central place to reconvene but there was no soul to it. In 2009 I remember struggling back on the train with a giant 100% tea-cup, there were eclectic events and a feeling of excitement and joining in. There was nothing resembling fun this year and for me the show was summed up by the pop-up ‘exclusive’ Michelin starred restaurant, not exactly capturing the mood of the nation 😦

On the plus side, there were some beautiful and elegant kitchen room sets and some individually stunning interior finds which I’ll feature on a separate post. Also the areas showcasing designs from around the world, for example Korea, Spain & the  Czech Republic were filled with exciting new products.

100% Design 2012 central hub
100% Design 2012, part of the kitchen and bathroom hub
100% Design 2012 booths
100% Design 2012 Korean designers hub

After 100% it was onto Designersblock… the two couldn’t be more different in feel. Of course 100% is way bigger and has to work with larger & more established brands, so elements of the organisation need to be more rigid but I just felt this year was a bit joyless when you compare it to the design smiles created by Piers, Rory, Bud et al.

When the two had adjoining spaces in 2009, it’s my guess that some of the fun rubbed off, sometimes more corporate bodies need to working alongside inventive creatives for it to properly seep into their planning strategies? This year Designersblock were celebrating their 15th birthday at the Southbank Centre, with different elements of their design show in different areas, live events and interactive workshops. As usual it was blinking brilliant, crammed full of marvellous innovation, performance artists interacting with the designs and a bar serving only Sol & Tequila 🙂

Designersblock 2012, preview night at the bar
Designersblock shop at Southbank LDF 2012
Designersblock main design show space 2012
Designersblock ceramic hearts installation by the New English
Designersblock lighting installation LDF 2012

Day 2 started with Tent London now in its sixth year at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. This show has got better and better every year. It’s absolutely crammed with new designers, it’s full of energy and has a real buzz about it. Seriously, you cannot turn around without seeing something fab and if you can’t find something to float your boat there, you shouldn’t be going to design shows. The flat breads & fresh salads at the Pitfield pop-up were delicious too, who needs Michelin starred food when you’re just plain hungry and your feet hurt?!

Love, love, love.

Zillions of images to post next week 🙂

Tent London 2012
The Pitfield pop-up at Tent London 2012

As part of Tent London was Super Brands, which was a wee bit exclusive and dull last year. Much better this year, but still I guess it’s not the reason I go to LDF and most things are way out of my price range so it doesn’t figure highly on my excitement scale.

SuperBrands at Tent London 2012

Late afternoon saw us whizz over to Design Junction, a showcase of international design brands in its 2nd year and this year set in a 1960’s Sorting Office. Clever stuff, it could’ve been very corporate but wasn’t, set against such an industrial backdrop and with a very deconstructed feel. Big brands sat well next to smaller individuals, retro vintage styling next to high end products.

Great Tramshed installation featuring Benjamin Hubert’s work amongst others. Lots of other well known names there too, displayed in a very approachable and interactive style. Liked it a lot, well worth a visit. Nice pop-up by Artek, though tiny cake portions 😉

Design Junction 2012 at the Sorting Office
Design Junction 2012 at the Sorting Office
The Artek pop-up at Design Junction 2012

All shows on this weekend so get yourself down there!

That was our Moregeous visit very neatly summed up, I’ve got a birthday party to go to now and there’s some gin to be drunk so until next week……. xx


3 thoughts on “Moregeous Blog Diary: LDF 2012 – 100% Design, Designersblock, Tent London AND Design Junction – phewf!

Add yours

  1. I totally agree with you on 100% design not being that exciting and I found tent London so much more interesting! Seems we travelled down on the same days from up North and i really wish I had more time to visit all others the other shows! See my latest post for all my favourite finds! X

  2. Phew! a busy week. I agree with some of your comments about 100% Design. My other half exhibited at Grand Designs Live back in 2008 and the layout was almost identical then!!! Some good stuff to be found there though – I loved the Korean stand too. Did you go into the Yo! Home ? Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

  3. Totally agree with the 100% Design disappointment. This year was the first time I’d made it, though I’ve been to several of the ones in East London (Tent, Designersblock and 100% East) in previous years, so I was expecting great things…but it was basically a fairly boring trade fair, a combination of Grand Designs and Ecobuild but not as good as either. I can’t remember a single thing that gave me a ‘wow’ moment, such a pity!

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