Among the highlights of the design exhibitions across London during the London Design Festival are the international celebrations of contemporary design from countries such as China and Argentine at 100% Design, Denmark at Design Junction and Norway, Korea, Sweden, Southern Italy, Ireland, Czechoslovakia and Poland at Tent/Superbrands.
The concentration of a large number of exhibitors from one country enables investment in exhibition design and reinforces how traditional crafts and industries are continuing well in the 21st century – stunning ceramics and fabrics from Korea; wonderful furniture and technology from China, great woodwork and weaving from Ireland, contemporary furniture and lighting from Denmark and Sweden, beautiful porcelain from Poland, superb glass from Czechoslovakia and futuristic furniture from Southern Italy.
There are of course breaks from the perceived tradition such as ceramics in Ireland and the new kid on the block is Australia. Sadly, why are there not more countries here such as Scotland – given its heritage and ambition, they should be investing in promoting their own designers. Why are they not here? A century ago with the likes of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland led the world. There are a great companies such as Nomad watches here, but there is far more that could be shown.