100% Design at Olympia has grown in size, but, in doing so, it seems to have lost the focus and the innovative edge it had when it started. Today the fair ranges from high technology with virtual reality to hand-made bricks and medieval timber interiors. Perhaps there are now too many of these shows in London and many of the innovations of past years have become commonplace, especially in the world of office design.
While the design edge may have been reduced, the Chinese still have a starring role, with their combination of tradition and contemporary design and this year there is also a stand showing work by Slovenian designers.
There are valuable centrepieces such as ‘Elements’ by Max Fraser which focuses on the detail of new and old designs, and new talent which is diverse, including digital clocks made out of old valve radios and the like by Bad Dog Designs. (I want one!) – plus wooden bicycles, some links with street art, a cool wine cooler from a car body from SMEG, then a gin trolley. Yipee!
Lastly, technology is there – apparently more and more clients (of a younger generation) are asking for virtual reality experiences of projects before they commit.
Lots to see, but perhaps needs a greater focus, given that during this week there are at least four other design exhibitions in London.
Two more design fairs tomorrow……