Curation, collaboration and connections at London Design Fair

From 22nd to 25th September, Tent London and sister event Super Brands London will return to Truman Brewery in vibrant East London under the new umbrella of London Design Fair. For the first time, the fair will be staged over three floors of this iconic industrial space rather than two. Its 12,500m2 space will showcase 250 independent designers and brands, 200 global brands and 15 country pavilions in ever-more creative formats.

This will be clear to see in one of the fair’s most exciting new installations. “We were invited to propose a project by the trade commission of the Trentino region of Italy,” says Jimmy MacDonald, London Design Fair Founder and Director. “The result is Trentino Collaborations, which connects four British designers with four Trentino-based manufacturers to create new products for retail.”

Max Lamb is producing granite furniture with a quarry company, Sebastian Cox is working with hard wood rather than green wood, for the first time and using a weaving technique from Trentino, Lucy Kurrein is designing leather upholstery, also Giles Miller will take his first foray into natural stone tiles. “The point is to create a profitable exchange, both artistically and economically,” comments MacDonald.

“This is a significant project to launch in our 10th year because its core – connecting designers with manufacturers – is something we’ve always done. Relationships are fundamental to us,” says MacDonald. “We stand out as a fair because we understand the design industry and we’re passionate about it. We work hard to create content you won’t see anywhere else. London Design Fair should be an inspiring and useful experience for everyone who exhibits and attends.”

Another installation at the London Design Fair celebrates the successful career trajectories of first-time exhibitors. In 10 at Tent, 10 now-established designers will show the pieces they debuted at Tent London alongside their latest collections. “This is a chance to take a moment and appreciate how far we’ve all come. Both the designers and the fair itself – we’ve grown up together,” says MacDonald.

This year’s London Design Fair will see the launch of the inaugural British Craft Pavilion, an exhibition that showcases 25 craftsmen from across the British Isles selected by the Crafts Council. These include ceramics by Paul Wearing, vessels by Wood Turner John Shorrock and glass sculptures by Stuart Akroyd.

As well as promoting British design to the rest of the world, Tent London is the most international show at London Design Festival, launching new brands and designers in the UK through its 15 country pavilions. For the first time, London Design Fair has invited a country to exhibit as India unveils the best of its contemporary design in ‘This Is India’, which sees Spandana Gopal, of Tiipoi, co-curate alongside Jimmy MacDonald, Founder and Director of the London Design Fair, with exhibition design by Kangan Arora.

Further confirmed countries include Design Prize Switzerland, Scotland Craft & Design, 100% Norway, Portugal, Design In South Italy, Nordic Design Collective and Swedish Design Pavilion.

Celebrating 10 years, the Super Talks programme will mirror the global direction of the fair. As the go-to event for visitors to learn about international trends, designers, diversity and influences from eminent industry figures from around the world, the global talks programme will include talks from Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Design Museum and many more.

All of this content adds up to making Tent London a crucial part of London Design Festival for influential retail buyers, architects, interior designers, project specifiers and media from all over the world. For the first time in 2016, ensuring they have the best possible experience, the first two days of the fair will be trade-only, followed by two days open to both trade and the public.

london design fair preview


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