100% Design is an amazing trade show which forms part of the London Design Fair. The show was a great opportunity for us to showcase our work as furniture designers. It is also a great place to make contacts with similar minded people while also searching for opportunities to improve our products by sourcing alternative materials.
The show for Furniture Designers.
London design week is a multitude of trade shows occurring across the capital, each unique while also very similar. Unique in the sense of the content, the brands that participate are different and vary greatly between shows. The shows are similar however, in the sense that they all contain a mixture of established and new brands. ArqiAtelier took part in the 25th Anniversary 100% Design show. The show organisers positioned us in a prime location for our original and unique designs which was a great honour.
The show was organised in zones that were determined by the type of participant and also the size of their display. In the centre of the show was a Bar and VIP area. This connected to a main causeway which brought visitors through all of the exhibition spaces. Participants where given a shell space to install their displays and present their work. We designed the layout of our space to resemble a boutique store, with a central space to allow people to browse and also try our furniture.
Designers love people engaging with their Furniture.
Our designs received a great reception at the show, they were enjoyed by both visitors and designers. Many people were curious because our work contains such unique materials. We were the only designers in the 2019 show to exhibit benches and stools, we were also the only designers to showcase products made from Corten Steel and Anodised Aluminium.
We placed the products that we wanted to encourage people to focus on up on raised platforms. This placed them just bellow eye level so that for example, the unique profiles of our benches would be clear. We wanted to encourage people to touch and engage with our work. Touch is the best way to experience the heavy mass and quality of our work.
Trade shows are a great place to see what other people’s interests are and what they feel passionate about. In the emerging brands area you can find many people who work with very experimental processes. Compared to the larger brands who are showcasing their products, the emerging brands tend to be more artistic in style. This is a great place to walk around and feel inspired, and therefore you can often meet many students browsing through this area taking photos. We were all students once and this was a great way for us to learn and develop as designers. Its great to know that this process continues and that you can give back to the student community.
As a designer you can often find participants you have already had contact within the past and see their new products. We found Kirkby Designs London underground car showcasing their redesign of TFL classic fabrics. The vibrant and alternative colours totally changed the interior of the train, this was very enjoyable. We currently use their fabrics for our magnetic bench cushions, which left a big impression on our visitors.
It is exciting trying to find new products and materials that we can use in the future. Sometimes finding things that inspire you, and designing around them as a key part of the furniture can give you great results. The fabrics we saw by Rafias PRI SIM, handmade textiles in Argentina, were great examples of Argentinian and Latin American art. We are big fans of the Latin culture as well as their art and so we just could not waste this opportunity to pick up some samples and see what great combinations we find for our furniture and Interiors.